Juveniles in the Correctional System

JUVENLILES IN THE CORRECTION SYSTEM CARDINAL D CASTILLO CRJ 303 MICHEAL MARINI 6 JUN 2011 JUVENILES IN CORRECTION SYSTEM Juveniles in this country commit all types of crimes from petty crimes to heinous crimes like murders and aggravated assault. The UCR reveal that juvenile individuals under eighteen were arrested for 1. 6 million crimes. (Bartollas & Miller, 2011). Adolescents and young adults have the highest rate of criminal victimization. ( Conklin, 2010).

Juvenile court judges have many sentencing choices, such as probation, issuing fines, sending juveniles to correctional I institutions or foster homes, referrals to day treatment or social skills classes, mental health or community service. The harshest treatment a judge may order is commitment to a secure facility. Juvenile residential facilities are similar to prisons for adult’s offenders, holding mainly those youths found delinquent and receiving an order for commitment.

Placing delinquents in a residential facility is usually the last resort, because juvenile court judges believe that the most effective interventions come about in the community. Juvenile facilities are similar to adult prisons in that the security must be the primary emphasis in the medium – and higher security facilities. (Seiter, 2011). Juveniles who commit serious crimes and /or who have prior records sometimes find themselves in correctional, akin to adult prisons. Sending a juvenile to prison certainly serves a specific deterrent purpose and might protect society from dangerous individuals. Worrall, 2008). Spearheaded by the OJJDP, the belief emerged in the 1990s that the most effective strategy for juvenile corrections is to place the thrust of the prevention and diversion emphases on high –risk juveniles who commit violent acts. ( Bartollas & Miller, 2011). Diversion is an attempt to divert, or channel youth offenders from the juvenile justice system. The concept of diversion is based on the theory that processing certain youths through the juvenile system may do more harm than good. Diversion programs ake youths who would ordinarily be processed through the juvenile system and place them, instead in an alternative program. The difference between juvenile diversion and sentencing down by juvenile courts is that the juveniles who went to diversion programs the recidivism rate is lower compared to juveniles is lower compared to juveniles who are sentenced in a juvenile facility. When a juvenile is released from a juvenile correctional facility he or she does not have the follow up supervision or community support which means those types of youths are on their work.

Juveniles who are part of a diversion program have the support of community counselors and a support program. One of the most punishments used in the juvenile corrections is probation. Probation is judicial dispositions under which youthful offenders are subject to certain conditions imposed by the juvenile court are permitted to remain in the community under the supervision of a probation officer. (Bartollas & Miller, 2011). Juvenile probation is the oldest and most widely used vehicle through which a range of court –ordered services is rendered.

When a youth is placed on probation, he or she must complete court sanctions and services. Probation is a mechanism used by our justice system as a sanction. In the juvenile justice system it services as a sanction for juveniles adjudicated in court, and in many cases as a way of diverting status offenders or first time offenders from the court system. Juvenile probation may be used as a way of informally monitoring at –risk youth and preventing their progression into more serious problem behavior.

It allows offenders to retain their liberty but provides society with some protection against continued disregard of the law. It avoids the negative impact of institutional confinement, and it cost less than incarceration. ( Bartollas & Miller, 2011). I think that rather than paying for juveniles to be imprisoned, the funding would be better spent on rehabilitation programs, including education and training. I also think that if a juvenile commits a heinous crime that he or she should be incarcerated.

References Seiter, R. P. ( 2011). CORRECTIONS an introduction 3ed. Boston: Prentice Hall. Worall, J. L. (2008). CRIME CONTROL in America 2ed. Boston: Prentice Hall. Bartollas, C. & Miller, S. (2011). JUVENILE JUSTICE in America 6ed. Boston: Prentice Hall. Conklin, J. E. (2010). CRIMINLOGY 10THED. Boston: Prentice Hall. National Center for Juvenile Justice. Retrieved from http://www. ncjj. org OJJPD National Report Series: Juveniles in Corrections. Retrieved from http://www. ncjrs. gov