Arguing for the revamping of the Juvenile Justice System

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Introduction

The Juvenile Justice System has fully met its purported basic function in terms of distinguishing the youth or child offenders from serving similar sentences as adult criminals. Abram et al states that the Juvenile Justice System was inspired by making a strong case for child offenders to go through certain laid down correctional measures at a rehabilitation centers for purposes of reformation rather than treating them like common adult criminals (291). This justification was true to the extent that juveniles were considered as individuals who may be not appreciate fully the consequence of their decisions and subsequent actions. But concerns have been raised concerning the high cost of the Juvenile Justice System as well as the level of effectiveness of the training programs meant to correct the juvenile offenders. This paper argues for the need to revamp the entire Juvenile Justice System and subsequently explore other cost saving and efficient options.

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The Ongoing Debate

The deliberations on the Juvenile Justice System center primarily on whether or not to revamp the whole system and look at other cost saving options against the backdrop that the structures and the systems put in place currently, only cost the tax payer huge sums of money with very little outcome. Greenwood point out that the millions of dollars allocated to the Juvenile Justice System including cost of running the training programs with recruiting several employees for that matter turns to go down the drain since most of the children become second time offenders or criminals in their adults’ life in the end (185). Under this circumstance I fully support the notion that the Juvenile Justice System must be revamped in order to save money that can be used to cater for other relevant activities while concentrating on less costly but efficient means to rehabilitate juvenile offenders.

Arguing for the revamping of the Juvenile Justice System

There is no denying the fact that revamping the Juvenile Justice System will save the tax payer colossal amount of money and subsequently ensure an efficient reformation system when child offenders are placed under the military service.  Costello strongly argues that the military service is the best option for juvenile offenders to receive proper training in other to become responsible citizens or stop them from being too involved with the offences they may be involved in (166). The point to establish therefore is that, putting child offenders under military service will automatically end the need to budget for Juvenile Justice System. This is because the offenders may not be put under rehabilitation and correctional measures under the old system promoting the conviction to struck out the Juvenile Justice System and all its budget allocations. It is must be stated however that the military is a well-funded institution and partly autonomous in raising funds needed for its activities. Therefore it may be fully functional towards taking care of these child offenders and then making sure the purpose for distinguishing them from hardcore adult criminals is met. Having to put juvenile offenders under the military is surely a cost saving option and an effective means to properly reform them in the supreme interest of the nation.

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According to Morrison et al, it is important to revamp Juvenile Justice System such that the huge sums of money that seem to be going down the drain can be saved for other equally important assignments (232). It further indicates that the country can save huge sums of money and used it to develop other aspects such as building of supplementary special schools, developing sports infrastructure in various schools as well as embarking on other positive motives that puts the interest of the child first. This is an indication that the Juvenile Justice System which is proving to do little in terms of meeting its demands need to be revamped such that the huge sums of money that is lost can be used to cater for other priority areas. The implication is that the government has other equally important responsibilities to cater for and it cannot continue to be allocating money to an institution that failing to be relevant by the day. The cost of running training programs is huge and if the outcome of it is nothing to be cherished, then the best thing is to revamp the system and explore proper measures to deal with the situation while saving money for other significant projects.

Foster states emphatically that military training is the best option for the reformation or correcting of the juvenile offender and the benefits for this action is even great (52). It reveals that the military is a highly disciplined institution and not only is it the best place for child offenders to rescind on their bad ways but it gives a glorious opportunity for the juvenile to be recruited into the force when they are fully matured. The point to make is that, those juvenile offenders that may be put under military service stand a great change of going through military training and routines and this can help them to be easily recruited and integrated into the military force. It is also important at this point not to lose focus on the fact that the military training is perceived as a cost-saving option comparatively to the entire running of the Juvenile Justice System. It therefore makes a lot of sense to consider putting juvenile offenders under care of the structures under the military service such that money can be saved while achieving the purpose of ensuring that juvenile offenders become responsible and better citizens.

Conclusion

The Juvenile Justice System costs the government great deal of money amidst its inability to meet the purposes for which it was established. This means that the whole justice system for child offenders is actually failing to meet its core mandate or target. It has become necessary to revamp the whole system and explore other cost saving and efficient measures to deal with child offenders. It is strongly argued that the juvenile offenders should be put under military service since that is the best option to properly reform them while saving huge costs.

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  1. Abram, Karen M., Jeanne Y. Choe, Jason Washburn, Linda Teplin, Devon King, and Mina Dulcan.  2008. “Suicidal Ideation and Behaviors Among Youths in Juvenile Detention.” Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 47:291-300.
  2. Costello, John B. 2010. “Institutions for Juvenile Delinquents.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 261:166-178.
  3. Foster, Karen, Naomi Williamson, and Dawna Buchannon. 2004.  “Racing With Reading: Addressing Literacy at Juvenile Detention Center.”  Journal of the Institute Justice and International Studies 4:52-56.
  4. Greenwood, Peter. 2008. “Prevention and Intervention Programs for Juvenile Offenders.” The Future of Children 18(2):185-210.
  5. Morrison, Harriet R. and Beverly D. Epps 2007.  “Warehousing or Rehabilitation?  Public Schooling in the Juvenile Justice System”.  The Journal of Negro Education 71:218-232.
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