America’s Juvenile Justice System

In a separate, preventative effort, should the state use its resources to fund parenting, recreational, and mentoring programs that build up youth and enable them to make good decisions early on? In the end, the state must balance its effectiveness with necessity. Preventative and rehabilitative measures have been proven time and time again to significantly lower the likelihood of a youth offending or reoffending.American prisons have become the world’s most populated. As of December 2004, 2,267,787 persons were incarcerated in the United States (Harrison Beck, 2005). Of that number 102,338 were juveniles (Harrison Beck). Juvenile crime rates have increased dramatically over the past 15 years, at rates estimated to be near 22% (Harrison Beck). Approximately 2 million youth are arrested in the United States each year and around 100,000 are placed in juvenile detention and correctional facilities on a daily basis (Rawal, Romansky, Jenuwine, Lyons, 2004).Juvenile delinquency is not new. but it has reached significant proportions due to factors such as the increasing numbers of at-risk juveniles, the disparities of human existence, and the connection of guns and drugs as they impact the adolescent population (Cohn, 2004). More and more correctional facilities are being erected, and get tough sentences are being implemented to gain control over the juvenile crime rate. But this does not seem to be deterring the juvenile from committing more crime. The development of effective programs and interventions to reduce juvenile recidivism is a national priority.In order to understand the existing juvenile justice system and how it came to be, it is necessary to gain a brief understanding of the juvenile system as a whole and how it developed into what it is today.Historically, juvenile offenders were processed and punished the same way as adults. These offenders were sometimes viewed as being possessed by demons.