There has been an increased variance in claims across the USA over whether the juvenile offenders should be punished or rehabilitated. Despite approximately 10 decades ago the country instituting a juvenile justice system objected at sidetracking young offenders from the punitive criminal court system, in practice pressure between social welfare and social control has perpetuated (Siegel & Welsh, 2014). In this case, social welfare alludes to centering on the interests of a particular juvenile while social control incorporates weakening, punishment and safeguarding humanity from various juvenile offenses. Nonetheless, it is evident that there are numerous advantages of rehabilitative mechanisms like enhancing the individual children social and communication skills and reducing the cost of maintaining the punitive intervention programs.
Difference between Treatment and Punishment Concepts
The effectiveness of intervention into juvenile offending is determined by recidivism. In this light, the lingering question distressing the minds of numerous Americans is which intervention mechanism (treatment or punishment) is effective and reduces recidivism, particularly among the juvenile offenders (Siegel & Welsh, 2014). The intervention mechanisms in the rehabilitative model including work readiness, probation, training, behavioral therapy and cognitive social training are objected at transforming the conduct of juvenile and diminish the incidence of the youth’s felonies. Treatment is vital to youthful delinquents and rejoining into conventional society as it develops a basis of leading a healthy culture in the society on leaving the juvenile system. Treatment is ideal compared to the punitive model as the latter mainly emphasizes punishment as dissuasion for future crimes. On the other hand, rehabilitation is proactive as it looks into the individual needs of juvenile delinquents and proffers them with pragmatic alternatives to succeed in society without recidivating. Frase, Roberts, Hester and Mitchell (2015) contends that individuals spell out their goals but occasionally lacks the mechanisms to attain these objectives. Consequently, they are forced to resort unlawful methods to attain their goals. In this way, treatment is significant as it impacts individuals via the process of rehabilitation on the essential moves that are taken to attain objectives of accomplishing goals legitimately.
Juvenile Offenders Rehabilitation Programs
Also, the treatment methods prevent the possibility of youthful offenders going back to the juvenile justice system. Further, young offenders are costly to taxpayers and the community especially because the rehabilitation programs are funded using the federal, state and locally. These programs include vocational training, different kinds of therapies to correct anger issues, mentoring and parole among others. Therefore, the urge for effective intervention mechanisms is vital to ensure that resources are not misused on programs that inefficient and subsequently losing the taxpayers resources. Moreover, efficient treatment mechanisms aid to eliminate the vicious series of recidivism.
Punishment of Juvenile Offenders
On the other hand, the juvenile system characterized by punishment incorporates arraigning in court the young offenders with different criminal charges. The court system disregards age and the juveniles are subjected to the same punishments as adults. As a result, there are numerous negative impacts springing from the children being subjected to punishments subsequently leading to heightened recidivism. For instance, across the USA, the juvenile penal system has sadly been mismanaged (Hendricks & Hendricks, 2014). The youths in custody have been frequently been assaulted by the penal institutions’ staffs. The abuse has comprised beatings that lead to bone fractures, knocking out teeth while some children left unconscious. Some of these infractions are prompted by less serious issues such as thieving a cookie or laughing. Further, imprisonment and retributive methods accompanying the punitive penal system cost the taxpayer’s $210000 every year for every child. In this way, the juveniles are hurt and hardened to become tougher criminals to deal with. Gold, Simon and American Psychiatric Association. (2016) denotes that mistreatment that mistreatment of the youthful offenders is not an isolated case but identifiable in different state penal institutions. The Bureau of Justice Statistics pinpoints that approximately 13% of the juveniles that are in detention usually are sexually victimized. Most of these youths are victimized by individuals charged with the responsibility of caring for them.
Juveniles from Minority Parties
Evidently, the USA overwhelmed by the shameful uneven handling of the youths particularly from the minority parties in the various phases of the justice procedure that comprise most offenders. In place, of the youths being proffered with apt rehabilitative care, the American young offenders are imprisoned and subsequently subjected to ferocity, unsafe facilities that reinforce the present unguided conduct and problems including mental illness, child abuse and learning disability. Given the abuse and neglect experienced by the juvenile offenders specifically from the individuals charged with the task of caring for them and the heightened cost of maintaining them, the search for alternative intervention mechanism is necessary. Also, the punitive penal system, especially for the youths, is rendered ineffective given it nature and thus don’t reduce the rate of reoffending. In this case, the alternative involves using treatment or the rehabilitative mechanism which has increased chances of reducing recidivism.
Frase, R. S., Roberts, J. V., Hester, R., & Mitchell, K. L. (2015). Criminal history enhancements sourcebook. Minneapolis, MN: Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice.
Gold, L. H., Simon, R. I., & American Psychiatric Association,. (2016). Gun violence and mental illness. Arlington, Virginia: American Psychiatric Association Publishing.
Hendricks, J. E., & Hendricks, C. S. (2014). Crisis intervention in criminal justice/social service. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas.
Siegel, L. J., & Welsh, B. (2014). Juvenile delinquency: Theory, practice, and law. s.l.: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Siegel, L. J., & Worrall, J. L. (2015). Introduction to criminal justice. Boston, MA : South-Western.