Juvenile offenders, especially who committed violent crimes clearly that there is something that needs to be done in order to prevent further occurrence and involvement of the minors with these types of offenses. The topic that was selected for this proposal is appropriateness of trial over minors who committed violent crimes. This has been one of the critical issues especially in the Criminal Justice System as should these minors or juveniles must be treated and tried equally with adult law offenders. This topic was chosen to discuss the potential positive effects of providing adult punishment to juveniles. On the other hand, this research also aims to identify the negative attributes of such approach as well as to determine the alternative approaches that can be applied to juveniles who committed violent crimes. We argue that minors who were involved with violent crimes must not be tried as adults, as they are yet to develop a full mental capacity that will help them realize the crime they have committed. There should be a Positive Youth Justice Model that should focus on the two essential assets, which are learning and belonging (Family and Youth Service Bureau, 2010). Thus, juveniles who were tried in adult criminal court are more likely to contribute to increasing recidivism rates (Redding, 2003).
Major Characteristics of Audiences
One of the audiences for this research would be the prosecutors as there will be a discussion of performance measures that are based upon the balanced approach to juvenile offenders (Harp et al., 2006). Measuring performances of prosecutors in within the juvenile justice system is an essential part of the criminal justice procedures. That is because; the absence of these performance measures would disable the public to obtain the full understanding of the potential positive outcomes of the juvenile justice system. Another important audience of this research is the parents of juvenile crime offenders. People in the community may have been very interested in this topic especially those who already experienced violent crimes involving juvenile offenders or may have witnessed such events. However, the parents of these offenders also play significant roles when it comes ensuring proper parenting in order to prevent their child or children to become involved with violent crimes (Hoeve et al., 2009).
Furthermore, the juvenile justice system must be shaped and developed in accordance with the juvenile offenders psychological, emotional, and social needs and must also address the needs of the people to have a safe place for the whole community. Thus, former Chief Judge Judith Kaye stated that there should be an advocacy that focuses on early intervention, which will reduce the children’s flow into courts and incarceration facilities (Fordham News, 2010). However, these developments can be done through creation of laws and this call for the lawmakers’ capability and knowledge to understand the underlying problems of juvenile crimes. It is essential to address the needs of both the people and the juvenile offenders. This is to ensure that recidivism rate will be reduced in the event that the juvenile offenders have already served the given sentence either by the juvenile court or adult criminal court. Furthermore, the law is allowing the National Institute of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to prepare the treatment process of juvenile offenders in order to prevent them from getting involved in gangs composed of juveniles within their age bracket based on House Resolution 2175, otherwise known as the Justice Assistance, Missing Children and Juvenile Justice Act of 1984 (congress.gov).
The scope of this research includes the discussion of the topic and how it affects the community and the criminal justice system. Some policymakers stated that criminalizing the juvenile justice system by employing tougher punishments may provide better outcomes to the community (Bazemore & Day, 1996). With this approach, juvenile offenders, especially who the ones committed violent crimes, will be treated as adult offenders depending on the level of the crime committed. On the other hand, juvenile court proponents are still reaffirming the importance of the traditional treatment and rehabilitation process among the minor offenders. They still hold the ideology that applying grave punishments are bad choices. However, whichever the approach to juvenile offenders is, there are still some doubts that it can restore the general public’s confidence towards the juvenile justice system.
Overview of the topic – This will briefly discuss the topic question “Should minors who commit violent crimes be tried as adults?” This section will introduce the general information about the topic and introduce the thesis statement by providing generalized idea of both positive and negative outcomes of juvenile trials as adult offenders.
Balanced Approach to Juvenile Offenders – This section will discuss the approaches being used in order to address the needs of both the community and the juvenile offenders. The performance measure approach will also be discussed in order for the community to understand how they can benefit from the juvenile justice system.
Parenting and Juvenile Relationship – The identification of significant factors in terms of how proper guidance of the parents prevents their child from being involved with community violence and juvenile crimes will be discussed in this section. This will also highlight the claim that juveniles must not be treated and tried as adult offenders.
Juvenile Trial Affects the Community and the Juvenile Justice System – In this section, the paper will discuss the potential outcomes of juvenile trial to the overall system of the juvenile justice. Some of the positive and negative effects of juvenile trials as adults will be provided along with how the community will be affected whether or not the minor who committed a violent crime will be tried as adult.
Bazemore, G., & Day, S. E. (1996). Restoring the Balance: Juvenile and Community Justice. Juvenile Justice, 3(1), 3-39.
Congress.gov. (n.d.). H.R.2175 - 98th Congress (1983-1984): Justice Assistance, Missing Children and Juvenile Justice Act of 1984 | Congress.gov | Library of Congress. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/98th-congress/house-bill/2175
Family and Youth Services Bureau. (2010, July 29). Primary Sources: Better Approaches to Juvenile Justice | National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth. Retrieved from http://ncfy.acf.hhs.gov/news/2010/07/primary-sources-better-approaches-juvenile-justice
Fordham News. (2010, April 6). Judith Kaye Stresses Importance of Education at Flom Lecture. Retrieved from http://news.fordham.edu/education-and-social-services/judith-kaye-stresses-importance-of-education-at-flom-lecture-2/
Harp, C., & American Prosecutors Research Institute. (2006). Guide to developing and implementing performance measures for the juvenile justice system. Alexandria, VA: American Prosecutors Research Institute.
Hoeve, M., Dubas, J. S., Eichelsheim, V. I., Van der Laan, P. H., Smeenk, W., & Gerris, J. R. (2009). The Relationship between Parenting and Delinquency: A Meta-analysis. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37(6), 749-775.
Redding, R. E. (2003). The Effects of Adjudicating and Sentencing Juveniles As Adults: Research and Policy Implications. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 1(2), 128-155.