Societal Implications of Abolishing Juvenile Court The juvenile justice system plays a vital role in the outcome of juvenile delinquents lives. If juvenile courts are abolished, juvenile offenders will be forced into adult prisons and harsher sentences may be given to young juveniles. The treatment and therapy needed for these young offenders may not be met in adult courts because of the back already in adult courts the rehabilitation process may suffer for juvenile offenders.
Society collectively bears responsibility to provide for the welfare of its children, and does so by supporting families, communities, schools, and social institutions that nurture all young people-not by cynically incarcerating its most disadvantaged children “for their own good” (Feld, 1997). Societal implications can include: rise in crime by juvenile offenders, higher dropout rate in teens, rise in arrests of juvenile offenders, and rise in cost estimates for housing and court proceedings for juvenile offenders.
According to the Maricopa County Juvenile Justice Department in 2009 there were 1,018,192 children under the age of 18 and 24,114 of them were referred to the juvenile probation department. The most common crimes committed by the juveniles are using alcohol using marijuana, engaging in property destruction, and stealing something valued at more than $500, these crimes may increase because of the rehabilitation and prevention programs involved in the juvenile justice system will no longer exist and the focus on prevention programs in schools will have been abolished, therefore increasing the crime rate and arrests of juvenile offenders.
Juveniles have a higher risk rate and are incorrigible by adults and peers; this may cause a higher member rate in juvenile gangs, and an increase in the teen dropout rate. The cost of juveniles in the adult court that is already at a 24 month trial a waiting period for adults will then increase this waiting period because of the increase juvenile amounts that have been thrown into the adult court system.
As a result of early intervention programs and rehabilitation of these juveniles the recidivism rate for the year 2008, 82% of juveniles who successfully completed diversion or early intervention programs received no new referrals (Maricopa County Juvenile Justice Department, 2009). Abolishing the juvenile court will only hurt the criminal justice system and America’s youth.
Rather than elimination and reintegration into the adult criminal justice system, an overhaul, more funding, and more initiatives in implementing social programs that provide the parents patriae concept into rehabilitating juvenile delinquents are more reasonable than giving up on society’s innate duties to children (AnaiRhoads. org, 2006). References Feld, B. (1997). Abolish the juvenile court: Youthfulness, criminal responsibility, and sentencing policy. Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology.
Retrieved March 14, 2010 from http://www. uwec. edu/patchinj/crmj302/feld. htm Maricopa County Juvenile Justice Department. (FY 2009). Workload statistics. Retrieved March 14, 2010 from http://www. superiorcourt. maricopa. gov/JuvenileProbation/docs/2009DataBook. pdf A Reflective Comparison of the Juvenile Criminal Justice System v. the Adult Criminal Justice System. (2006). AnaiRhoads. org. Retrieved March 14, 2010 from http://www. anairhoads. org/calderon/juvadult. shtml