The role and history of the courts is viewed dynamic since it was settled to meet the needs of juvenile offenders. The truth is that juvenile courts for so many years that have passed allowed juvenile delinquents to be imprisoned with adult wrongdoers (Humes, 2009, p. 1). It has been a long standing practice that provided a negative result for juvenile offenders. This practice was discovered to be very devastating for juvenile offenders. The theory behind this fact is that children must not abide similar statutory accountability as grown-ups for the reason that of their immaturity in terms of mental, emotional development (Humes, 2009, p. 1). Consequently, the courts of justice changed the trend and tried to segregate inmates in accordance to their age.
Another example of courts changes for the benefit of juvenile delinquents is the term coined for offenders who are still young. Before, young offenders are referred to as criminals just like adults offenders (Humes, 2009, p. 1). But at present time, it is no longer allowed in the courts of justice. The young offenders nowadays are called delinquents instead of criminals. The intention of the said developments in the juvenile justice system is to protect young offenders.
Aside from that, courts of justice also allowed the exclusion of any significant inspection of the mechanism of juvenile courts, in line with the majority of the lawful and permissible protections usually enforced in adult criminal court (Humes, 2009, p. 1). In the latest scheme, young offenders were not permitted to lawful representation, nor were prosecutors on offer to stand for the benefit of the government and public safety. These drastic yet positive development or changes in courts allowed young offenders to regain strength and confidence despite their wrongful acts which is tantamount to changing their behaviors for the better.
There are many theories or causes of juvenile delinquency that are presented by different research writers and scholars. Ye, the most common causes of juvenile delinquency are ineffective parenting styles, divorce, and stressful events in life. The primary reason for juvenile delinquency is the failure of parents to rear their children in the most appropriate way (Kulla, 2006, p. 1).
Parents must express love and affection to their children most of the time so that their emotional and psychological development would yield positive results. Due to the responsibility of parents to provide support for the family, they tend to give less time for their young children. The result of the inadequacy of parents to provide enough attention to their children is the dependence of children on peer influence. That would be the time that they could commit crimes in order to be accepted in a group of young people within their age brackets (Kulla, 2006, p. 1).
Another cause of juvenile delinquency is divorce of the parents of juvenile delinquents. The sudden change of family relationships would leave a child confused on the status and condition of his life leading to immoral and criminal acts. Parents who got divorced would surely fail to monitor their children in a regular manner due to the situation. With that, poor parenting styles, divorce and even peer influence are causes of juvenile delinquency which can be associated with stressful events in the life of young children.
Stressful events may also include poor performance in school augmented by the inability of parents to guide their children. These situations may lead to alcohol and drug abuse that would encourage young children to commit crimes. Therefore, parents must make sure that they reared their young children well while they are growing. These children must not seek love and attention to other people including their peers but only to their parents. Therefore, juvenile delinquency can be prevented if young children will not experience controllable stressful events in life.
In this juncture, it is admitted that the identification of the serious violent juvenile offender affect juvenile justice policy. A recent example of this comment is what happened at a suburban Columbine High School in Denver. The incident reported two well-known young offenders who killed 13 people before committing suicide (Toppo, 2009, p. 1). Without the continued study of the case, there would be no clear reports on the causes of the said violent and criminal acts of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.
It was reported ten years ago that the two young offenders were bullied by their classmates and friends that is why they were able to kill other people and themselves. The said speculations were based on the other reports with the same case scenario. However, when other evidences were gathered by the government authorities who studied the case, it was found out that the two young offenders even bragged of killing people. Having this angle of the violent incident in Columbine High School, it can be derived that due to the persistent identification and study of the violent offenders, juvenile justice was improved. Investigation of cases involving young offenders nowadays is no longer narrow since it was expand to include different kinds of evidences. Thus, identification of violent young offenders is necessary in solving criminal cases and allows a positive development of juvenile justice system.
- Humes, E. Edward Humes.com. 2009. A Brief History of Juvenile Court. Retrieved April 16, 2009, from http://www.edwardhumes.com/articles/juvhist.shtml.
- Kulla. C. Associated Content Website. 8 November 2006. The Causes of Juvenile Delinquency. Retrieved April 16, 2009, from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/81771/the_causes_of_juvenile_delinquency.html.
- Toppo, G. God Like Productions Website. 14 April 2009. FBI Reveals Truth Behind Columbine, Finally! Retrieved April 16, 2009. from http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message770571/pg1