Juvenile Justice Definition, Issues & System

Wed, 10/28/2015 - 00:32 -- Umair Khan

Juvenile Justice Definition

Juvenile Justice is the area of criminal law which is applicable to the people who are young and they cannot be held responsible for the criminal acts. These individuals usually fall under and equal to the age of 18 years. The Juvenile law is governed by the state law and there is a code for it too.

Justice in this case is administrated by a family court or the juvenile court itself. The minors are not charged, their parents are held responsible for the negligence. Foster homes are chosen for treating the child instead of taking him or her to court or giving any sentence.

Juvenile Justice Issues

As it is the matter of minor, there are many flaws in the juvenile justice system. Currently, the juvenile system has failed to ensure that the troubles which youth and their families are facing are addressed, despite being on small level, before the youth actually enters the system. The primary reasons why young ones get caught up in these troubles is because of problems in family, mental health or some other disorder.

In case the troublesome youth is placed into a long-term restrictive environment, it makes their situation even worse because the adolescent brain is capable of distracting. Instead of finding opportunities of learning new skills or behaving in a positive way, the urge to break the rules comes and they end up in more troubles.

Although there are lots of juvenile crime prevention programs that show ways of reducing the crime among young and services are available too but still no consistent method is there that can track and report the kind of services the youth actually needs and what services do they get.

It is evident from research that punitive interactions, punishment and threats can escalate aggressive behavior in the youth and they can end up in mess.

Juvenile Justice System

The need is to revive the juvenile system according to the current issues in the system. The collaboration of the department of juvenile justice is needed in this regard. Here are some actions that can be taken to improve the justice system.

  1. It is important to make sure effective interventions are available for the youth and their facilities before they even go through the juvenile system. They must be provided with evidence based treatment so that the primary problem is resolved whether it is related to mental health or drug abuse.
  2. Do not rely on strategies like incarceration. It is recommended to offer effective options within the community which serve as the best alternatives to incarceration.
  3. The focus should be on the interventions and responses provided by individuals on the basis of criminal behavior and other factors instead of going for a traditional approach which we usually take up when a crime is committed.
  4. Those treatments and practices should be implemented that have some evidence. Public education, treatments for substance abuse and mental health must be adopted. Healthy family involvement should be encouraged so that the youth does not try to run away from home.

It is important to identify the actual individuals who need treatment. Then their criminogenic needs should be targeted instead of resolving problems like low self-esteem. The best solutions are those which actually work on the offenders like the cognitive behavior therapy. Social and behavioral learning is a great tool to improve the character of the youth. While doing so, do not forget to adhere to the professional and ethical guidelines. Ideally, the best thing to do is prevent the juvenile delinquency. Once the problems within the Juvenile justice system are revived, the revival of the youth will become easier.