Outgrowing Juvenile Justice: Jamal Vick Case Study Raises Essay

606 Words Apr 27th, 2008 3 Pages
In Outgrowing Juvenile Justice, Michael Jonas (2001) raises several important issues concerning juvenile justice policies and practices. In discussing Jamal Vick, a range of youth crime issues surfaces, including:
• Balancing treatment verses punishment
• Responses to serious juvenile offenders o Waiver into the adult criminal justice system o Utilize the juvenile justice system o Blend elements of both the adult system and the juvenile system
• Youth in confinement o Growing numbers of youth confined o Disproportionate number of minority youth confined
• Offense focused juvenile court verses offender focused juvenile court
• Status offenses verses delinquent offenses
At 16 years old, Jamal Vick was facing a 10-to-15 year
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The bulging population of juveniles in confinement is another serious issue facing juvenile justice. The number of children housed in custody of DYS has more than doubled in the last decade. Even as youth crime rates fall, the number of juveniles in the DYS system has continued to climb. Similar to the prison system, the juvenile justice system has a disproportionate number of minorities in confinement. The DYS population is 44 percent white, 24 percent black, 26 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian, and 2 percent of other backgrounds.

Additionally, the juvenile justice system has become increasingly focused on the offense. Traditionally the juvenile court looked primarily at the offender, and what brought the young offender to court without focusing exclusively on the offense. The court has shifted, becoming much more offense based. Sentences are closely tied to the charges, and more and more cases qualify for the juvenile to be sentenced in the adult system. After serious strives to decriminalize status offenses, they are now being considered gateways into delinquent charges. The number of “children in need of services” or CHINS has also risen in the last decade. There is a lack of resources to provide CHINS with necessary services. As a consequence many of these

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