Inthe United States, there is a problem with the juvenile criminaloffenders. Although the young criminals are supposed to be confineddifferently from adults, the minors have found themselves being triedin the same way as adult offenders. For an individual to beconsidered as a minor, the law requires that these people prove theirage using a birth certificate or other testimonials. However, the agerange for a youth varies from one government to another. The youthswho have committed a crime have their case heard in a juvenile court,which has rules that are dissimilar from those of the adult courts. Therefore, a crime perpetrated by a minor is treated differently froma case involving an adult. The United States is facing a problem withthe young criminal offenders, and these challenges have led to anincrease in minor crimes. Many problems come from the strategies thatthe U.S. employs in the process of correcting juvenile delinquency.These issues would be discussed in the paragraphs that follow.
Thefirst issue emanates from the detention of the youth who violate thelaw. The primary purpose behind the minors’ detention is to housethe juveniles, who have a high probability of re-committing thecrimes before they are tried in the juvenile courts (Bartollas andStuart 102). Besides, minors can be detained if the police discoverthat the juveniles can fail to appear before they are tried in thetribunal. In the US, unnecessary use of detention is exposing theminors to a context that is similar to the prisons and jails formature people. This is a major problem when dealing with juveniledelinquency because a young person is supposed to be exposed to afamily or community-based interventions, which are more useful in therecovery processes of the youths than detention. Also, a pretrialconfinement of a young person can result in injuries that are thesame as those associated with adult incarceration. Moreover,detention can physically and emotionally distance a minor from his orher family members who can be helpful in the recovery process orrehabilitation of the juvenile. Furthermore, detention centers canbreed negligence as well as violence among the youths because thecenters are usually overcrowded and have understaffed facilities.
Detentioncan also have adverse effects on young people’s mind, theireducation, employment, and the physical well-being. More than a thirdof the minors who are incarcerated suffer from poor mental health,depression or commit suicide (Zimring and David 84). Besides,imprisonment of the youths can interfere with the future earnings ofthe young people as well as make them less stable in the workforce.Incarceration has made more than forty percent of the juveniledelinquents to miss education. Some youths feel shy to go back toschool after being released from the detention centers due to thestigmatization that they experience from their colleagues.
Also,the US government is facing a big problem in identifying those whoare in need of treatment or correction. Some kids may leave theintense services like custody centers worse than they were before.Low-risks youths involved in exceptional services like detention tendto be worse than they were before being involved in the services(Springer and Albert 92).
Tosum up, the process that the US uses in the rehabilitating the youthsuch as detention is a serious challenge in dealing with the juvenilecriminal offenders. Detaining a child does not offer any guarantee ofmaking the societies a more secure place. Besides, the costs ofneedless detention are high because it affects the quality of lifeamong the youths. Instead of holding the youth, policy makers shouldinvest in developing juvenile interventions that can reducerecidivism and create safe and healthy societies.
Bartollas,Clemens and Stuart J. Miller. JuvenileJustice in America.New York: Pearson Education, 2014. Print.
Springer,David W, and Albert R. Roberts. JuvenileJustice and Delinquency.Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2011. Print.
Zimring,Franklin E, and David S. Tanenhaus. Choosingthe Future for American Juvenile Justice.New York: New York University Press, 2014. Print.