Juvenile Justice System of the Future

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It will also talk about the challenges faced by juvenile delinquents at present time and how to improve the current juvenile justice system. A concrete plan or proposal on how to improve the current justice system is given by including the objectives, goals and how to measure the success rate. Keywords: juvenile delinquency, youth offender, crime rate, criminal justice system, trial court JUVENILE DELINQUENCY The number of juvenile delinquents or otherwise known as children in conflict with the law has significantly increased for the past decade. It has become one of the alarming problems that requires immediate attention by countries all over the world. The current situation of the justice system needs major overhaul as many children who are behind bars are not given proper care and guidance by the government to ensure that youth offenders emerge as better citizens after serving imprisonment. The primary purpose of serving sentence is for retribution for the wrong doing that they have committed against the law and social order. However, the justice system should oversee that public safety will not be compromised because they are dealing with children. Towards the end of their ordeal, government support must at hand to guarantee that the youth offenders are rehabilitated and turn-out to be disciplined and responsible individuals after going through the process of trial and serving. It has been said that the nation’s hope lies on children so we must treat them with utmost compassion. Challenges of Juvenile Delinquency at Present Time At present time, the juvenile justice system conducts the trials of the youth offenders in adult courts. In effect, they are also penalized in the same degree of judgment that is expected of adults (Corriero, 2006 p.3). In a Supreme Court decision entitled Roper Vs. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005), Justice Anthony Kennedy held that executing juveniles and imposing capital punishment for crimes committed while under 18 years of age is unconstitutional. According to him, From a moral standpoint, it would be misguided to equate the failings of a minor child with those of an adult, for a greater possibility exists that a minor’s character deficiencies will be reformed.( Corriero, 2006, p. 3). It is at this tender age that the youth offender still cannot exercise his discretion to decide what is right from wrong. The level of responsibility that they possess to justify their actions is nil and they cannot fully comprehend the effect of their actions. Children as seen have the tendencies to reform and change for the better compared to adults. If they will be exposed to trial, pre-trial detention and imprisonment, more likely than not, they will experience abuses, cruelty and violence, which will leave them defenseless and unprotected. How to Improve the Juvenile Justice System Judge Michael Corriero stated that: At the turn of the 20th Century, our juvenile justice process reflected a concept of childhood based on the notion that children are innocent, vulnerable, dependent and incapable of making matured decisions. As we enter the 21st Century, after decades of disillusionment with the juvenile court process, the ideas and beliefs that had inspired the progressive and humane treatment of children, especially disadvantaged children, have been largely abandoned in terms of fixing criminal responsibility. America and its children deserve a justice system that not only holds children accountable for their