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Criminal Justice Assignment: Case Study On Juvenile Justice


Task: To prepare this criminal justice assignment, you are required to pick a criminal justice topic of interest to you and write a research paper on it.


This paper on criminal justice assignment is based on juvenile justice, which is one of the most dynamic frameworks that is embraced by the world for bringing development among children under the age group of 18. It protects the children from degenerating and also provides proper guidance to the unprotected juveniles. Thus, this research paper has focused on the basis of juvenile justice and the two approaches of rehabilitation and retribution that are often implied by the court in this type of situation. This paper also states that juveniles should also be provided with child's rights for their betterment.

It can be observed that as the children under the age of 18 are usually immature, they get influenced by the things that are on-going around them and thus, the social environment around them at times provoke them to take certain actions which are inappropriate according to the penal code. This might also be caused due to developmental disorders in children. Thus, Juvenile Justice is an integral part of developing the youth population of the country, providing social justice as well as providing them with protection and guidance. This research paper will deal with how juvenile justice work and how juvenile is subjected to the rehabilitation approach or the retribution approach. The child rights for the juvenile are also being discussed.

Consideration as a Juvenile
The children under the age of eighteen years who gets involved in illegal behaviours or activities which are considered to be a criminal offence under the law of penal code is referred to as Juvenile. Thus, if the crime is committed by the individual prior to the age of eighteenth, the accused will be given the treatment of a Juvenile in the court.

Evaluating Juvenile Justice
According to Hirschfield (2018), the Act that deals with covering the different phases, which involves the children under the age group of 18 who are at risk or are conflicting with the law, is known as the Juvenile Justice Act. Thus, as mentioned in the state policy, any proceedings which are being conducted by the Legal authority should be done to attain the best interest on behalf of the child (Elliott et al., 2020). The proceedings should be conducted in such a manner so that the child is comfortable enough to participate in the procedure and should get an equal opportunity to express himself freely. Thus, as per the child right, the child should be assisted properly by providing guidance, proper care, nutrition and should also be protected from all sorts of cruelty, including exploitation and abuse.

As it has been mentioned by Immanuel Kant, the famous philosopher, the judicial punishment should only be imposed on the individual only once he is founded to be guilty of committing the crime (Hirschfield, 2018). Thus, before giving the consideration that the particular punishment might serve the purpose for the juvenile or for the fellow members, it should be found that they deserve the punishment as punishment is given with the purpose of penalizing someone for the crime he has committed. Once the child has been found accused or guilty of committing the crime and infringing the penal law, the child should be treated consistently in order to stabilize the sense of worth and dignity within the child. According to Mallett (2018), as per the juvenile justice act, the child should be looked after for maintaining his well-being by providing some measures like probation, education as well as a vocational training centre, proper care and guidance and also by counselling them. As has been mentioned in the case study of Joe and Brain, since Brian had the developmental disorder and was very bad at his table manners, Daren used the process of "tough love" to provide proper guidance of how one should be behaving while dining with others in a single table and will also help to become connected to with the other co-detainees. Thus, he was being given proper guidance to improve his behavior.

Rehabilitation and Retribution
Both the terms rehabilitation and retribution are of two opposite responses given to youth delinquency. In the approach of rehabilitation, the social environment is considered to be responsible for the behaviour of the adolescent, which has forced him to commit the crime, whereas, in the retribution approach, the juvenile is held responsible for his own action for committing the crime. It has been seen that a majority of traditional philosophers give more importance to the rehabilitative approach for providing protection to the child and nurturing him. Budwell (2018) mentions that they believe that re-education might be the preferable approach for juvenile delinquency. It has been found that the criminal behaviour among the juvenile might either be caused due to the influence of the lacking moral standards or when they cannot be held accountable for their moral behaviour like in the situation where the child has development disorders. Thus, the juvenile court is held responsible for taking the parental role in order to treat them through supervision, counselling or rehabilitation so that they do not try to commit any further crime. They might also be given proper guidance, which will enhance them morally, mentally and emotionally, thus contributing to their welfare. The concern for the juvenile court was to provide the youths in need with proper social rehabilitation (Ajah&Ugwuoke, 2018). The retributive approach was being dealt with by the adult courts. In this approach, the criminal behaviour of the juvenile was responded to through punishment or through compensation for breaking the penal code of law. The severity of the punishment in the adult court relies upon the seriousness of the committed crime by the adolescent.

Child Rights for the Juvenile
As has been mentioned by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), juveniles or the child below the age of 18 should be given every opportunity and capabilities by considering their birth status, race, religion, vernacular, sources and so on (BernuzBeneitez&Dumortier (2018). Thus, the UNCRC focuses on providing the juvenile youth with the principle of the human right to provide them with the benefits related socially, politically as well as financially. The child right provided to the adolescents are:

1. Right to Survival: Thus, the juvenile under the child's right is subject to getting access to essential needs, which includes shelter, living standards, nutrition and medical facilities (Elliott et al., 2020). The government is also safeguarding their right to thrive in the future by assessing their future opportunity for further development.
2. Right to Protection: An adolescent should be provided with the benefits of protection from abuse, mistreatment or carelessness, may it be at home or be it somewhere else. Thus, they should be protected from being neglected or being exploited.

3. Right to Participation: As mentioned by Liefaard&Kilkelly (2018), the juvenile should also be provided with the right to participate in the procedure of decision making, which might have an impact on them directly or indirectly. Thus, they should have the chance to defend themselves so that it doesnot affect their best interest, though it might depend on the age as well as on the maturity level of the juvenile.
4. Right to Development: the juvenile should be provided with the right to each form of development which includes mental, physical and emotional. They should have the facility of learning, stimulation, sustenance, care and love for their development.

From this research study, it can thus be concluded that the proceeding for the juvenile justice procedure is being conducted for imposing punishment on those individuals under the age of 18 who are found to be guilty of breaking the penal law. If they are being found guilty, there are being provided with proper punishment in order to improve their moral values and to restrict them from committing any more crimes through counselling, training, re-education and by providing proper guidance. They are also provided with the child's rights so that they can act according to their best interest for their further development.

Ajah, B. O., &Ugwuoke, C. O. (2018). Juvenile justice administration and child prisoners in Nigeria. International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, 13(2), 438-446. BernuzBeneitez, M. J., &Dumortier, E. (2018). Why children obey the law: Rethinking juvenile justice and children’s rights in Europe through procedural justice. Youth justice, 18(1), 34-51. Budwell, C. (2018). Full Circle: Incorporating Aspects of Restorative Justice Principles from Germany into America's Juvenile Justice System. J. Glob. Just. & Pub. Pol'y, 4, 1. handle=hein.journals/jglojpp4§ion=5 Elliott, D.S., Buckley, P.R., Gottfredson, D.C., Hawkins, J.D. &Tolan, P.H., (2020). Evidence based juvenile justice programs &practices: A critical review. Criminal justice assignmentCriminology & Public Policy, 19(4), pp.1305-1328.

Hirschfield, P.J., (2018). The role of schools in sustaining juvenile justice system inequality. The Future of children, 28(1), pp.11-36.

Liefaard, T., & Kilkelly, U. (2018). Child-friendly justice. Juvenile justice in Europe: Past, present and future.

Mallett, C.A., (2018). Disproportionate minority contact in juvenile justice: Today’s, and yesterdays, problems. Criminal justice studies, 31(3), pp.230-248.


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