The On The Juvenile Justice System Essay

1236 WordsDec 12, 20165 Pages
Question 1 For the following reasons, I would request that Senator Perkins vote against the proposed amendments to the Juvenile Act. Part A Although public safety is both a legitimate and justifiable concern, the proposed changes to the purposes clause would go against the primary purpose of the juvenile justice system, rehabilitation and treatment as opposed to punishment. During the 19th century, the American legal system tended to treat juveniles who violated the criminal law much as it did adult offenders. Consequently, if courts found children criminally responsible, they would then impose the same sentences, e.g. capital punishment, and committed these youths to the same penal facilities as they did adult criminals. Despite institutional innovation, states continued to try and punish juveniles as they would adults, practices of which appalled Progressive reformers. Accordingly, the progressives created the juvenile court as an informal welfare system and diversionary alternative to the criminal process. Rather than punish youth offenders for their crimes, juvenile court judges made dispositions in the child’s “best interests” as the state functioned as a parent of the child, under the legal doctrine of parens patriae. Under the formation of the juvenile court, the Progressives brought about changes in two cultural ideas-childhood and social control-which accompanied modernization of the 19th century. By the end of the 19th century, adults began to view children as

More about The On The Juvenile Justice System Essay

Open Document