Juvenile Diversion Programs

As indicated by Kathleen Skowyra and Susan Davidson Powell (2006) in their article ‘Juvenile Diversion: Programs for Justice-Involved Youth with Mental Health Disorder’, “Over 2. 3 million youth are arrested each year. Approximately 600,000 of these youth are processed through juvenile detention centers and more than 100,000 are placed in secure juvenile correctional facilities” (1). For this Zogby International conducted a national poll concerning how Americans think and respond with the nation’s increase in youth crime.

The findings appeared to be in support of victim restoration. “Of those polled… … 9 out of 10 agree that youth crime is a major problem in our communities. By more than a 15 to 1 margin, the US voting public believes that decision to transfer youth to the adult court should be made on a case-by-case basis and not be governed by a blanket policy. A majority of 9 to 1 believes that rehabilitative services and treatment for incarcerated youth can help prevent future crimes.

More than 80% of respondents think that spending on rehabilitative services and treatment for youth will save tax dollars in the long run. Approximately 7 to 10 feel that putting youth under age 18 in adult correctional facilities makes them more likely to commit future crime. Of those polled, more than two-thirds disagree that incarcerating youth in adult facilities teaches them a lesson and deters them from committing future crimes. ”

(Source: Krisberg&Marchionna 1) For the reason that a greater proportion of the total number of youths arrested each year is responsible for minor crimes or offenses, juvenile diversion programs were invented with the mission on how to solve the rising number of youth crimes among juveniles who are yet under the adult age provision… especially that they are, nevertheless, delinquents. Main Body Juvenile Delinquency and Minimum Age Provisions

Juvenile delinquency can be termed as “either violent or non-violent crime committed by persons who are usually under the adult age” (Wikipedia, par. 2). In the United States of America, this adult age pertains to 18 years old, so that juveniles are committed persons who are below the age of 18. Based on the work of Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck, there are certain personality traits that define delinquents, such as self-assertiveness, extroversion, defiance, ambivalence, impulsiveness, feeling unappreciated, suspicion, hostility, etc.

(Siegel, Welsh, & Senna 94). Delinquents are also hyperactive, impulsive with attention deficit disorder, and are experiencing from anxiety disorders and depression, which leads them to drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and violence. External causes of delinquency, on the other hand, may come from one or more of the following: (1) physical abuse, (2) psychological abuse, (3) abandonment, (4) social institutions, and (5) peer pressure (Wikipedia, par. 2).

Juvenile delinquency is directly related to the mental and psychological traits of the juveniles. Patrick Griffin, Patricia Torbet, and Linda Szymanksi of the National Center for Juvenile Justice reported in December 1998 that, in the whole of U. S. A. , the lowest minimum age of criminal responsibility can be found in Oklahoma, wherein anyone by the age of 7 years old, who knew that the act itself is wrong, can be tried out in the judicial court (Griffin, Torbet, & Szymanski, “Minimum Age Provisions”).

The next in line is Navada and Washington (8 years old), Colorado and Oregon are next (10 and 12 years old), and the rest fall under the minimum age of 13 and 14 respectively (Griffin, Torbet, & Szymanski, “Minimum Age Provisions”). This is displayed in the appendix section at page 7. With these minimum age provisions, which are very low, it is still possible to divert their ways, mentalities and actions to the right direction by means of what is called ‘juvenile diversion’. Here, programs are created in order that juveniles may divert their path more resoundingly.