Juvenile Justice System Essay
Juvenile Justice System Essay

Juvenile Justice System Essay

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  • Pages: 8 (2148 words)
  • Published: December 29, 2021
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To start with, juvenile justice system dates it’s a genesis back to around 200 years ago with the first court to first appear in the year 1899 in Chicago in the United States soil. The start of these courts was an alarm when children or rather young convicts started facing appalling atrocities in jails. Before the start of these courts, children were seen as diminutive adults and were therefore tried in courts and jailed together with the adults. This was a total offence to young people for having them detained with older individuals portrayed much problems that they faced that were against child rights. Through this unspeakable outrages this children would return to the society as nothing else other than hardened criminals and to which most states in the united states so this as something that was no


t helping out in rectifying this young offenders thereby the putting a demand on the creation of this juvenile justice systems which in turn came to be one that hopefully helped in changing this young citizens to good focused, motivated and responsible adults.

As time went by these courts became wide spread in the American soil considering the fact that putting these young offenders with their adults counterparts in one common jail was seen as a self-destructing or a self-defeating act for it was only the young convicts who faced difficulties imposed by these adults as they manipulated their abilities inside those cells (McCord, 2011). From the year 1899 to 1990’s this juvenile courts were passed and instituted in most of the states in America. This was mostly done to put more great emphasis on the welfares together with

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the rehabilitation responsibility to which they were brought in for.

In the years, 1980’s to mid-1990’s there was an increases number of young convicts was seen all over the American soil. This was assumed by the town sheriffs to be because of this distinctive focus on juvenile system and the treatment of juvenile’s. These acts made a reverse from the past history of young convicts for in the past these young individuals were only court on petty crimes but during this period this young offenders were caught with hard crimes like madder crimes and rape. Also unlike the past following the history of this juveniles where these prisoners caught were young men, young women were also found guilty and during this time with hard crimes too (Silberman, 2009).
Due to this increase of crimes committed by these young offenders, a number of questions were raised during this time on what, why, and what was to be done on these increase on crimes from the youths. It also raised an alarm and a vote of no confidence on the efficacy of juvenile court system. This later led to many calling upon for a harsher response on the way with which these young convicts handled with juvenile crimes.

Indeed, it is wide open that youthful offenders that end up in adult jurisdiction system do face a number of issues. In some of the states in America for instance in California, juveniles are to be transferred to adult prisons due to many reasons some making sense while some of the reasons not really making any sense instead creating a negative impact on what these young convicts face while incarcerated with their

other adult inmates. According to the findings on a research done on juveniles in court system, approximately 107000 youths are always detained in juvenile criminal system in any given day this is to make an assumption almost half of this number are over the age of 15 years thereby making stand at more risk of being transferred to adult justice system facilities.

Trends in Juvenile Crimes According to the Recent Research Carried on Adolescents Convicts

From the recent research it is clear and openly portrayed that juvenile crimes have really increased in number than in the past thereby increasing the number of young offenders found in our today’s juvenile courts and jails for that matter. This is a clear indication of having this young citizens become crime prone that those in the past. Many scholars together with researchers do conclude their research by saying that it is only 25% of these crimes that are caused by poor parenting while the other remaining 75% is mainly done due to the current trend on how and what todays’ technology has turned to be. According to the research in some of the juvenile jails in Chicago it has been revealed that as from 1985 murder crimes did remained constant up to the year 1993 where criminologist such as Alfred Blumstein argue that murder cases to do with guns on homicide picked up tripling the number that was experience in the past years, this sharp increase was said to be as a result of turf market development whereby drug cartels were straining to find their way in to the market.in the year 2008 a sharp decline of cases associated with murder,

this was as a result the stabilization of drug markets with the concerted effort that was put by the police force which ensured that this young citizens did not at any given point have an access to guns (McCord, 2011).

Reasons Why Adolescents Find Themselves Incarcerated With Adults in Jails

The research panel compiled a report that gave some of the possible reasons with which this young offenders may fall in trails of being transferred to adult justice systems for incarceration this reasons follows:

  1. Some public safety systems have set rules or rather laws that clearly clarify the circumstance under which these juveniles are to be taken to adult prisons, for instance age of jurisdiction laws that states that under certain conditions some youths will automatically fall under adult jurisdiction court. This conditions is like that of some youths who fall between the age of 16 to 17 years definitely fall under the adult court proceedings thereby making these young and tender citizens fall prey to their adult inmates. From the research findings, over 247000 youths who were under the age of 18 falls to adult prisons besides being in juvenile jurisdictional age laws.
  2. The second reasons to which this young convicts find themselves in this adult justice system is that some states in the American soil have some laws like transfer laws. This laws depends in a number of facts that is, the nature of the crime to which the youth may have been arraigned with, nature to which the judicial decision may fall and lastly by the nature of the charges with which the prosecutor chooses to seek for on the case. The best example

is that coming from most of the United States whereby in 15of the states transfer laws is by prosecutorial discretion and in 29 states, transfer is by categorical exclusion, which in most cases it is done based on the nature of the offence committed among others. In some cases when a youth engages in crimes that are behavioral with gangs he or she also stands a higher chances of being transferred to this adult justice systems. In 2007 an approximate of about 8500 youths found themselves in adult judicial systems through waiver statutes that were put in place during that time

  • Finally, in some states there is a form of blended sentencing whereby these juvenile courts are given enough power thereby making it possible for disposition of young offenders, many a times if they do not make it or rather succeed most of them are always transferred to adult justice systems under the same convictions (Silberman, 2009).
  • In some states a law that goes as once an adult always an adult is always followed to the later, this one puts adolescents who have committed and convicted on criminal activities that are in line with other adult cases makes other subsequent cases that may be carried in over the same to be waived the same way as that of the previous, thereby making young offenders a high risk of being transferred to adult jails resulting to so much more problems than that which they already face while in juvenile jails.
  • Problems That Adolescents Face While in Adult Jails

    Like any other person, these young adults also have feelings and emotions and by putting them together with the adult

    in the same prison facility will only increase more of the harm that what they were really taken in for. Research has it that adolescents face more danger when jailed together with adults than their fellows who are only in juvenile justice systems.it is also true that juveniles face a lot of both physical, emotional and sexual abuse. This can be as a result of them being too young or these adults taking the advantage of being older or may be too energetic than these young new inmates.

    According to, Woolard, (2015) one of the research done in one of the American adult justice system where youth were confined together with these adults it was found that the youths do face a lot of emotional effects that comes inform of stress. This mainly came from the guards and from their fellow inmates. According to bureau justice statistics it also indicated that youths are five times more sexually assaulted when housed together with adults in the same prison and that they are also 36 more times at a risk of committing suicide. This act on these young adults makes great impact not only to themselves but also to the communities where they all came from.it makes them feel traumatized when they are released from the past acts they went through while in jails and to those who may have commit suicide while in jail leaves a gap in the society thereby making their families remain in deep grief that would have been avoided if at all this young citizens would have been detained in their in their respective detaining zones where adults would have been housed differently

    and youths housed differently too.

    Another key problem that is brought by housing youths with adults is that studies indicate very clear that young offender many a times face cases of rape especially for the males. This is mostly done when these young offender are housed together with other male adult inmates where they take advantage of these young first time offenders as in most cases they are always with fear and that they are physically week and non-violent and also that they have no any experience to at all on prison lifestyle as compared to the other adult inmates.it is an obvious matter when you mix this prisoners together it is only the young offenders who will always be the victims of both physical and sexual violence for they have no the abilities to defend themselves during the process of rape (Bishop,2010). This will finally lead them to end up committing such things as suicide which leaves a great impact to their families and to the community at large.

    Some of this in human acts through which this juvenile’s face while in prison confined together with adults does have both long term and short term effects which is not really encouraged to happen to this young for instance sexual abuse have more of the physical and emotional consequences that most a times do result up to adult hood. Sexual assaults also do put an adolescent into effects such as post-traumatic stress disorder together with depression effects to which to many individuals it may lead to much cases of death through suicide and personal issues such as stress leading to health problems (Woolard, 2015).


    Juvenile justice system was

    created first with the intention of preventing these young citizens from having such cases that they undergo while in adults justice system or to serve the best interest of the young offender making it possible to avoid cases to do with murder through suicide acts among others. Transfer policies have been in the recent past been found disproportionately as some of the policies only put these young offenders in more risks for they are not really favoring the young aged individuals who are incarcerated with adults. This is due to the fact that young offenders do undergo some acts that even worsen the offences that they were convicted with.


    1. McCord, J., Widom, C. S., & Crowell, N. A. (2011). Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice. Panel on Juvenile Crime: Prevention, Treatment, and Control. National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20418.
    2. Silberman, C. E. (2009). Criminal violence, criminal justice (p. 305). New York: Random house.
    3. Bishop, D. M. (2010). Juvenile offenders in the adult criminal justice system.Crime and justice, 81-167.
    4. Woolard, J. L., Odgers, C., Lanza-Kaduce, L., & Daglis, H. (2015). Juveniles within adult correctional settings: legal pathways and developmental considerations. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 4(1), 1-18.
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