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The Evolution of Juvenile Justice - Essay Example

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Juvenile Justice System Your name Name and section number of course Date The meaning of juvenile justice system, its responsibility and motives, is evident in the story of its evolution. The progress of the system since its inception makes us understand the current system…
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The Evolution of Juvenile Justice
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Download file to see previous pages Progressive era reforms had major contributions in the framing of the modern juvenile justice system. In the period from 1900- 1920s the nation witnessed various campaigns including suffrage movement, and campaign against child labor. Laborers fought for their rights and demanded eight-hour workday. Before the progressive era, children who commit crime were also imprisoned like adults. Child offenders were punished like adults. However, the voice of social and political reformers demanded a change in the society’s views about minor offenders. The psychologists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who came up with new psychological theories cried against the hard punishment given for minor offenders. Reformers wanted a change in society’s views on juvenile delinquents. They put the idea of rehabilitating children offenders rather than punishing them like adults. In 1824 reformers set up the New York House of Refuge. Juveniles who commit crime were placed in the juvenile homes instead of adult jails. By 1899, individual states began considering the problem of youth incarceration and setting up youth reform homes. These reforms initiated the notion of juvenile justice system. These early changes were because of the conviction that society should not abandon young offenders, but should recover their lives by redirecting them in a different way. Keeping offenders in reform houses helped them severe their relationship with the world of crime. The juvenile justice system is rooted in this very concept of rehabilitation of young criminals. The juvenile justice system began acquiring the authority of a parent. The state takes the responsibility as a parent and keeps the children with them until they show some positive changes or grow up as adults. Youth were not treated as adults. The cases involving youths were considered in a special informal court meant for juveniles. The procedure did not include the assistance of attorneys. Extenuating evidence, beyond the legal elements related to the crime was considered by the judge. These initiatives paved the way for the current juvenile justice system. In the year 1967 a decision by the Supreme Court confirmed the need of juvenile courts to consider the law rights of minors in the court proceedings. The decision was caused by a case that involves a juvenile. The court’s decision was to confine Gerald Gault, the juvenile who was accused of making an obscene call, when being under probation. According to the Arizona juvenile court, the minor should be placed in the State Industrial School till he turns 21. He should otherwise be discharged by law. However, the Supreme Court decision came up with the rights of minors. According to the Supreme Court, the minor has the right to get notice of charges and receive proper legal counsel. The minor holds the right for confrontation and cross-examination. Furthermore, he has the privilege against self-incrimination. The minor can rightfully get a transcript of the court proceedings and take an appellate review. The dissenting party however came up with the idea that the courts decision would only take the case to a criminal prosecution. According to them, the minor’s case should be done as per the original goal of the juvenile justice system. The juvenile justice system is not intended to prosecute and punish minors who commit crimes. The system rather recommends correcting them. This is the society’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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