Juvenile Justice Essay

Submitted By sheryltlr00
Words: 536
Pages: 3

Centuries ago, there were no separate court system to distinguish crime and punishment between juvenile and adult offenders. Juveniles who were charged (and) or convicted of an illegal act were confined and punished in the same facilities as adult offenders, but were not awarded some of the due process laws under the United States Constitution as the adult offenders were. “Early jails housed men, women, adults, juveniles, mentally healthy, and mentally unhealthy people, all together in the same facility” (www.cjcj.org). There were reports that juveniles who were imprisoned with adults were more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse. They are also said to be more likely to commit suicide. “Social activists, law makers, and other officials soon realized that children institutionalized with adults were learning adult criminal behaviors and were exiting those institutions ready for life careers in criminality” (www.criminal.findlaw.com).
“The juvenile court system was established in the United States about two hundred years ago, with the first court appearing in Illinois in 1899”(www.criminal.findlaw.com). The Child Saving activist and movement was concerned with intending government control over youthful activities that had been previously left to private or family control” (Siegel & Welsh, 2012 pg.475). The main focus was “to reform U.S. policies regarding youth offenders” (www.lawyershop.com), and to rehabilitate and reform the juvenile offender, and not punish them as the adult system does.
The New York House of Refuge was created in 1825, by the Child saving Movement. This was a facility that would house only children. It did not just house children who had committed crimes, but poor kids, ones who misbehaved, and orphans. “The goal was intended to protect potential youths by taking them off the street and providing a family-life environment” (Siegel & Welsh, 2011 pg375). The child savers expanded their house of refuge, and within years to come they were all over the world

By the early 1900’s, “The Houses of Refuge were being replace by reform schools. These were institutions that would house delinquent youths that would have otherwise been sent to adult prison” (Siegel & Welsh, 2011