Juvenile justice system was created as an alternative of dealing with the youthful offenders in a way that would aim at correcting them rather than seem like punishing them to feel ashamed of their behavior. Most of the changes that were done to the correctional institutions on the youths were aimed at avoiding stigma that was believed to cause more criminality rather than reducing it. The system was an American invention but was later replicated around the world. Although the system was supposed to bring more safety to the youths, it seems to have flaws in its approach. The system dismisses the concept that young offenders may have a strong will to commit crimes (Schmalleger, 2012). They instead contend that the problems that are faced by the young people tend to make them unsettled. Therefore, in order to help them, there is no need of punishing them. The best way to help them is to try and solve the internal problems that may be thought to exist in them.
The juvenile court system has completely detached itself from the adult court system. The juvenile crime trend began to change in the period around 1980’s and mid 1990’s. The trend of juvenile delinquents has continued to escalate in the recent times, which creates a big dilemma as to whether the youths should start being exposed to adult punishment or continue with special treatment.
On one hand, children are more of custodians of law than being given liberty to choose what they want. From this perspective, they cannot be able to make their own decisions. The development of the children is also a complex process that needs to be put into consideration when dealing with challenges facing the youths. The children should undergo treatment rather than being punished to reform them (Schmalleger, 2012). This is also a means of gaining competency in doing the right thing.
It would not be wise to put children into similar treatment as those given to the adults. Children have recorded a high rate of recidivism rates if punished like adults. Getting tough on them has caused more havoc than help to them. Therefore, since long term goals are instilling change to them, they should be specially treated (Wake, 2010).
From a different perspective, children have been used to perform certain tasks by the adults because the law is lenient on them. For instance, young people are being used in drug trafficking. The owners of these businesses perceived that if children are arrested, they will be leniently punished as compared to adults. They risk their lives in very little payments (Wake, 2010). Such trends are likely to be evident in the society if stern measures are not induced into the youths.
Contrary to the generally held belief that all children follow similar protocol in the process of development, research has shown that there are other intervening factors that play a critical role in determining the direction that a child takes while developing; for example, the environment in which the children has been brought (Wake, 2010). With respect to this, children ought not to be treated in similar ways in all situations. There should be changes in the way they are treated with regards to the kind of mistakes they commit.
In conclusion, children should be given preferential treatment. This will ultimately allow them to develop as they internalize the right and the wrong things. Special treatment given to them will also allow them to be reformed in a positive way, because they are directed on how to discover mistakes on their own. This will consequently produce responsible adults in the future.