Essay: Juvenile Justice

Sample Essay

In his book Bernard himself speaks of the need to adopt balanced strategies which endorse both responsibility and consequences (Bernard, 1991). Although it may seem simple in theory to create such a system which would balance out both aspects there are several factors which stand in its way. Firstly, there will always be an argument among lawmakers, politicians and the public regarding which option of better, rehabilitation or punishment. The case for both methodologies is not clear cut and dry, as can be seen from the impact public opinion and economics have on both legislations.

There will also be concerns that while rehabilitation remains a lofty goal, receiving actual outcomes from it however is a completely different story. There will always be debates among the public regarding the rights of the delinquent versus the rights of the victim. Other debates will come up as well, such as consideration of institutions versus community centers for treatment. There is also a danger of a wide disparity within private and public sector treatment options similar to what can be seen in today’s private and public sector schools (Heilbrun, Goldstein, & Redding, 2005).

It is difficult to conceive that with all these factors the cycle will ever come to an end. While it is true that the current system has aided some youth, the detrimental effect it is having on their social and personal development cannot be ignored. With the recent economic crisis there will be other social factors such as poverty, low funds for child welfare and a declining job rate seem to be poised to cause the delinquency rate to rise in the near future (Heilbrun, Goldstein, & Redding, 2005).

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