Treatment and Punishment Methods in Juvenile Justice System
Juvenile system of justice is effective in reinforcing desirable behaviors. It explicitly informs rules and expectations and reduces chances for the teenagers to engage in deviant behaviors. In addition, an efficient system helps young people to engage in positive activities and offers expressive responsibilities for young people to develop their skills and motivation (Rosenheim, 2002, p.2). Therefore, some policy makers stress the need for reaffirming the traditional treatment missions. The traditional treatment or retributive models help to reduce public confidence in the systems of juvenile justice.
For the juvenile justice system to be effective, it must be integrated into the entire networks of public agencies and institutions that focus on youth, families and children. These institutions should offer services for the children's protection, education and mental health services (McMillin, 2014, 7). The deviant behaviors that force the young people to be involved in juvenile justices systems are, usually, related to other problems. Some of these problems are difficult to address in the justice system (Rosenheim, 2002, p.4). Some of these problems include the mental health problems, substance abuse and child maltreatment (Shoemaker, 2009, p.4). Failure to identify these problems and acts, which makes young people to enter, prevails and re-enter the juvenile justice system.
Differences between Punishment and Treatment Concepts
Punitive approaches such as punishment may be acceptable to the public because of the need of retribution. However, this concept is limited to reintegrate or rehabilitate juvenile offenders. In addition, punishment is often used unnecessary leading to negative effects (Shoemaker, 2009, p.3). In addition, the punishment concepts may force the offenders to concentrate on themselves instead on their victims. Through public mindset, punishment is associated with the offence (McMillin, 2014, p.5).
Contrary, treatments only focus on the material wants of the offender. Treatment concepts help the offender through remedial services, counseling and recreational courses (Shoemaker, 2009, p.3). Although such programs are effective, they do make significant impacts in the lives of the victims of juvenile delinquencies, citizens affected by the crime and persons who want delinquents’ offenders held accountable for their actions.
Indeed, treatment concepts provide maximum attention on the needs of the offender in the juvenile justice systems. In addition, the victims of crime are engaged as clients or as co-participants in the justice systems (Tsui, 2014, p.6). Moreover, treatment focuses on the offender as the active and client of services and interventions (Rosenheim, 2002, p.5). In this regard, juvenile justice systems involve the juvenile criminals and other members of the society in important responsibilities in the rehabilitation, sanctioning and safety of the public.
The treatment system involves members of the public in establishing the clear limits on antisocial acts and evaluating the consequences of delinquents. The core aim of the community system is to focus on reparation, needs and correcting the offender (McMillin, 2014, p.9).
This would help in building a community system that is crime-resistant and that would enjoy safety. Besides, it would help the community to build strong ties and involving youth in community work, roles and services. This helps to convert delinquent youngsters to law-abiding individuals (Shoemaker, 2009, p.4). Furthermore, the treatment justice system helps to connect crucial responsibilities to rehabilitate offenders. Moreover, it enhances safety for communities for civic groups, religious communities, citizens and families.
Adolescent’s faces desire to belong, be in a place that is valued and form strong ties with others. Young people who are not bonded to institutions in the society, such as recreational institutions, school, religious organizations and work are more likely to participate in criminal behaviors (McMillin, 2014, p.7). Adolescents have strong desires to be connected due to a mode of dressing, language and music.
Juvenile cases in Boston
In the state of Massachusetts, the juvenile cases in 2000 were approximately 6 200 000. More than 27 percent of the population in Massachusetts is aged between 19 years and younger (Shoemaker, 2009, p.8). The rate of juvenile crime especially in cities of Boston is very high. Majority of the young people are involved in drug and alcohol use, teen dating violence, gang involvement and use of weapons among the teens. In addition, the arrest rates among the youth are significantly high in Boston (Rosenheim, 2002, p.8). However, according to the Department of Youth Services the juvenile cases in Boston have declined by 2010 as compared to previous years. In the late 1990s and early 2000, Boston city experienced an epidemic of juvenile crimes (McMillin, 2014, p.10). The underlying factors were the widespread use of crack cocaine and increase in violence gang activity.
Additionally, the use of the handgun among the youth tripled from 23 victims in 1997 to 70 victims in 2001. In addition, the rate of homicides remains tremendously high averaging at 45 homicides per annum. The authorities in the city initiated a variety of measures to addre