Criminal Justice Management Issue

Criminal Justice Management Issue

Table of contents:
1. Introduction
2. The problem of juvenile delinquency and punishment
3. Community, organizational and individual responses to juvenile delinquency and punishment
4. Consequences of the severe punishment in regard to juvenile delinquents
5. Conclusion: ethical issues
6. Works cited

Introduction
The existing system of juvenile justice basically targets at the prevention of crimes among juveniles. In this respect, it should be pointed out that the prevention of juvenile crime is very important because the way the justice system treats juvenile offenders may, to a significant extent, define their further life. In fact, many specialists (Hayward, 2004) lay emphasis on the fact that the imprisonment of juveniles and repressive or, to put it more precisely, punitive approach to the juvenile justice may produce a negative impact on the development of personality of juvenile offenders. In other words, the early experience is extremely important for juveniles and serving term in prison produces a negative impact on the formation of their identity and, what is more important, it may contribute to the formation of criminal habits and increase the risk of anti-social behavior of offenders in the future, i.e. increasing their criminal inclinations under the impact of their social environment in prison. In such a context, it is very important to observe carefully all the procedures starting from the detention of offenders to the trial and sentence. Obviously, all these procedures imply professional work of law enforcement agencies and their representatives, attorneys, and judges. At the same time, it is important to develop effective strategies of the prevention of juvenile delinquency and minimization of the negative impact of the current methods used by the justice system in regard to juveniles.
The problem of juvenile delinquency and punishment
The problem of juvenile delinquency is one of the most serious challenges to the contemporary justice system and law enforcement agencies as well as the society at large. It proves beyond a doubt that juvenile delinquency affects not only the current situation in the society, but it also influences the future development of society. In fact, the growing crime rates among juveniles reveal a serious social problem and the state and local communities cannot ignore this problem anymore. In this respect, it is important to underline that the current methods of the prevention of juvenile delinquency prove to be ineffective since the number of crimes and offenses committed by juveniles is steadily growing. This trend is very dangerous because it threatens to the future of the contemporary society.
Obviously, juvenile delinquents are a lost generation because many of them, as they go through the modern justice system’s correction programs, are inclined to recidivism. Being released from prisons, they often return to criminal activities which eventually bring them back to prison and the society, as well as the modern justice system, is unable to rehabilitate and integrate them into a normal social life.
In such a situation, the problem of the effective management of juvenile delinquency and punishment arises. It is necessary to develop effective programs which can prevent juvenile delinquency, while the existing punitive system should be totally replaced since it is not very effective. In addition, the problem of family and community education arises, which also need proper management because the social environment affects substantially the behavior of juveniles and the formation of their identities.
Community, organizational and individual responses to juvenile delinquencies
Today, the problem of juvenile delinquency disturbs many people and the general attitude of the society to the growth of juvenile crimes and offenses is extremely negative. In such a situation, the community often refers to the local authorities and law enforcement agencies to stop juvenile crimes. However, it does not necessarily mean that it is community proper that pushes law enforcement agencies, local authorities and justice system to develop new approaches to the solution of the problem of juvenile delinquency. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the growing impact of mass media which use juvenile delinquency as a powerful attraction to the audience. What is meant here is the popularity of media coverage of juvenile delinquency which attracts the mass audience and increases ratings of media and, therefore, their revenues.
In such a situation, media coverage of juvenile delinquency may be shocking for the audience. At the same time, often media exaggerate the problem or significance of some crimes. As a result, the audience is terrified by the prospect of the growing juvenile delinquency. This reaction of the audience leads to the growing community pressure on the justice systems, law enforcement agencies and other organizations which are supposed to prevent juvenile delinquency. In response, law enforcement agencies and justice system develop strategies which can provide a positive feedback from the part of the community. Hence, law enforcement agencies and justice system focus on punitive methods of the prevention of juvenile delinquency.
As for individual responses to the problem of juvenile delinquency and punishment, they differ dramatically. On the one hand, there are supporters of radical methods of the prevention of juvenile crimes through strict regulation of behavior of juveniles or even partial limitation of their freedom through strict parental and law enforcement agencies’ control (Barak, 183). On the other hand there are opponents (Hayward, 197) who insist on the use of more humanistic methods, including the involvement of community in the prevention of juvenile delinquency, instead of severe punishment of juvenile offenders.
Consequences of the severe punishment in regard to juvenile delinquents
Obviously, the growing anxiety of the community concerning the growing crime rates among juveniles stimulates the introduction of more severe, punitive methods by the modern justice system. It is not a secret that often courts rule quite severe sentences in relation to juvenile offenders because of the public pressure, which, in its turn, is provoked by media. In such a way, juvenile delinquents are punished severely, though causes of their crimes often remain omitted by courts, law enforcement agencies and the community.
At the same time, the current punitive system leads to the growing number of juvenile inmates. However, prison terms produce a negative impact on the psychology and lifestyle of juveniles (Hayward, 234). Prison terms increase the risk of recidivism and decreases opportunities for rehabilitation and integration of juveniles into a normal social life. Consequently, actual effects of the punitive system are quite the opposite to the intended effects since, instead of decreasing juvenile crime rates, the society gets growing crime rates and cases of recidivism among juveniles after their releases from prison.
In such a situation, the use of community-based approach is consistently more effective in relation to the prevention of juvenile crimes, but this approach is not widely spread today. In fact, this approach provides the opportunity of the community care of juvenile offenders, including participation in various social organization, or hypo therapy and other community-based methods which are more effective than punitive methods (Hayward, 241).
Conclusion: ethical issues
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the problem of the effective management of juvenile delinquency and punishment of juveniles is a very serious problem. Along with conventional issues, such as growing crime rates, this problem involves ethical issues. In this respect, it is important to remind about the social responsibility of the justice system, law enforcement agencies, community, family and media in regard to juvenile offenders. Obviously, it is not their evil nature that makes juveniles commit crimes but it is rather the impact of their social environment, culture, media, the parental negligence and poor community work that contribute to the growing crime rates among juveniles. In such a situation, it is obvious that the current punitive methods of struggle with juvenile delinquency are inappropriate from both ethical and social point of views because they are ineffective. Instead, it is necessary to use community-based and other, more humanistic approaches to prevent juvenile crimes and help juvenile offenders to get integrated into the normal social life.


References:
Barak, G. (ed.). (1998). Integrative Criminology. Aldershot: Ashgate/Dartmouth.
Hayward, K. J. (2004). City Limits: Crime, Consumerism and the Urban Experience. New York: Routledge