Question 1: Discuss the history of juvenile justice in America. Be sure to include a short summary in your discussion about parens patriae, the child saver movement, and the JJDPA.
(Your response must be a minimum of 200 words.)
The first juvenile court system was established in Illinois in 1899, when the state recognized that children who commit crimes are different from adults. Juveniles have a higher rate to change than adults and that is why they created a separate court system for them. The goal of the juveniles court system was to rehabilitate juveniles instead of punish them for the crimes that they committed. This was based off the legal document called parens patriae. This document gave the state power to as a guardian over people that had legal liabilities, especially juveniles. The courts usually acted in the best interest of the child. I tried to be informal in their approach and follow the procedural rules that were required. Juvenile cases were treated as civil cases and were used to help guide the juvenile to become a responsible adult. In the same case the court could order the juvenile to be removed from the home and put into a reform institution as apart of their rehabilitation.
The child saver movement goes back to the end of the nineteenth century. It helped create a juvenile correctional institute for troubled youth. Child savers were prohibitionists who believed that the youth should be supervised closely. The child savers movement brought to light different categories of youth misbehaviors that have been dealt with in the wrong way in the past. Most child savers were middle class women who captured roles in public safety and emphasized the proper order of the socialization of children.
The JJDPA stands for the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Majority of the reform for the juvenile justice system at the federal level comes from the JJDPA. It was first passed in 1974 and reauthorized in 2002. The purpose of the JJDPA is for the federal government to work hand in hand with the U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia to protect the youth in the juvenile and criminal justice system, to address high-risk and delinquent behavior, and improve community safety. (333 words)
Question 2: Discuss status offenses. Be sure to include a definition of status offenses and a summary of two types. How could these lead to a life of crime? (Your response must be a minimum of 200 words.)
Status offenses are behaviors that would not, under the law of the jurisdiction in which the act was committed, be a crime if committed by an adult. Some indicators that point to serious problems at home are: poor family functioning, school problems, underlying addiction, unmet health needs, and community problems. Some risk factors for potential truancy are: domestic violence, academic problems, substance abuse, lack of parental involvement in education, and chronic health problems.
One type of status offense is a child running away from home. If a child is consistently running away from home and the parents can not get control of the child or the child disregards anything the parents says could lead to the child getting in serious trouble. Maybe the child hangs out with the wrong crowd and the group people do something that could get them put in jail. Just because he usually hangs out with that certain group could put a target on the child’s back because he is know for being with those group of people. Now the child is involved because of association. There have been studies that have indicated that youth that run away were physically or sexually abused at home the past year before they started trying to runaway.
The second type of status offense is a youth possessing alcohol. Children drinking alcohol could lead to them getting into other things that they do not need. Children of that age being under the influence could end in disaster. They would not how to handle it and would do something that they will regret and ultimately land them in jail for a long time but have no recollection of what they did. Once children start doing a certain thing and no one tells them it is wrong they then tend to keep doing and can ultimately lend to more dangerous situations. (308 words)
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