Juvenile Rehabilitation Case Study

Much of my time at the Charleston County Public Defender’s Office has been spent with the Family Court lawyers, who work with juveniles. Family Court, unlike General Sessions court for adults, is supposed to be rehabilitative rather than punitive. It attempts to match juveniles and their families with services provided by the state of South Carolina like substance abuse counseling, positive peer groups and Department of Mental Health counselling. The goal is getting these young students back in school and keep them from ending up in General Sessions as an adult. However, this is not always the case. Often, juvenile clients are back in detention quickly after being released and without getting a chance to use these services. This paper will …show more content…
Now, the Court works to try to keep these young offenders from reoffending. However, many juveniles reoffend, either violating their strict probation requirements or committing another crime. This is not the case in every state. Some states have found an effective way to rehabilitate juveniles and try to get their lives back on the right track. The state considered the model for an effective juvenile rehabilitation program is Missouri. Their reason is simple: “Effective change in organizational culture requires a strategic mindset of how to change the status quo. Cultural change, for example, is often driven by having the right people who share a set of beliefs and philosophies. In Missouri, we now operate on the belief that all youth desire to do well and succeed. This sounds simple, but it reflects a significant change from the old model” (Decker 2010). Shifting the culture surrounding juvenile delinquents from a type of resigned hopelessness that the system is what it is and certain juveniles will continue to offend over and over to a culture where these children desire to lead a fulfilling life and succeed at their passions. Creating a system of empowerment and change helps juveniles feel that they do have the ability to lead a life without any further involvement in the legal …show more content…
Comprehensive strategies address the issue of juvenile delinquency on two fronts: first, it funds programs targeting at-risk youth and attempts to prevent their offense. Second, it offers juvenile delinquents in need of services access to many different programs and uses a series of sanctions in order to deter recidivism (Lipsey et al 2010). These plans manage to manage the goals of recidivism with careful punitive consequences some victims will desire. These plans also note the importance of keeping juveniles in the juvenile justice system until they age out, instead of moving certain offenders up into the General Sessions system (Lipsey et al 2010). Allowing juveniles to receive the care they need due to their age reflects their developing brain (Abrams 2013). Higher functions, including the ones which control “reasoning, impulse control, and the ability to resist peer pressure” continue to develop past the age of sixteen (Abrams 2013). Giving these young offenders a chance to prove that they are growing and developing as an individual who will not repeat their previous

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