The Effectiveness of the Juvenile Justice System Essay

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The Effectiveness of the Juvenile Justice System The American juvenile justice system was designed over 100 years ago to reform kids who were found guilty of minor crimes such as petty theft and truancy. Today, the system is becoming overwhelmed by crimes of violence. Stealing and skipping school have been replaced by rape and murder. The juvenile justice system was never meant to deal with these kinds of problems. Juvenile delinquency describes the antisocial behavior of many different types of youth who are in trouble, or who are on the brink of trouble with the law. In general terms juvenile delinquency means different things to different people. By law, a juvenile delinquent is a person under the age of eighteen who is…show more content…
It tried to explain the view that children were fully responsible for their conduct and were able to be rehabilitated. Parens patraie remains the base of the juvenile justice system across the country. Then, like now, juvenile court was designed more to protect the child than to punish bad behavior. Most people feel that, until recently, the juvenile justice system served our country and our children very well. Beginning in the 1970's, the nature of juvenile crime became different. Juvenile crime grew more common and more violent, and the system was not prepared. The biggest problem facing law enforcement today may be the very structure of the juvenile justice system. A system that neither punishes nor rehabilitates is useless. Examples of juvenile justice system failures are found everywhere throughout the United States. In Rhode Island, Craig Price, age fifteen, deliberately killed a mother and her two young daughters. Yet, this wasn't his first offense, nor his first murder. Two years earlier he had murdered another woman. He also had a long record of assaults, burglaries, and other crimes. In Chicago, two of the neighborhood's toughest bullies lured a five year old boy and his eight year old brother up to an empty fourteenth floor apartment. While up there one of the bullies decided to dangle the helpless five year old out the window
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