Since the s, youth crime rates have plummeted. These falling crime rates have led many jurisdictions to rethink the punitive juvenile justice practices that became popular in the s and s. Today, states are instituting major systemic reforms designed to reduce institutional confinement, close old 19th century era reform schools, and expand community-based interventions. Houses of Refuge In the late 18th and early 19th century, courts punished and confined youth in jails and penitentiaries.
Menu History of the Juvenile Justice System A grasp of the current conflict surrounding the responsibility and direction of the juvenile justice system becomes more obtainable when one takes into consideration how the system has progressed since its inception.
The juvenile justice system was created in the late s to reform U. The period, which formally spanned between andwas preceded by nearly a century of discontent. Prior to the Progressive Era, child offenders over the age of seven were imprisoned with adults.
Such had been the model historically. Early reformers who were interested in rehabilitating rather than punishing children built the New York House of Refuge in The reformatory housed juveniles who earlier would have been placed in adult jails.
Beginning inindividual states took note of the problem of youth incarceration and began establishing similar youth reform homes.
Such early changes to the justice system were made under a newfound conviction that society had a responsibility to recover the lives of its young offenders before they became absorbed in the criminal activity they were taking part in.
The juvenile justice system exercised its authority within a "parens patriae" state as parent or guardian role.
The state assumed the responsibility of parenting the children until they began to exhibit positive changes, or became adults. Youth were no longer tried as adult offenders. Their cases were heard in a somewhat informal court designed for juveniles, often without the assistance of attorneys.
Extenuating evidence, outside of the legal facts surrounding the crime or delinquent behavior, was taken into consideration by the judge.
Early reform houses were, in many ways, similar to orphanages. Indeed, many of the youth housed in the reformatories were orphans and homeless children.
The right to trial by jury and the freedom against self-incrimination were guaranteed to citizens in 5th Article of the Bill of Rights ratified This Article, the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, states that "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury…nor shall [a person] be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.
The Amendment states, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
A decision by the Supreme Court affirmed the necessity of requiring juvenile courts to respect the due process of law rights of juveniles during their proceedings. Gault age 15 had been placed in detention for making an obscene call to a neighbor while under probation. The Arizona juvenile court had decided to place him in the State Industrial School until he became an adult age 21 or was "discharged by due process of law.
The act was designed to encourage states to develop plans and programs that would work on a community level to discourage juvenile delinquency. The programs, once drafted and approved, would receive federal funding. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act - By the United States had developed a strong momentum toward preventing juvenile delinquency, deinstitutionalizing youth already in the system, and keeping juvenile offenders separate from adults offenders.
Part of the rationale behind the separation of juvenile and adult offenders was evidence that delinquent youth learned worse criminal behavior from older inmates. Such logic was voiced in the Progressive Era by the writer Morrison Swift, who commented on the practice of jailing young offenders with adults, "young and impressionable offenders were being carried off to Rutland with more hardened men, there to receive an education in lawlessness from their experienced associates.
The increase in crime hit a peak in and then began to gradually decline. In response to a fear that juvenile crime would continue to rise at the rate seen between roughly andlegislatures enacted measures designed to "get tough on crime.(Synder & Sickmund, Juvenile Offenders and Victims: Update on Violence, OJJDP, Justice Department (Aug.
)).The public also holds greatly inflated perceptions about the prevalence and severity of juvenile crime. Only 6% of juveniles were arrested in , the majority of whom only come in contact with the juvenile justice system once.
May 09, · 1 States, however, have the right to set lower age thresholds for processing youth through the adult system. In addition, some states automatically process any individual, regardless of age, through the adult criminal justice system for some serious offenses.
Advocates are looking forward to the passage of a bipartisan bill that would strengthen protections for young people in the juvenile justice system.
Trying to Fix America’s Broken Juvenile. Ending excessive sentences and extreme punishments is of paramount importance to protect young people in the juvenile justice system.
Together with national and state partners, we are committed to ending juvenile life without parole sentences so that no young person is sentenced to die in prison.
Juvenile Justice System Essay Examples.
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An . juvenile justice reform occurred in , the number of commitments dropped by 72% to 1, from to , after stagnating at above 4, commitments for a decade before the reform. Youth in the Juvenile Justice System Juvenile Court Process: On any given night in America.