The history of juvenile justice is a relatively short one. While deviance on the part of young persons has always been a fact of life, formal, organized societal intervention and participation in the handling of juvenile transgressors has gained most of its momentum in the last to years.
Throughout most of history, youthful members of society did not enjoy a separate status that brought with it a distinct set of expectations, behaviors, and privileges. There did not exist a separate system for dealing with youthful offenders.
The law made no distinction based on the age of the offender. While the law allowed for and prescribed harsh punishments, there is some question regarding how frequently the more serious actions were actually used. Indeed, a process of nullification, or refusal to enforce the law against children, took place because of the lack of penalties geared specifically for juvenile offenders.
Changes in how to deal with problem youths emerged in the early s as American society was undergoing major shifts. During this time, industrialization was drawing people to the cities. This movement resulted in overcrowded cities inhabited by people from diverse backgrounds with limited skills and education.
Such growing diversity was especially true of cities in the United States, which were attracting immigrants from a wide range of European countries. This population growth also resulted in a great deal of poverty in the cities. Methods for dealing with offending youths grew out of the establishment of ways to address the growing urban poverty. The primary method for dealing with the poor entailed training the children of the poor. The institutions in the early s in the United States were intended to provide skills training to the youths so they would become productive members of society and not threats to others.
The failure of these early institutions to adequately address poverty and juvenile offending led to the establishment of a formal system for handling problem youths. The work of the Youth Offending Teams. Youth offending teams work with young people who are at risk as well as those who have offended. The work of the Youth Worker and Juvenile Justice.
Look at the work of the Youth Worker and how they promote positive behavior and how they can help and work with other agencies. The work of the Social Worker and Juvenile Justice. Look at the way that Social workers support young people and their families to promote positive behaviors and positive relationships. The Juvenile Justice System in comparison to the adult justice system. Also the effect of a juvenile who is to be tried as an adult.
The Juvenile System of the Future. In what ways can the system make changes? How can the changes be supported in society? Can we learn anything from the way that other countries respond to Juvenile Justice? The effective Juvenile System. What does not work? What evidence can you find beyond hearsay? Is there a gap in research? Discuss the merits of both and find evidence to support your claims.
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