Dealing With First-Time Offenders In The Juvenile System

Juvenile Justice System

John Black presents the image of a typical vulnerable child in the United States.  He is prone to influence by members of the local gang due to his young age and also because he is most impressionable during this stage.  Moreover, he hails from a single family, and it is very likely that his mother struggles to make ends meet. She might be working three jobs in a day, which reduces contact with her son. John’s decision to join a gang can be explained by this set of circumstances as gangs have been known to act like a family for most of its members. Unfortunately, it was his membership in the gang and possession of a firearm that saw him serve five-year deposition. Probation provided an opportunity for him to undergo a gang deactivation program where he was now able to go through anger management classes that would enable him to cope better in life. In this essay, I will describe how John can be put to use in dealing with first-time offenders in the juvenile system.

John is a rare success story of an individual who went through the system and successfully managed to turn his life around. He transformed from a totting gun teen to a demure member of the society who is now able to mingle with other members of the community without being a threat to the well-being of others. It is for this primary reason that he is the best candidate to deal with first-time offenders and dissuade them from getting sucked into the gang matrix and lifestyle. A majority o these teens also come from single-parent families who make them an easy target for the gangs. They seek a sense of belong, which is the main reason why they end up in the gang and participating in all its activities. John would serve as a useful asset as she has gone through these same circumstances. He can show them the façade that gang life promises and the repercussions s that follow from their involvement. Additionally, they can quickly relate to an individual from the same age bracket as them and can readily accept his pieces of advice and turn their lives around.

The future of the juvenile justice system in America and around the world is promising due to the far-reaching reforms that are under implementation. There has been a growing need for rehabilitative programs that would not make the children worse while involving fellow youth in changing the demeanor of these young offenders. A promising reform initiative in the United States is the Positive Youth Development (PYD) that seeks to ensure public safety through the provision of adequate rehabilitative services and promising juvenile intervention for teens that engage in delinquent behavior (In Tanenhaus & In Zimring, 2014, p. 45). Globally, a strength-based approach seems to be the best option in dealing with this issue in contrast to using the traditional correctional models that have not borne any fruits yet. Historically many governments viewed the youth in the juvenile justice system as the “problem” and punishment viewed as the only option in “fixing” them (In Birckhead & In Mouthaan, 2016, p. 34). It is, however, noteworthy that this approach has been mostly unsuccessful and ineffective as the individuals in question refuse to participate. It is also vital to remember that most of the offenders arrested for cases of delinquency have experienced some form of trauma in their lives and it is, therefore, crucial to deal with these psychological issues before proceeding.

John Black is an example of a teen who went through the juvenile justice system and successfully transformed his life. He is a valuable asset in dealing with fits time offenders as he can show them the right path to follow. He represents the juvenile justice system in seeking to find solutions rather than viewing offenders as the problem.

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