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A Case for an Intergrated Criminal Court and Against an Independent Juvenile Justice System - Research Paper Example

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This paper argues for a consolidated criminal court. It is the contention of this paper that the weaknesses of long-established juvenile courts reveal a basic defect in their foundation rather than merely an implementation letdown. …
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A Case for an Intergrated Criminal Court and Against an Independent Juvenile Justice System
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Download file to see previous pages They dispute that there are important differences between the development of adults and young individuals or that rehabilitation remains different from sentencing and persuade legislators to sustain the differences between offenders and antisocial or deviants. Some stress psychological insufficiency or physical helplessness. Others argue that juvenile courts safeguard young lawbreakers from further corrective criminal justice rules. Yet, there are those who argue that juvenile courts furnish the sole opportunity in which to take into account all the official and legal issues, such as abuse, neglect, felony, and dependency, which impinge on families and children (Corriero, 2006). Finally, advocates of an independent juvenile justice system call upon the contingency argument of Progressives (Feld, 1999): in spite of the procedural defects and evident impoverishment of juvenile courts, criminal courts represent more unpleasant locations to try and sentence juvenile delinquents. Juvenile courts try to integrate criminal social control and social welfare in a single organization and unavoidably perform both poorly due to the innate conflict in both functions. In contrast, a juvenile adaptation of an adult criminal justice system is a body devoid of any justification (Culbertson, 2000). Since there are already existing criminal courts, with no social welfare basis, a juvenile adaptation of an adult criminal justice system would only be unnecessary. The Arguments for an Independent Juvenile Court and Against an Integrated Criminal Court An independent juvenile justice system needs a more defined, refined justification than crude punishment versus rehabilitation arguments. In fact hardly any observable differences are present between these two functions. However, if it is recognized that juvenile courts penalize young delinquents, we then take the responsibility of granting them criminal procedural protections since “the condition of being a boy does not justify a kangaroo court” (Barkan & Bryjak, 2010, 520). It has been argued by the McKeiver Court that obliging procedural similarity with adults would terminate the juvenile court trial, yet took for granted the fact that refusing to do so reinforced bias and injustice (Feld, 1999). To perceive and deal with equally positioned criminals differently, to sentence young offenders for the sake of rehabilitation, and to strip them of essential protections cultivate a kind of injustice that frustrates any attempts towards reform. The present juvenile court does not offer justice or rehabilitation and cannot be reformed. The other policy alternatives are to pattern juvenile courts to the adult criminal justice system or vice versa (Roberts, 2004). Regardless if young delinquents are tried in an integrated criminal court or in an independent court, we should reevaluate fundamental principles and deal with procedural and substantive matters. Substantive justice issues comprise forming and executing a doctrinal basis, such as shortened temper, psychological immaturity, weak disposition, or reduced conscience, to sentence juvenile delinquents dissimilarly, and more mildly, than adult criminals or suspects (Myers, 2005). Procedural justice ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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