The juvenile criminal justice process is varied by state, but many factors still are relevant across the board. One matter that seems to hold true is the victimization of a youth and their eventual journey down the road of juvenile delinquency While no one theory connects the two, there are many who continue to study this phenomena, but are also relying on judges, probation and parole officers and police officers in which to gain an understanding of the correlation between victimization and delinquency. The current case is against a young ten year old child named Charlie, who is a first time offender.
He has been caught stealing with a total of over $100 in stolen property. Since this is his first offense there are many factors that are considered when working with this youth. The judge, police officer, and probation officer all have roles that not only overlap, but also help the criminal and judicial process work for the best for the victim of the theft and Charlie. In the juvenile criminal justice process focuses not just on the offender but the players within the process, namely the juvenile court judge, the arresting police officer, and the juvenile probation officer.
The first step is to define the roles of each officer of the court. Juvenile court does not allow for jury trials unless the offender has been deemed to stand trial as an adult due to the severity of the crime and the age of the offender. Since this is Charlie’s first offense, he is only ten years old, and the crime was non-violent, it is deemed that Charlie will stand trial as a juvenile. This means that the judge will hear the accusations and evidence from both sides and will give sentence, or punishment for the crime.
The judge will use previous similar cases in which to gauge the sentence and appropriateness of the punishment (Brank, Lane, Turner, Fain, & Sehgal, 2008; Burrow, 2008). The arresting officer in this case is representing the community and brings the evidence to the trial. The officer is also considered a witness to the crime. However, the officer is also the first line of offense when dealing with juvenile offenders. The officers in this type of situation have a chance to talk to the youth offender and gaining an understanding as to why the child committed the crime.
In some cases, the offender sees family members committing similar crimes, or feels that it is the only way in which to get help for a rough family life. From these findings, the officer can give insight for the judge and probation officer to use during sentencing and punishment (Brank, et al, 2008; Burrow, 2008; Gavazzi, Yarcheck, Sullivan, Jones, & khurana, 2008). The juvenile probation officer is there for the youthful offender, while also working for the court to ensure sentence compliance.
The probation officer is an employee of the court and there fore is first and foremost accountable to the courts, however, the officer is also the first line of defense for the youthful offender in ways that will hopefully get the child the help needed and reduce the recidivism of the youth in their supervision (Brank, et al, 2008). The way these officers of the juvenile court work together is to focus on the rehabilitation of the youth as well as given an appropriate punishment. The police officer gives his view of the actions of the child and possible causes, of course the officer is not trained in such matters.
The judge is also not trained in such matters, but has been in the system long enough to know the actions and demeanor of the youth and how it relates to the information from police officer. The probation officer is probably the best equippedd to tell if the child is truly remorseful of his actions, and will also interview the child before sentencing to give more information in regard to the punishment decided at sentencing (Brank, et al, 2008; Burrow, 2008; Gavazzi, et al, 2008). Based on the information in the case, the police officer and juvenile probation officer should recommend highly supervised probation only for Charlie.
The background of Charlie is not known, but through weekly appointments and possible counseling required by the court will help Charlie work through problems, and hopefully make him understand other ways to get attention and keep him from committing similar or other types of crimes. References Brank, E. , Lane, J. , Turner, S. , Fain, T. , & Sehgal, A. (2008, April). An experimental juvenile probation program. Crime and Delinquency. 54(2). p. 193-224. Retrieved March 16, 2009, from http://online. sagepub. com. Burrows, J. (2008, January).
Reverse waiver and the effects of legal, statutory, and secondary legal factors on sentencing outcomes for juvenile offenders. Crime and Delinquency. 54(1). p. 34-64. Retrieved March 16, 2009 from http://online. sagepub. com Gavazzi, S. M. , Yarcheck, C. M. , Sullivan, J. M. , Jones, S. C. , & Khurana, A. (2008, June). Global risk factors and the prediction of recidivism rates in a sample of first-time misdemeanant offenders. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. 52(3). p 330-345. http://online. sagepub. com