Youth Justice

Juvenile delinquency has become a major issue in modern society,
causing our society to revisit the foundations of our current juvenile
justice, system, and thereby search for a new understanding of the
motivations behind juvenile crime.Today’s juvenile court system was built
on the assumption that juvenile offenders needed to be rehabilitated,
helped and assisted in order to escape the life of crime that often
encircles the inner city streets. Juvenile offenders were conceptualized as
a special case of criminals for any of the following reasons, or more
creatively put together by juvenile lawyers, a victim of all these societal

; Juvenile offenders are considered to not possess the moral capacity to
understand the depth of their crimes.

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; They are victims of the social conditions of the neighborhoods which

; They are likely tooutgrow’ their criminal behavior.

• If placed with the adult criminal population they would have little
chance of developing into proactive members of society.
Based on these assumptions, the juvenile justice system has focused on the
care and rehabilitation of the child rather than on punishment and
incapacitation. However, a system which treats criminal as victims looses
much of its ability to deter crime. Consequently the juvenile justice
system has lost much of its impact, and perceived effectiveness. The
changing nature of juvenile crime has also placed challenges in front of a
system which is struggling to redefine its role in the criminal justice
This paradigm has its roots in the Child Saver movement which arose at
the end of the 19th century.Self proclaimed humanists, and reformers, the
child savers were “dedicated to rescuing those who were less fortunately
placed in the social order.Their concern forpurity’,salvation,’
innocence,’corruption,’ andprotection’…

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