Pros And Cons Of Juvenile Probation

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Register to read the introduction… In some cases probation may be voluntary, in which the youth agrees to comply with a period of informal probation in lieu of a formal adjudication (Torbet, 1996). Of course if probation is handed down by a judge, it should really fit the crime. In the end with the evidence presented and the background or history of the offender being a factor, it’s still the judge that makes the final decision. There are many cases though where the offender receiving just probation doesn’t fit the crime. Such as the case of the state vs. Ethan Couch. He killed four people while driving under the influence and only received 10 years probation. His defense claimed the teen suffered from “affluenza” and the judge called the teen a victim in need of treatment (CNN.com, 2013). Many debates and petitions have already started circulating about getting the verdict overturned and even having the judge removed from the bench. The general public knows and had voiced that if this teen was from a middle class or poor family, he would have been sent directly to jail. But with these courtroom ‘players’, this is an example of a judge and a defense lawyer believing rehabilitation and counseling will help a teen turn his life around. As long as the juvenile follows the conditions that were handed down to them, …show more content…
Reasons include: drug use in the home or the community, long term poor academic achievement, truancy, lack of positive peer influence, lack of school or community involvement or high levels of community or family violence. Intervention tends to be reserved for youth that are identified as having a greater risk of re-offending. Counselors, attorneys and judges may see this method as the way to go before putting a juvenile in a youth facility or prison. If probation doesn’t seem like the right direction, then institutionalization or a community service program may be in …show more content…
Ten years of data on incarceration and crime trends show that states that increased the number of youth in juvenile facilities did not necessarily experience a decrease in crime during the same time period.
• Community-based programs increase public safety. The most effective programs at reducing recidivism rates and promoting positive life outcomes for youth are administered in the community, outside of the criminal or juvenile justice systems. Some of these programs have been shown to reduce recidivism by up to 22 percent.
• Community-based programs for youth are more cost-effective than incarceration. Some programs like multi-systemic therapy and functional family therapy have been shown to yield up to $13 in benefits to public safety for every dollar spent. These programs are more cost effective and produce more public safety benefits than detaining and incarcerating youth.

So now I wonder. If the citizens that are all for incarceration for juveniles, knew how much of their tax dollars would actually be saved by sending the juvenile to a place other than jail, how many of them would change their mind.

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