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Pros and Cons of the Juvenile Justice System

Updated February 21, 2017

The Juvenile Justice system was created for youth under the age of 17 who have committed crimes that require incarceration. Many experts argue that if the system focuses on rehabilitation, young offenders are more likely to make positive changes in their life, according to LD Online. Others believe that dangerous juvenile offenders are not punished severely enough in the juvenile system and should be transferred to adult courts.

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Parole and Probation Officers

Because juveniles are closely monitored by parole or probation officers, they are less of a threat to public safety, according to North Carolina Family Impact Seminars. In many cases, felonious behaviour is later outgrown, according to North Carolina Family Impact Seminars. Juveniles who commit crimes as youth may grow up to be upstanding citizens if they are surrounded by positive influences.

Public Safety

According to "The Memphis Commercial Appeal," violent youth are not dealt with severely enough in the juvenile system. In Tennessee, for example, if a youth's crime is not serious enough to transfer him to adult court, the offender is placed in the Tennessee Department of Children's Services. The department then decides whether the juvenile should be sent to a detention centre, rehabilitation program or placed in a foster or group home. If placed in a group home, the offenders are back in the community, possibly becoming a threat again.

Detention Centers

Officers in juvenile detention centres are trained to work with youth. When placed in the juvenile system instead of adult court, offenders have a better chance of receiving rehabilitation to prevent future crimes. According to the North Carolina Family Impact Seminars, juveniles in adult prisons are more likely to commit suicide or be sexually assaulted. In juvenile centres, the offenders are surrounded by youth their own age, creating a safer environment.

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About the Author

Brittany Rouse has been writing since 2004, specializing in pet care, college life and gardening. Her work is published in the George Mason University student newspaper, "Broadside," as well as the GMU online publication Connect to Mason. Rouse is working toward a Bachelor of Arts in communication.

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