Analysis Of The Cycle Of Juvenile Justice

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Analysis of the Cycle of Juvenile Justice Theory

Analysis of the Cycle of Juvenile Justice Theory In the text, Thomas Bernard examines the cyclical nature of the juvenile justice system (Weisheit & Culbertson, 2000, p. 13-31). The author posits that the implementation of juvenile justice is constantly swinging from one extreme to the other based, largely, on the public’s perception of juvenile crime and punishment at a given time (Weisheit & Culbertson, 2000). Bernard describes the cycle as a four-part process (Weisheit & Culbertson, 2000). First, there is a societal impression that juvenile crime rates are extremely high with too many overly harsh punishment options and few lenient alternatives for less serious offenses. Next, society determines that something must be done to avoid the forced choice (harsh punishment or no punishment) for juvenile offenders. In response to the general feeling that a greater range of punishment severities may be needed, major juvenile justice reforms are implemented, creating a wide range of possible punishments, including more lenient options. Finally, in the fourth step of the process, the public once again feels that juvenile crime is a major problem that needs to be addressed. The renewed public sentiments cause policy makers to—once again—implement harsher punishments for juveniles as a crime reduction attempt.
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