Importance of Education and Rehabilitation of Juveniles

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The laws formed in the 1700s did not differentiate the difference between child or adult but then reforms and learning brought change and understanding that it is possible to educate and rehabilitate juveniles rather than only punish. There are cases where the criminal act or acts are so heinous that they child can no longer be reformed. The confusion stems on defining what age or what combination of acts should tip the scales. Juveniles should be educated and reformed through the juvenile court system in most cases but there are times where it is best to try the juvenile as an adult in court. Juveniles committing crimes is nothing new but understanding how and why juveniles are tried as an adult in court is and has been a sliding scale and so has the impacts of these legal determinations.

Although it is generally not preferred, the effects of harsh punishment of an act will quickly get through to a person in nearly all cases quicker than attempting to learn new civil and law abiding behaviors. The adult court system is generally regarded as a system of punishment rather than a system of treatment. There is one portion of both systems that are primarily engaged in treatment rather than punishment and this would be the drug treatment portions and the research shows that adult drug courts generally performed better in its effectiveness in reducing recidivism.

Researches have shown that not all drug courts are created equal and that that using recidivism outcomes as the only evaluation criterion can lead to incorrect or biased conclusions about the efficacy of these treatment programs. In recent years researchers have shifted investigation to practices that promote drug courts’ effectiveness and study the programs’ operation integrity rather than just the outcomes.

The study has found a striking difference between adult drug courts’ and juvenile courts’ abilities to provide more and easily accessible evidence-based treatments is perhaps one of the primary reasons adult drug courts perform better than juvenile drug courts on an aggregated level. The research has also shown that juvenile drug courts, compared with adult drug courts, have less access to effective in adolescent-based treatment. This finding may provide a slight glimpse into why adult drug courts have been found to be more effective than juvenile drug courts in general.

Public perception shouldn’t be a strong means to an end for any but an extreme case involving a juvenile. With this in mind we will examine some reasons against juveniles being transferred to adult court. The word con within ‘pro or con’ means to be against. There is also a slang term associated to con and that is convict. If we do not scrutinize the ‘who’ and ‘why’ juveniles are transferred to adult court, there can be a swath of cons created through the process.

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