A New Approach to Juvenile Justice Essay

916 Words Apr 14th, 2013 4 Pages
A New Approach to Juvenile Justice
Stephen Stivason
Strayer University
Juvenile Delinquency and Justice
September 7, 2011

Introduction There is little doubt that there is a fundamental problem with the contemporary American approach to juvenile justice. That is because the focus of the U.S. juvenile justice system is heavily based on procedural safeguards that protect juvenile rights whereas there may be more important concerns. Certainly, the rights of juvenile defendants must be protected and sentences should continue to reflect the different needs and capacity for reform of juvenile offenders as compared to their adult counterparts. However, much more emphasis should be devoted to the prevention of juvenile crime by
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In particular, Hirschi’s Social Control Theory explains the importance of involvement, commitment, attachment, and belief to the development of individuals who share the dominant values and expectations of their community (Akers & Sellers, 2004; Huebner & Betts, 2002). Among at-risk teens, there is a very low level of satisfaction of these criteria outlined by Hirschi. Therefore, a plan for reducing juvenile crime must address this issue, ideally, by implementing a practical form of assessment process in public schools. This assessment approach would allow trained child psychologists to identify at-risk juveniles based on Hirschi’s criteria before they become offenders.
Criminal Deviance in High-Crime Communities High-crime communities typically feature combinations of two major factors that greatly increase the risk of juvenile criminal deviance and delinquency: the absence of a supportive family structure and environment and continual environmental exposure to criminal deviance as a social norm (Pinizzotto, Davis, & Miller, 2007). In fact, contemporary criminologists consider this combination to be especially problematic in blighted, high-crime/low-income communities in which most households lack a stable structure and adult role models fulfilling the parental role. Unfortunately, this explains the manner in which criminal gangs manage to recruit and indoctrinate

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