The juvenile system is a network of agencies dealing with children below adulthood, who have in one way or another violated the laid laws. The main goal of the juvenile justice system in the state of Georgia is to reclaim the lives of juvenile offenders through education and the prevention of juvenile crimes and rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. This is a way to help teenagers and children by protecting them from harsh punishment for their offense. This is because criminal courts were deemed unnecessary and less serious. Another goal was to destruct youthful offenders from destructive punishment of criminal courts. This helps the courts and the system in focusing more on the children needs. Its goal also includes intervention to find tailored solutions for juveniles and provides public safety. Their goals should ensure that the juveniles are not alienated, but the community should put in efforts to accommodate the juvenile into the community and support them.
Punishment ramifications for a juvenile who is convicted in adult court can be punished according to their offenses. This is in contrast to juvenile courts because juvenile courts do not have the authority to order punishment. Instead, they respond to juvenile misconduct by ordering rehabilitative measures or assistance from the government. This is because it is believed that most juveniles will grow out of offending and adopt law abiding lifestyles as they mature. Juvenile court proceedings are also conducted in private. On the other hand, court proceedings for a juvenile who are convicted in adult courts are conducted in public. This is because the child is considered fragile and hence exposing them may be viewed as punishment and worsens the situation. In juvenile courts, the system focuses on the child and tries to assist the child through rehabilitation and treatment whereas those convicted in adult courts their cases focus on the committed offence and the consequential punishment. Juvenile courts control and confine juveniles based on a wide range of circumstances while adult courts may deprive the juvenile only for the violation of criminal laws. Therefore, it is seen that juvenile courts offer less harsh punishment compared to those of adult courts (Krisberg, 2005).
One of the requirements that put a juvenile offender on probation is when he or she is adjudicated as a delinquent or a child in call for of services. Another requirement is restitution to the victims. This involves payment to the victim. This could harm or wrong that the victim has suffered or to pay back something that was stolen or destroyed. Community service hours are also a requirement for those on probation. Another requirement is the inability of the juvenile offender to come into contact with the victims. The juvenile is also expected to write a letter of apology to the victims. This is mainly to offer assurance to the victim that the offense would not be repeated by the juvenile offender. In addition to this, the juvenile offender should also avoid coming into contact with the co-defendants or acquaintances and friends who are deemed to be of inappropriate association (Martin, 2005). Another requirement is the referral of the juvenile offender to local social services agencies or government agencies. The juvenile offender should also attend substance abuse or mental health counseling by a professional.
One of peer-reviewed source is from the office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. This report presents comprehensive report on juvenile crime system. It compiles statistics from available sources, which include tables, graphs, and maps which is clear. The report demonstrates that the rate of juvenile violent crime arrest has constantly decreased since 1994, diminishing to a level not known since the 1970s (Juvenile Offenders and Victims: National Report, Snyder, Howard N). However, the ratio of female juvenile crime arrest has increased showing a marked change in the gender of youth ingoing the juvenile justice system and in their needs for programming. Statistic in the report shows that racial differences in the juvenile justice system are reducing. Also, new findings have been presented in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s national Census of Juvenile and Residential Placement (Juvenile Offenders and Victims: National Report, Snyder, Howard N.)
Another source evaluates how mental health service affects justice involvement among juveniles. The results of these data report show that better mental health mental services decrease the risk of youthful justice involvement by 31% and 28% respectively (E.M. Foster and T. Connor, unpublished data). Other research suggest that the reverse is true: many youths in the juvenile justice system suffer from mental problems and the system only worsens it. The overlap between the juvenile justice and mental health raises difficult questions concerning service delivery.
Another source presents a wide information on juvenile crime and on the juvenile justice system this report joins the available statistics from a range of sources including tables, graphs and maps. This is provided in a clear non technical language. The report states that the rate of juvenile violent crimes has consistently decreased since 1994, falling to a level that has not been seen since the 1970s (Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report, Snyder, Howard N.; Sickmund, Melissa). The female ratio of juvenile crimes in proportion to men has increased marking an important change in gender and type of youth entering the juvenile justice system and their programming needs.
Another source displays the over representation of minorities especially African Americans in the US insecure juvenile facilities. Data indicates that minority over representation is as a result of actions that occur earlier in juvenile justice system, and that in 1998 African American youth were over represented in arrest. White youths represented 66% of court referral of the juvenile court referral, but only 53% were detained while African American made up 31% of referred population and 44% were detained (And Justice for Some, Poe-Yamagata, Eileen, Jones, Michael A.). Therefore, it shows that minority will continue to spiral down as more punitive laws are passed allowing these youths to be charged as adults.
Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2006 National Report, Snyder, Howard N.;Sickmund, Melissa And Justice for Some, Poe-Yamagata, Eileen, Jones,Michael A. E.M Foster and T. Connor, unpublished data,2002.
Krisberg, B. (2005). Juvenile justice: Redeeming our children. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Pub.
United States., & Bilchik, Shay. (1998). A juvenile justice system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice.
Martin, G. (2005). Juvenile justice: Process and systems. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.