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Juvenile correction system is under the juvenile justice system which is a network of organizations that handle young people whose behavior violates the law. The initial intent of the juvenile correction system was to correct a bad condition among young offenders and in so doing meet the community obligations towards the young people.
The system dictates that youths have a right to be treated fairly under the law, for instance, they should have the right to be notified of charges concerning them, the right to acquire legal guidance, and the right to get a record of the proceedings.
It was not until the 1880s that the juvenile corrections system came into existence. Juvenile offenders were earlier confined in adult prisons since there were no juvenile institutions. The cruel and harsh conditions in the adults’ prisons led to the idea of establishment of institutions and courts that would deal with young offenders.
The early institutions were industrial schools that aimed at protecting the young offenders from getting negative influences in the adult facilities that would worsen their conditions other than rectifying them. The schools worked on the basis of rehabilitating the offenders through hard work and instilling discipline. The first institution was the New York house of refuge founded in 1825 and others were established later in different countries.
The cottage system was later developed where juvenile offenders were housed in cottages and some parents were held responsible for running the cottages to create a home atmosphere so that the rehabilitation would take place in a more conducive environment. There were various reforms in the running of the institutions as years went by and the first juvenile court was set up in 1899. Today, most juveniles are housed in public institutions governed by state agencies (Siegel and Welsh, 2008).
Juvenile Correction System
The main objective of the juvenile justice system is to promote a system that is competent in handling the problem of juvenile delinquency, protecting the society, enhancing accountability for infringement of law and providing juvenile offenders with competencies to live in a responsible and productive manner.
Juvenile correction system utilizes a case management system in the process of handling a youth offender, from the time the offender comes to the juvenile correction institute to correctional supervision which is usually the last stage. The system aims at rectifying a youth’s behavior so that he or she is acceptable to the society. It evaluates a person’s needs and problems and helps assist him or her come back to the acceptable practices of the society.
The case management system works on the principle of individual case plan which constitutes the goals, the objectives to be met for attainment of the goals, and the tasks that an individual youth should be assigned, progress summary that shows the behavior, challenges and successes in correcting the youth and program activity documentation to be used to make changes in the establishment of the goals and objectives of the system in future.
Juvenile correction system aims at preventing juveniles from committing any legal crimes in future. Parents should help in bringing up responsible children to avoid or minimize cases of violation of law by the children.
They should, for instance, set good examples to the children and be keen in the growth and development of the children and identify, discuss and solve any problems that they may be facing, show love to the children to avoid cases of low self esteem, avoid any abuse, physical or emotional, to the children, maintain a good family environment free from violence, and encourage good behavior by rewarding them when they follow rules and punishing them for wrong doings (Siegel and Welsh, 2008).
Reasons for Juvenile Correction System
The need for juvenile correction system is mainly because the juvenile offenders are different from the adult offenders. The juveniles, for instance, can easily change after undergoing treatment programs as compared to adults since they do not commit severe criminal activities and are not exposed to very bad peer pressure.
They also have lower rates of committing offences and in most cases they do not commit other crimes after the rehabilitation. The juveniles also need the presence of their family members such as parents to aid in their rehabilitation process as opposed to adults who are independent. It also avoids bad influence that could occur if they were placed together with adult offenders (Clear, Cole, & Reisig 2008).
Correctional Measures for Juveniles
There are different correctional measures provided to the juvenile offenders. They include; general counseling, religious counseling, educational and vocational training, medical and recreational programs. All these are aimed at rehabilitating the offenders. The measures vary from one institution to another due to the availability of facilities and qualified personnel to carry out the rehabilitation processes (Krisberg, 2005).
Juvenile correction system is essential in correcting the behaviors of young people through rehabilitation so as to avoid future criminal cases. The correction measures should be carried in a manner that will teach the juveniles the effects of crime and the importance of operating in accordance to the law and should not be a form of punishment since this could lead to rebellious actions.
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Clear, R.T, Cole, F.G., & Reisig, D.M. (2008). American Corrections. 8th Ed. New York: Cengage Learning.
Krisberg, B. (2005). Juvenile Justice: Redeeming Our Children. London: Sage Publications.
Siegel, J.L., & Welsh, C.B. (2008).Juvenile Delinquency: Theory, Practice, and Law. 10th Ed. New York: Cengage Learning.