Through the years, the Juvenile Justice System has evolved to address the growing concern of youth offenders in the society. It aspires to achieve their goals of “keeping the citizenry safe and rehabilitating delinquent youths” (LawyerShop, 2008). In line with this, the LawyerShop (2008) had shared elaborate ideas about the said system, including its history, progression, trends, funding and enforcement.
The Juvenile Justice System was created on the late 1800’s to deal with the crimes committed by the youth. It underwent reforms during the progressive era (period from 1900-1918) in response to the plea of psychologists, political and social reformers, as well as researchers. The reforms sought to set them apart from adult offenders by rehabilitating them instead. In the course of time, the Supreme Court considered the adoption of “due process” and fair treatment under the law.
It led them to attend the so-called “civil proceedings”. However, as stipulated by the LawyerShop (2008), those reforms may have shifted from the real objective of the system, which is not “to prosecute and punish” the juveniles but to “correct a condition” and meet the societal “responsibilities to the child” (this statement was given by Justice Potter Stewart who disagreed on such amendment). Going through “due process of law” made them comparable to that of the adult offenders.
On the other hand, the period between 1987 and 1994 marked a significant rise in juvenile crimes, which called for enactments and changes in its implementation, thereby making it more similar to the adult justice system. Further, the lack of funding made it more difficult to implement some programs of the said system, which are mainly focused on prevention and rehabilitation. Consequently, the Juvenile Justice System had been through changes in order to adjust to the trends that are affected by the rate of occurrence of juvenile offenses.
Hence, its future depends upon the collaborative efforts to prevent an increase in these crimes and of course, proper implementation of the law without compromising the rights of the youth. Reference: LawyerShop. com. (2008). The Juvenile Justice System/History of the Juvenile Justice System. Retrieved November 14, 2008, from http://www. lawyershop. com/practice-areas/criminal-law/juvenile-law/system/