The American juvenile justice system has developed over the past century with numerous differences that distinguish it from the adult criminal justice process. The juvenile system has a tremendous influence on today’s troubled youth. It is one of the criminological problems that is growing everyday not only in our country but also worldwide. At risk, juveniles that are not rehabilitated by the juvenile system are more likely to commit crime as adults.
According to our text (Cox ; Allen), there are many issues that can cause a juveniles to increase their criminal behavior such as; biological, psychological, social, and environmental issues. The Juvenile Justice System has come to a crossroad as we progress into the 21st century. The social and political consensus that has always sustained that system is unraveling (Perez Luis 2003). The percentages of juveniles that are detained and committed to state institutions have risen over the years. The system is plagued by overcrowding and understanding in he courtroom, treatment programs, and detention facilities.
Failure to give juveniles the proper interventions they need from the earliest point of their lives can result in a higher crime rates. Another challenge that the juvenile justice system face is the cost to detain a child. According to Perez, it costs the state approximately six thousand dollars per year to educate a child and almost thirty thousand to detain a child in a residential facility which includes prison (Perez Luis, 2003). Most juvenile courts have jurisdiction over criminal delinquency, buses and neglect and status offense cases (McCoy ; Widow, 2001).
Child abuse as well as neglect has been implicated in the development of delinquent behavior. In three different studies, childhood abuse and neglect have been found to increase a child’s risk of negative outlook on life (McCoy & Widow, 2001 Also, victims of childhood abuse and neglect are at higher risk than other children being arrested for a violent crime as a juvenile. There has been a steady increase in the incidence of child maltreatment and child abuse and neglect. Secondly, there has been steady increase in juvenile delinquency and violent crimes.
According to the text ” Judging children as Children” by Michael A. Cornier, the relationship between maltreatment and delinquency seems logical that one would conclude a child who is a victim of maltreatment posses more aggressive and problematic behaviors (Cornier, 2006). According to our text (Cox & Allen), being exposed to violence may impair a child’s capacity for partnering and parenting later in life, which starts this continuous cycle of violence into the next generation. According to research, abused and neglected children are 4. Times more likely to be arrested for violent crimes than matched controls (Hess, 2004). Based on revised data, in 1990, states received and referred for investigation approximately one point seven million reports on an estimated two point six million children who were the alleged subjects of child abuse and neglect. A year later in 1991, states received nearly one point eight million reports on approximately two point seven million children (Diane, 1993) In the United States, on average, a child is abused every 13 seconds. Because f social awareness, reported child abuse has increased dramatically since the asses.
Some states have experienced a 20 percent increase in reported child abuse between 1 99() and 1991. The American Public Health Association (PAPA) estimates that 1. 7 million children are abused or neglected annually in the United States. This means that by 1992 a total of about 63. 5 million (2. 8%) of children under 18 years of age were abused (Fortran, 1993). According to childlike. Org every year 3. 3 million reports of child abuse are made which involves nearly 6 million children that are reported for child abuse and nearly children die every day because of it recently as of 2010 (childlike. Org). As statistics show, there is a clear dramatic increase in the number of children being reported for abuse and neglect. The future of juvenile system in today’s economic environment has put a magnifying glass on everything. For the future juvenile justice system there are several aspects to look at; racial disparity, mental health, prevention programs, and detention or reform programs (Cox & Allen). Mental health programs need to be made available to all youth and not just those who commit crimes. The system should assess juvenile mental status.
Plenty of times the problems with the juvenile justice system is that juveniles go untreated for their problems or are just incarcerated and not able to get proper assessment for what is causing their issues. Prevention programs such as; DARE, Youth leadership programs, Mentoring programs… Etc. Are very important in decreasing juvenile crime. It’s best that juveniles are educated and learn the impacts of their actions. By placing juveniles in certain programs, from there we should be able to see what works best and what does not work.
A costive community and family play a strong involvement into the future juvenile justice system. A child is raised up from a home and if the home is not right, they turn to the community. If the home and the community are not right, problems will occur for the future of not only our juveniles of today, but the ones for the future as well.