The juvenile justice system is a foundation in the society which is granted responsibilities and power; it mirrors the adult system of criminal justice in that it also has three basic components like the adult system of justice. Its components are courts, police and corrections. The juvenile justice system brings the juvenile delinquent in contact with the court system if found guilty and the local police. A police officer is the first contact that a juvenile offender has with the juvenile system. He/she is considered the gate keeper of the juvenile system. Police officers are the most visible officials in the juvenile system, their role in cases regarding juvenile delinquency is pretty much influenced by various factors including; socio-cultural, individual and organizational that allow officers to choose a less or more restrictive response to offenders. It is a procedure that allows the police officer responding to use prudence (Kriscenski, 2012, p. 133).
Prudence is of paramount importance as it makes the officer act as a court of first occasion in first categorizing the juvenile. When a juvenile offender is arrested by the police, it is his/her duty to write up all of the notes and also the incidence report and probably be involved in transporting this offender to the facility appropriate for them. For parental liaison, after a juvenile offender is arrested by a police officer, there is always some scope and therefore the police officer can be the determinant of the youth’s fate and could let her off. In addition, police officers also play part in referring juvenile offenders to available community programs.
Courts play a key role in the juvenile system. Law refer cases to a county attorney or to probation officers on region’s intake procedure. It is after an intake an profound evidence to prosecute a case that the general attorney then files a petition and the juvenile court asks it make finding of delinquency. Thereafter, formal court processing of the case begins. The next step is made by the court of setting a date for the arraignment. This time the youth appears for the first time before the court to answer the charges. After the youth admits charges, the court makes a step of imposing the disposition which basically is the conclusion of a juvenile case by the court as well as the subsequent consequences. At that specific order or time, a date is set for the disposition hearing. Bench trials are the majority of juvenile court trials where the judge is the final decision and the sole fact-finder. The judge finds the youth to be delinquent after the case is heard and probably if the petition offence is proven. In such an occasion, the judge finds the youth to be wrong and immediately sets a date for that particular disposition hearing. The judge dismisses the case if the petition is not proven. The judge then decides the type of rehabilitation to be received by the juvenile at the disposition hearing.
Persons can be committed to the commissioner of the Department of Corrections which means that the youth who is now a juvenile is put on probation or is placed in a juvenile correctional facility. This is basically a process of supervision and surveillance which could follow incarceration. Probation entails; drug testing, house arrest or face-to-face contacts with probation officers. In addition there are also other dispositions that a juvenile could receive although they could not entail any sort of commitment to the corrections commissioner which include; foster home placement, therapy and drug testing. Roughly, there are 100 dispositions that a judge could use in order to fit the needs of the juveniles. While in court, juveniles may receive more than one disposition. Normally, juveniles who complete the disposition terms are normally 21 or younger though in some cases they could be up to 26 years (Whitehead, 2012, p. 213).
Over the years, juvenile delinquency has prompted many types of interventions and a lot of attention which has led to numerous burdens on the communities and families. There is need therefore to incorporate a credible and considerate method that best addresses juvenile delinquency in terms of reducing future recidivism. I would therefore suggest a credible method to instigate this process such as; conventional programming will sort to summon families participation pretty much right from parent involvement in the institution and family integrated transitions to variety of family therapy programs and multi-dimensional treatment foster care. Such a method will include accommodate participation of all parties including programs such as a multisystem therapy and functional therapy (Pollock, p. 45).
Such an intervention of involving parents, friends and family members directly will reduce recidivism at great rates than the current conventional youth-focused services. This type of in-home program will rely on paraprofessionals will appear to have measurable and substantial effects on recidivism meaning that, a proper method to discipline youths will now be initiated. Given such benefits, more research and institutional interventions will greatly be induced to instill a credible system that is more focused on professionalism.
Kriscenski, Nance, and Tucker Wright. Legal Studies Capstone: Assessing Your Undergraduate Education. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Pollock, Joycelyn M. Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
Whitehead, John T, and Steven P. Lab. Juvenile Justice: An Introduction. Amsterdam [u.a.: Elsevier, 2012. Print.