The problem of dealing with juvenile justice has plagued are country for years, since the establishment of the first juvenile court in 1899. Prior to that development, delinquent juveniles had to be processed through the adult justic3e system which gave much harsher penalties. By 1945, separate juvenile courts existed in every single state. Similar to the adult system, all through most of the 20th century, the juvenile justice system was based upon a medical/rehabilitative representation. The new challenges of the juvenile court were to examine, analyze, and recommend treatment for offenders, not to deliver judgment fault or fix responsibility. The court ran under the policy of parens patriae that intended that the state would step in and act as a parent on behalf of a disobedient juvenile. Actions were informal and a juvenile court judge had a vast sum of discretion in the nature of juvenile cases, much like the discretion afforded judges in adult unlawful settings until the 1970s. In line with the early juvenile courts attitude of shielding youth, juvenile offenders position was often in reformatories or instruction schools that were intended, in speculation, to keep them away from the terrible influences of society and to encourage self-control through accurate structure and very unsympathetic discipline. Opposing to the fundamental theory, all through the first part of the century, the places that housed juveniles were frequently unsafe and unhealthy places where the state warehoused delinquent, deserted, and deserted children for unclear periods. Ordinary tribulations included lack of medical care, therapy programs, and even sometimes food. Some very poor circumstances continue even today.
Although putting juveniles into instutions, for many juvenile offenders occurred in the first decades of the 1900s, extensive use of probation for juveniles existed as well. As it does today, probation gave a middle ground nature for judges connecting release and placement in an institution. By 1927, trial programs for juvenile offenders existed in approximately every state. In the 1940s and 1950s, reformers attempted to improve the conditions found in most juvenile institutions. Alternatives to institutions emerged, such as forestry and probation camps. These camps provided a prearranged setting for male juvenile offenders, while emphasizing learning and occupational skills. Though, the efficiency of these options as alternatives to incarceration was dubious since they were not obtainable to the worst offenders. Yet, these changes marked the start of formal, community-based instruction that would turn out to be more extensive in following decades. The rank of community-based alternatives peaked in the early 1970s. In 1967, the report of the Presidents Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice suggested that alternative to incarceration for juvenile offenders be developed. In 1974, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act encouraged some of these alternatives by providing federal grants to communities, resulting in the creation of more group home and foster care settings, and formal diversion programs. Sanctions remain nowadays as alternatives to incarcerating offenders exterior their community or as part of the range of dispositional alternatives obtainable for judges. As affirmed earlier, for the bulk of this century. Procedures observed in the separate adult criminal system, such as the right to counsel, notice requirements, and other due process guarantees, were not formally available to juveniles. The corresponding notion of punishment was that juveniles would receive guidance and treatment from the system. In reality, juvenile dispositions could be as harsh and incapacitate as adult sentences.
Both the adult criminal and juvenile justice systems have undergone vast changes over the last 100 years. However, one thing that has remained constant is the desire of courts, correctional professionals, and policymakers to reduce recidivism and enhance society safety. To achieve those goals and other important objectives, implementation of a variety of sentencing, corrections, and diversion practices resulted. Currently, officials are looking at new ways to deal with crime or are modifying existing practices to achieve their goals. This inventory provides information on innovative sentencing, corrections, and diversion practices for consideration for implementation in the state of Kansas.
American Bar Association Special Committee on Youth Education for Citizenship. 1995. Essentials of Law-Related Education: A Guide for Practitioners and Policymakers. Chicago, IL: American Bar Association.
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