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The Juvenile Justice System

Since 1646, there have been many changes in the juvenile justice system in the areas of age, crimes committed, punishment, and the judicial process. Read the following scenario:

A local store owner caught John, a 14-year-old boy, stealing approximately $100 worth of goods from the store. This was the second time John was caught stealing from this particular store. The police questioned John, who denied stealing anything. John's parents also questioned him, but he denied stealing anything. Later, John's parents found the merchandise in John's bedroom. In addition, two witnesses claimed to have seen John steal the merchandise.

If John were caught during the Puritan era, what would be the likely consequence for his action?
If John were caught in 2011, in Texas, what would be the likely consequence for his action?
In your opinion, which consequence is more effective in discouraging future crime?

Do you agree that the juvenile justice process is formal while processing serious offenders and informal while processing status offenders and minor delinquent offenders? What are the reasons for this shift in the emphasis of the juvenile justice system over time?

Solution Preview

If John were caught during the Puritan era, what would be the likely consequence for his action?

In the Puritan era the 14yr old child would have been reprimanded by the religious elders. Because of his age he would not have been banished from the settlement, but he and his family would be ridiculed and have to seek repentance through the church.

If John were caught in 2011, in Texas, what would be the likely consequence for his action?

In Texas John would be either charged as a juvenile by the juvenile court or be informally handled in the system. Informal action ...

Solution Summary

The juvenile justice systems are examined. Merchandise in John's bedroom is provided.

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