The prevention rationale aims to deter juvenile offenders from re-offending and to keep other juveniles from performing the same crimes. Relying on a causal relation between criminal acts and consequent punishment, the deterrence model presumes both a logical thought process behind violent crimes and a justice system that gives quick and expected responses. Incapacitation seeks to eradicate opportunities for juveniles to re-offend by completely restricting their freedom. It is an instant solution to reducing some juvenile crime because it gets juvenile offenders off the street.
However, it provides only a short-term solution as it is prohibitively expensive to imprison all dangerous teenagers until they are past the age where they are expected to commit future crimes. Moreover, for incapacitation to be effectual at reducing crime, it should rely on widespread hesitation and sentencing of actual current offenders as well as prospective future offenders. The incapacitation approach essentially also presumes that precise predictors are available to find out what types of individuals are probable to be future offenders.
This presumption is challenging given that a test to predict who will be a future offender hardly ever produce accurate results. In spite of these problems, some policymaker might still favour the incapacitation approach if they think that rehabilitation does not work, and that, at the least, incarceration will stay some juveniles from re offending. Thus, when a state chooses to incapacitate as numerous juveniles as its budget can afford, it rarely has a significant basis for choosing appropriate juveniles to lock up.
Progressive reform, seek to set up an equilibrium between rehabilitation and punishment throughout the creation of a comprehensive system that stresses both. Punishment and rehabilitation are not very inconsistent goals within the perspective of juvenile justice; these two goals can be made constant through progressive reform measures, such as immediate interventions, transitional sanctions, small facilities, intensive rehabilitation, and community-based confinement.
For the immense majority of offenders, a balanced system is more cost effective than a system stressing either extreme. A balanced system preserves scarce societal resources by limiting the scope of the most costly treatments to those most in require of them. Such a system also is more effectual in reducing recidivism over the long term as it provides comprehensive and reliable dispositions of offenders.
A “just desserts" approach seeks primarily to offer equity of punishment with methods such as obligatory sentencing guidelines based on a grating of graduated offences, age, and previous record. Retributive systems usually do not try to change behaviour, though they could have a disincentive effect on the behaviour of past and future offenders by frighting them out of a life of crime.
As is the case with other restriction models, however, a "just dessert" system can deter juveniles from offending or re offending only if prospective offenders engage in rational behaviour and law enforcement responds constantly, both of which are dubious presumptions. The rehabilitation model was leading until the seventies, when fear of rising juvenile crime, supported by the "nothing works to rehabilitate" research results, altering the direction of the juvenile systems toward the hard line.
In the current political discourse, rehabilitative approaches have been categorized as "soft" on juvenile offenders. Models usually reserved for adults, such as incapacitation, "just desserts," and deterrence models based on considerable punishments, are considered as "tough" on juvenile offenders. Recent state and federal legislative changes upsetting juvenile crime have relied on incapacitation and "just desserts" to reform the juvenile justice system.
By modelling reforms on these punishment-oriented policies, the legislatures claim to be taking a "tougher" stance on juvenile crime to alleviate public fears. In most states, however, the current systems are not completely punitive, instead mixing rehabilitation, incapacitation, and reprisal. Juvenile crime grows out of weakened family as well as community structures, and other destructive ecological factors such as poverty, inadequate housing and education, lacks of work opportunities, drug addiction, alcoholism, and domestic violence.
To eliminate such crime entails addressing all of these social ills, not just confinement of juvenile offenders. The juvenile justice system usually meets young people relatively late in the course, when they have already committed crimes and while some of them are already violent and treacherous individuals. Rather than a preventive measure, the juvenile justice system is typically an escape hatch through which American communities try in shifting degrees to rehabilitate, punishes, and debilitate offenders.