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Discussion of the juvenile justice system

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Outline issues that currently face the juvenile justice system. Compare these with previous issues faced by juvenile justice during the past twenty years. Has the juvenile justice system improved over the years? Recall recent legislation that impacts juvenile justice. Does this legislation support or hinder improvements in the juvenile justice system?

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In the 2004 study by Redding et al, their conclusions are that those under 18 know little about the legal system and that if they had knowledge of the law, they would be deterred from crime. One study to mention is the Georgia study of juveniles treated as adults. Most did not realize that it was a possibility and, had they known, a huge majority said they would not have committed the crime. A majority thought it fair to try some juveniles as adults.

Why bring this issue up? Because lots of writers in this field hold that trying juveniles as adults is a way to buttress the system itself. Adult punishments are far more certain and consistent than the juvenile system. Kleiman (1999) holds that the system on juveniles is too lenient.

Mark Kleiman (1999) argues that the juvenile justice system is a failure. The bulk of punishments come in the late teens, and then, it is too late. For Kleiman, for the system to operate properly, it must be consistent, with punishments meaningful and certain. The Justice Department also speaks to the weak enforcement in the juvenile justice system. It is rare for punishments in the present juvenile system will be substantial, since most are meted out in the late teens, meaning their 21st birthday is coming fast. Therefore, the actual exposure to the system is minimal.

Juvenile justice is totally different from regular, adult justice. This is because no information can be released about the trial or crime. Therefore, juries are out of the question. There can be no exposure of the trial at all, which has something to do with the ignorance of youngsters about the process. Because of these strictures, pushing juveniles into adult courts becomes needed if the punishment will stick.

Juveniles have easier access to drugs and weapons than ever before, and this in cities with draconian gun laws. Hence, they settle differences in a different way ...

Solution Summary

A discussion of the juvenile justice system is provided. Whether the legislation supports or hinders improvement in the juvenile justice system is determined.