Title: American History of Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Justice in the United States
Juvenile delinquency has increased over time due to a variety of factors such as social environment, poverty, and genetic differences. Most adult criminals have a history of misbehavior during their adolescence, but fewer children transfer delinquency into adulthood. Because of their rebellious nature and hormonal changes, most adolescents tend to participate in more crime. Some of the contributing factors are social characteristics such as proactivity and anti-social behavior. Juvenile justice in America has improved over time as a result of efforts to reduce delinquency and control the risk factors associated with juvenile delinquency.
Since the 17th century, children have been treated as adult criminals, brought to court, and sentenced in accordance with the crime committed. There was no distinction between adult and pediatric treatment. Delinquency occurred as a result of a lack of knowledge about life skills, a lack of self-control, and primitivism as a result of insufficient learning facilities. (Krohn & Lane, 2015) After being found guilty, children were sentenced to death.
The concept of juvenile justice was introduced in the early 1990s by various organizations such as child labor laws and schools concerned with child development. Instead of punishing children severely, rehabilitation and finding a solution to their problem were encouraged. The Supreme Court issued decisions regarding the treatment of children’s behaviors, in which children were granted the right to due process.
The establishment of juvenile courts was critical in reducing delinquency and controlling children’s behavior by limiting risk factors that promote criminality. The rehabilitation and confidentiality of juvenile records were improved. Juveniles were separated from adults, which reduced cases of harassment from adult inmates. Juvenile justice has improved rapidly in many countries since the establishment of the juvenile court.
In comparison to boys, girls were taken to court more frequently for immoral acts. 2017 (Kolivoski, Goodkind, and Shook). Boys and girls were taken to separate courts, and those who needed reformation were given probation. Despite the fact that many parents and guardians brought minor cases, the juvenile court saw a significant improvement.
Due to court overcrowding, minor cases were settled immediately rather than going to court, prompting criticism in juvenile courts — questions about fairness as well as claims about juveniles not receiving punishment. In juvenile justice, there have been initiatives and positive outcomes. In the twenty-first century, development, policy formulation, and response to juvenile delinquency have all been successful.
Juvenile delinquency decisions are made based on the child’s age, rights, and the need for rehabilitation for behavioral reformation. Any child under the age of 18 is taken to juvenile court, but if the child is sentenced for an extended period of time, they are transferred to an adult court once they reach the age of 18. Increased social immorality, population growth based on available resources, leading to theft and “immorality,” peer pressure, drug and alcohol abuse, and finally new mental health problems are all contributing factors to delinquency in the twenty-first century.
Personnel involved in cases involving children are given training. Attorneys and child welfare associates, for example, for effective performance. Wright (2018) During the court process, disabled youth and children with unstable mental health are given specialized and fair treatment: various reasons, cases, and laws facilitated the change in juvenile justice throughout American history. In the 17th and 18th centuries, troubled children were locked up in a house for an extended period of time before being transferred to other families as a control measure for their behavior. Poverty was the root cause of these actions, in which healthy children were locked under the same roof as the sick, resulting in disease transmission.
Cases of children being tried in adult courts were a significant factor in accelerating changes in American courts. Children under the age of sixteen were charged with long-term incarceration as well as the death penalty. For example, consider a ruling by Miller Alabama, who never considered age when charging life sentences. This contributed to changes in juvenile justice, such as the introduction of child-saving movements, rehabilitation, and the provision of vocational and religious education in juvenile courts.
Gerald Gault, then 15, was prosecuted in 1967 for making an indecent call while his parents were unaware of his whereabouts. Williams (2017) He was sentenced to six years in prison. Children aged 13, 14, and 16 who were arrested for murder, assault, and robbery were detained as adult criminals and even referred to as predators, despite the fact that the majority of them were black. More juvenile courts were built as a result of increased delinquency and the need for juvenile justice. A child was arrested and charged for five years after receiving a stolen toy. The toy was purchased by the parent, who was unaware that it had been stolen. These cases are examples of juvenile injustices in America.
Economic, social, and familial differences have contributed to an increase in delinquency. Reduced parental maintenance and supervision, exposure to lifestyles, and technological advancement all contribute to youths joining criminal gangs. 2018 (Bui, Farrington, and Ueda). The majority of juvenile offenders are said to have mental health issues as a result of their upbringing and genetic factors. In America, most black kids are taken to court even before committing a crime due to their race and poverty.
Back in history, kids who committed crimes were viewed as toxic and treated like grownups. Fairness has resulted from juvenile justice. Whereby various factors are taken into consideration, for instance; treatment of mental health, offering to counsel, considering the social, environmental factors, family relations as well as the kids’ personality type. These factors contribute to criminality in young children whereby when rehabilitated; behaviors do not reflected in adult life. Current efforts in juvenile justice have brought about decreased death rates of children inmates, improved the behavior of kids as well as advantages behind vocational and religious training.
Juvenile justice in America has improved from 17th century to the 21st century. Children were charged and punished like adults earlier in history. Some were sentenced to death while others many years in jail. In the early 17th century, children were housed in one room where they were locked for a long time regardless of their health status. At some point, children who committed a crime were viewed as super predators, and therefore no empathy was showed. The 21st-century juvenile justice has enabled children to reform and recover from criminality. Age, social factors, peer pressure, as well as mental health, have been considered in dealing with children and rehabilitation has changed many children lives.
Bui, L., Farrington, D. P., & Ueda, M. (2018). Potential Risk Factors for Serious Delinquency: Findings from Osaka Male Youths. In Crime and Justice in Contemporary Japan (pp. 119-135). Springer, Cham.
Kolivoski, K. M., Goodkind, S., & Shook, J. J. (2017). Social justice for crossover youth: The intersection of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Social work.
Krohn, M. D., & Lane, J. (Eds.). (2015). The handbook of juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice. John Wiley & Sons.
Williams, L. M. (2017). In re Gault. The Encyclopedia of Juvenile Delinquency and Justice, 1-4.
Wright, A. (2018). Extended Adolescent Development in International Juvenile Justice: Modernizing the UN Standards and Norms with Scientific Progress and Law.