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Juvenile Justice and GANGS

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     Due to many roots of crime in the society, there is no universal preventive program to combat or halt juvenile crimes in our community. Parents, public organizations and society as a whole have failed to address the real causes of juvenile delinquencies (Wilson.1994). Thus, this essay will address the treatment strategies to reduce the juvenile delinquency in the society. Moreover, the prevention programs and guiding principles will be dealt with. Finally, the juvenile court, the correction and detention process will also be enumerated.

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             Juvenile justice is the branch of criminal law, which is applicable to the persons not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. In the United States and most countries of the world, the age set for juvenile criminal culpability is set to be 18  years. Thus, the main goal of juvenile justice is the youth rehabilitation rather than punishment. In the United States, the state statutes that create the juvenile courts are to ensure the safety and welfare of children.

  The states are to legislate for the protection, care, custody, and maintenance of children within its jurisdiction. The role of federal government is to safeguard the standard set by the states. In 1968, the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act was passed by the congress, the contents of the act was revised in 1972 to be renamed as Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act. (Cornell University Law School).                                                                      In some countries, many children were subjected to standard that violated international standard. Children were locked up in cell or prisons for long period. Moreover, children are held in the same condition as adult, and they are denied the necessary care that can make life worth living in the confinement. Most countries do not have rehabilitation home for children, the children are mostly locked in the same prison yard with adult. The necessary things for the wellbeing of the children were lacked, the essential things like food, health care, education and sanitary facilities are not available for children in confinement in most countries. Thus, instead of being rehabilitated, the children are often return to society with no education and mostly cruel to the society. (Human Rights Watch, 2005)


In the United States, there are at least 51 juvenile justice systems and each state has different juvenile system of justice. Thus, juvenile courts are different from county to county, and it is important to remember that the United States has at least 51 different juvenile justice systems. Thus, there are some cases where laws are changed to suit the norm and practice of the state. Moreover, the changes in laws do not mean changes in practice and sometimes there are overcrowding of juvenile cases which result in sentencing juvenile offenders more harshly. (McCord , Spatz , Wisdom & Crowell, 2001). Moreover, the juvenile systems are design for boys and not for girls, and it  is noted that most juvenile crimes are being committed by boys. The recent research has revealed that girls may be at risks if the juvenile justice systems are not design for girls also. There are indications that there have been increased in juvenile offences being committed by girls, and it should be noted that problem facing girls are the different from boy’s problem, thus the justice system failed to address the problem the juvenile girls are facing. For example, boys are likely to be arrested for crimes such as taking another person cars for joy ride or stealing a six pack  Girls on the hand may be detained for a behavior that can not be considered a crime if they were adults. The behaviors like running away from home. (abc NEWS, 2001)

                     CORRECTION AND DETENTION

           The delinquent offenders need to be detained to ensure their compliance with court decision and to protect public safety. There are reasons to argue that detention of juvenile should be the last resort for juvenile offenders. Thus, it has been revealed that repeated detention of juvenile is almost never appropriate for correcting behaviors. Thus, there is need for alternative secure detention and confinement. Research has been revealed that repeated detention have led to the overcrowding of detention and confinement facilities for over past 15 years, thus the facilities necessary for the correction of  delinquents are becoming inadequate. Moreover, it has been argued that crowding can create dangerous situations in terms of facility management, and it can also lead to detrimental situation for the youth. Youth detained for long period fail have opportunity to participate in the programs designed in their educational development. Furthermore, program in detention can not   address chronic problems. Thus, the research conducted revealed that between 50 and 70% of youths in detention are diagnosed to have mental illness and up to 19%   may be suicidal. The worst part of   scenario is that crowded facilities often lead to increase in institutional violence and higher operational costs. (Austin, Johnson, & Weitzer, 2005) Thus, it has been suggested that instead of outright detention; there should be Alternatives to Secure Detention. The alternatives should be as follows:                                                                             Home detention: The outright release is not recommended but the offenders are required to remain at home during specified period. There should also be constant supervision by the authority, so that they are adhered to the rules.                                                                Electronic monitoring: In conjunction with home detention, the electronic monitoring is used in ensuring that offenders are being watched and monitoring always as to prevent him from committing other offences.                                                                                                         Day and evening reporting method: The offender could be asked to report to correction centers for counseling day and evening. The program is good in monitoring the changes in behavior of offender.                                                                                                                    Finally, the youth must be involved in the skill training program. The program should be designed to help youth to learn practical skills that can be useful in the society, and this  will make them to be integrated into the employment world. (Austin, Johnson, & Weitzer,2005)

                       JUVENILE COURT

The juvenile court is an area of the superior court that handles cases involving juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependency. The juvenile court is different from adult court which is criminal in nature. The main reason for creating the juvenile is simply to rehabilitate the young people charge for breaking the law. (Utah State Court, 2008). The cases involving juvenile delinquency deal with the children who violate laws that will be considered a crime if committed by adult .The first law passed by the congress in 1968 was Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act and the law was renamed as The Delinquency prevention Act in 1972. The law is to assist the states and local communities in preventing youth in becoming delinquent. Moreover, the law is to provide community based preventative in helping to train people in providing services and to provide technical assistance to prevent delinquency among youth. (Cornell University Law School). Several states have the courts that deal with juvenile cases. In the Massachusetts, the Juvenile Court Department has general power and jurisdiction over delinquent children who need care and protection. The court also deals with minor cases such as adoption, guardianship, termination of parental rights proceedings, and youthful offender cases. (The Massachusetts Court System, 2008)

Increase in violent crimes among teenagers in 1980s necessitated most states to begin to take a tougher legislative stance toward juveniles in the late 1980s. Juvenile court has a wider authority concerning the juvenile delinquency cases. Juvenile court  has the power to remove children from their home and place them in foster care or group home or terminate the parent right. Moreover, the juvenile court can confine children in locked facilities. The court can remove a child from his, or her home and be placed under the responsibility of governmental agency. The court can also order certain services to be provided for children in order to remain in their house safely. In the cases that deal with delinquency, the agency sees to the need of education and health needs of the child. The agency also takes care of treatment, educational need, guidance and general well-being of the children. (Superior Court of California, 2008)

                     PREVENTION PROGRAMS                                                                                   The research has shown that the brain development during foetal period has lifelong effects on human growth. Thus, the children brain could be altered by the chemical agents like alcohol, drugs and smoking of cigarette which is source of nicotine. Thus, it is advisable for parents to desist from taking these chemical agents during pregnancy and when near young children as the chemical effect can alter the behavior of young children making them to be delinquent. (McCord, Spatz, Widom, & Crowell, 2001) .                                                                                      The gang reduction program is to incorporate and to include the family and community to contribute to the reduction of juvenile delinquency and gang activity. The program can be integrated by local, state, and federal governments to help communities assess and address local youth gang problems. (U.S. Department of Justice). Moreover, there should be a program to enforce the under ages drinking laws (EUDL). The program should enhance the prohibition of sales of alcoholic beverages to children less than 21 years of age. (U.S. Department of Justice).

                            GUIDING PRINCIPLES

The guiding principle for delinquent is to supply accurate information for children. Children need accurate, honest and timely information to help them to understand the risky behaviors and its consequence so as to make a healthy life choice. This is particularly when dealing with girls delinquents. Good and honest information motivate the children to listen and to act in relations with advice given. Moreover, the children must be giving adequate social education. The education received should be more than the rudiments of reading and math. The education giving must make them to meet the complex challenges of the society. Moreover, they should be trained to be skills in decision-making to get along in life. There should be a program to train them how to manage anger and stress and to be assertive in communication. The society must be mobilized to provide support for the delinquents. The adult’s orientation program must be to, encourage the adult to monitor the children in maintaining healthy relationship in the society. (OJJDP)

                   TREATMENT STRATEGY

The program process is recommended for policy makers to adopt. The policy makers are advice to implement this program because it is tailored to rehabilitate those that commit serious, violent and chronic offences. The program is recommended for the legislators to follow, so that it can help them in making new laws. Moreover, the laid down principle of OJJDP’s has been the comprehensive strategy for juvenile offences. In the guiding principle, it is tailored to develop recommendations for policy makers.  Thus, the report is a source of information for legislators to draw the issues concerning the juvenile justice. From the report, it is noted that there is commitment among the research to continue the research concerning the GWA. Thus, the OJJDP’s guiding principles and comprehensive strategies are as follows:

The principles laid down by   OJJDP are recommended for the serious, violent and chronic offences. Moreover, the principle is suitable for the treatment program and to reduce juvenile delinquency and the reduction of juvenile conduct. The guiding principle is to strengthen the family in instilling moral values on children and to guide and support children on the moral conduct.  Moreover, the guiding principle recommends the support of social institutions such as schools, religious institution, and community organizations. The social institution is one of the medium to develop children in becoming a mature, reasonable and responsible youth. Moreover, through the social institutions, the children are giving the informal education for the good conduct in the society. Furthermore, the most cost-effective strategy in dealing with juvenile delinquency is to engage the family and community to find the appropriate treatment for the juvenile delinquency among children. They must respond to the problem of children at a developing stage and the family and community must not wait till act of delinquency among children has gone into advance stage. Moreover, it is necessary to intervene immediately when the family and the community recognize the sign of delinquency behavior on children.  By intervening at premature stage of delinquency, it is helpful to prevent children from committing serious crimes and becoming chronic offenders.                                              Further treatment of juvenile delinquency is to establish graduated sanctions in which each juvenile offender is accountable for the juvenile offence he committed. Moreover, there should be programs and services to meet the treatment needs of the juvenile. The further treatment is to identify the group that had committed the serious and chronic offences. The intervention to group committing serious offences is necessary, so that the appropriate treatment will be used. Moreover, the special treatment will be used for those who have   failed to respond to community-based treatment and rehabilitation services. Thus, because the OJJDP guiding principles has been noted to be comprehensive strategy for the treatment of   serious and chronic juvenile offenders, the Blueprints for prevention of violence behaviors with focused treatment has been summarized as follows:

The family should be strengthened to tackle the problem of juvenile when arise. Moreover, there should be more core social institutions in the society and promotion of prevention of delinquency. There should also be immediate intervention by parent and authority when delinquent behavior occurs. Furthermore, there must be an establishment of institution to intervene if the delinquency behavior occurs and to identify and control the small group of serious, violent and chronic juvenile offenders.(Wadsworth, 2005)


             The juvenile problem has led to  the inner-city problem, and gang violence that has spread to the communities,  and throughout the United States. To be more specific, there are more than 24,500 different youth gangs spread around the country. Moreover, the statistics  has shown that there  are  more than 772,500 teens and young adults who were members of gangs. Since 1970’s, there has been alarming  increase in gang activity  in the United States, and this has led to an inner-city problem like violence, drug abuse, prostitution, and in some advance cases, robbery among youth. Although in the United States, there are male youths in the gang than female youths, but  it is difficult to calculate the rough estimate of  female youth in the gang. Nevertheless, It is hard to get a good estimate of the number of female gangs. It is noted that gang is an indices that lead to juvenile delinquency in the United States, and our youths  are the leader of tomorrow. They are the future of the country, thus the  parents, the authority and the society as a whole should find a way to bring sanity  into our youths so that they can become  good examples for the coming generations.

                                         LIST OF REFERENCES

Cornell University law school. n.d. Juvenile justice: an overview. Retrieved May 23, 2008 from <http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/Juvenile_justice>

 McCord J , Spatz C, Widom P,  & Crowell.C.A (2001). Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice.Washinton.D.C. National Academic Press

Abc NEWS.n.d. 2005. Girls at Greater Risk in Justice System. Retrieved May 23, 2008 from http://projectgrad.osu.edu/pdf  /abc_girlrisk.pdf

(Austin.J, Johnson.D.K, & Weitzer. R 2005)  Alternatives to the Secure Detention and Confinement of Juvenile Offenders. Retrieved May 23, 2008 from http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1 /ojjdp/208804 .pdf

Utah State Court.2008 Juvenile Court: An Introduction for Chidlren and Families. Retrieved May 23, 2008 from http://www.utcourts.gov/courts /juv/intro  /

.The Massachusetts Court System .2008 Juvenile Court Department Retrieved May 24, 2008 from http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts /juvenilecourt/index .html

Superior Court of California, 2008. Juvenile Court. Retrieved May 24, 2008 fromhttp://www.glenncourt.ca.gov/court_info /juvenile.html

U.S Department of Justice.n.d. Office of Juvenile justice and delinquency Prevention Retrieved. May 24, 2008 from <http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org/programs /ProgSummary.asp?pi=38& ti=& si=& kw=&PreviousPage=ProgResults>

OJJDP.n.d. Guiding principle for promising Female offender. Retrieved May 24, 2008 from http://www.ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs /principles/ch3_2  .html

Wadsworth.T.2005. JUVENILE JUSTICE. Approaches to Treatment. Retrieved from attached file.

Human Rights Watch. 2005 .Juvenile Justice. Retrieved May 23, 2008 from <www.hrw.org/children /juvenile_justice.htm>

 Wilson .P. 1994 LITTLE HOOVER COMMISSION .Retrieved May 20, 2008 from < http://www.lhc.ca.gov/lhcdir /127rp.html>

National Violent Prevention.2008. Youth Gang and Violence. Retrieved May25,2008< http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/faq/youthgang.asp>


Cite this Juvenile Justice and GANGS

Juvenile Justice and GANGS. (2016, Nov 08). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/juvenile-justice-and-gangs/

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