Prevention of young offenders and their proper handling has been a critical issue in America. Diverse policies have been drafted since invention of the American juvenile delinquency in 1899 to deal with juvenile offenders (Schmalleger, 2011). The paper will consider the issues, challenges and trends of the juvenile justice system and how this may impact the juvenile justice system in the future.
Current Issues in American Juvenile Justice
In the recent years, American youth violence has garnered a lot of attention worldwide. Youth violence takes many forms and its perpetrators may appear not dangerous to parents or teachers. Americans have tried to understand the reasons for these violent acts from minors in vain but societal conditions and knowledge individual factors have been known to influence the youth to engage in crime. Many of these young offenders cannot stand trial in an adult justice system but due to increased number of youth offenders, one response has been to transfer these young offenders to adult courts to stand trial. This has however led to many such youth’s committing homicides or led to aggravated personal crimes. This finally leads to receiving long prison stays that takes them into adulthood. Youth violence has increased due to alterations in parenting practices and a major shift in family life and technological advancements and I believe that a more rehabilitative program should be incorporated including prevention programs for high risk youth, sanctions and accountability for serious offenders (Menson, 2001).
Historically, girls have made a small percentage of juvenile offenders. Girls have only represented 11-27% of the juvenile offenders. However, striking statistics suggest that as the number of juvenile offenders is decreasing, the number of female juvenile offenders is an upward trend. Example in 1996, there was a 106% increase in female juvenile offenders than was in 1989. More female arrestees of female offenders are being made than was the case. A review of the American juvenile justice system suggests that gender specific preventions are lacking for delinquent female youths. . As a professional I will suggest gender specific preventions to be increased and incorporate knowledge of etiology of female offenders. This is because most of the systems are built for males. Failure to do the above will lead to an increased clogging of female offenders in correctional centers (Menson, 2001).