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Crj 301 - Connecting the Dots: What Is and Effective Program?

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Week 5 Final Paper: Connecting the Dots: What is and Effective Program?

Treasa Little

CRJ 301: Juvenile justice

Instructor: Kirsten Pickering

September 24, 2017

        In all the United States of America, there will forever be crime and punishment, that is forever. There comes a time when we must ask ourselves where does treatment come in? If there is crime and punishment the lines for treatment is somewhere in between. To figure out the best way to provide corrective treatment you need to know the difference between treatment and punishment. However thin these lines may be, they are still there and need to be dissected accordingly. The criminal justice issue addressed in this paper will be the juvenile violent crimes issue that surrounds our world today. The difference between punishment and treatment are of great importance when trying to correct criminal tendencies that our juveniles are flooded with today. This paper will discuss how important treatment is over punishment, although punishment will always be another issue. This paper will compare differences between three major states in the United States for crime or criminal justice issues such as violent crimes. It will identify prevailing thoughts within each state for opinions on whether it is treatments or punishment then analyze the idea of recidivism being the best indicator of success or failure, or use a different indicator altogether. Will addressing biological, psychological, and sociological theories help explain juvenile delinquency? One of these theories will be evaluated to best support the thesis of this paper. To best support the criminal justice issue within this paper, a juvenile justice intervention strategy will be discussed. With the conclusion of this paper, a concept (treatment or punishment) for the best support for an over-arching concept of social justice will be discussed.

There are a few differences when we discuss the difference in treatment and punishment concepts. According to an article written by Barry Feld, from the University of Minnesota Law School, he defines punishment to involve the imposition by the state, form purposes of retribution or deterrence of an individual who has violated the law. One difference between punishment and treatment is that treatment focuses on the mental health, status and future welfare for the offending juvenile individual. Whereas punishment concentrates on the commission of the offense by the individual. Punishment assumes that responsible, free-will moral individuals make choices that apply blame and deserve to suffer the consequences of those choices. On the other hand, treatment assumes some degree of determinism. Whether it is psychological, or sociological processes, it relies on the existence of problems unavoidable throughout that certain individuals’ life span, which may be the source of the offending behavior. Treatment believes there are sources of intervention that may be available to the individual to help modify or even eliminate the effects from those forces. Another difference is, punishment may impose restrictive or damaging consequences to offenders just by looking through past offenses. However, treatment studies the past factors which may have caused the offense, and concentrate mainly on following a plan that is more likely to alter that behavior. (Feld, B. 1990). Giving youths the chance for redemption.

The importance of treatment over punishment.

        According to our text, treatment refers to a set of actions or services that are created to rehabilitate or change an individual with programs that specialize in things like group therapy, individual therapy, school-based interventions, and/or community mentoring programs. (Listwan, S. J. 2013). Treatment works in cooperation with prevention. It helps to avert a situation as to not allow it to become a bigger problem that may lead to repeating the crime or committing a worse crime. Punishment is only administered after the fact, but treatment, with the right monitoring could be administered before and after the fact to possibly intervene the behavior. So many different programs are out there to intervene in offending behavior before it happens. Thus, avoiding possibly harmful consequences that may do more harm than good.

        Treatment and prevention programs, usually categorized as three level of prevention, the first level is labeled as primary prevention. It focuses on what might occur to the juvenile individual which would lead to delinquent behavior. Things like truancy, poor parenting, and prenatal exposure to toxins. The second level is labeled as secondary prevention, it focuses on what type of services best fit the delinquent and will address the behavior in its earlier stages. They feel if they catch it early enough, it may slow down or even stop the potential advancement into crime. The final prevention level is labeled as tertiary prevention, it focuses on putting a stop to repeat offending for those who are already in the juvenile justice system. (Listwan, S. J. 2013).

        As far as treatment processes go, they have programs for all types of juvenile offending cases. They have anger management programs, addiction programs, family functioning, and they have programs that help prevent relapse designed for youth who are at risk of continuing their offending behavior. The main problem in the juvenile system for these programs are trying to figure out which program will best suit the individual delinquent. Although these programs are not created equal, and are sometimes hard to distinguish what type of programs will be or will not be suitable for everyone, researchers have found that some programs are more effective and beneficial than others, it depends on the certain individual. (Listwan, S. J. 2013).

Comparative Statistics between three states.

        The three states I chose to write about were, California, Michigan, and New York.

In California, table 1 depicts the juvenile arrests by gender, race, and age of juvenile arrests in 2005.

Table 1 2005 California Juvenile Arrests by Gender, Race, and Age

Juvenile Arrests

California Youth Population

Totals

222,512

4,493,439

Male

74%

51%

Female

26%

49%

Black

17%

8%

Hispanic

48%

46%

White

28%

33%

Other

7%

14%

Ages 10-11

2%

24%

Ages 12-14

27%

38%

Ages 15-17

71%

38%

(Brown, B., Cabrel, E., & Steenhausen, P. 2007).

  • In 2005, males accounted for 74% of all juvenile arrests in California. Males accounted for more than 80% of all juvenile felony arrests.
  • Most juveniles arrested in 2005 were age 15-17. Only 2% of juvenile arrests were in the 10 and 11 age group.
  • Black and Hispanic juveniles represented about ½ of California’s juvenile population age 10 thru 17 in 2005, but they accounted for almost 2/3 of juvenile arrests.

The second state used for this paper is Michigan.

Table 2 2005 Michigan Juvenile Arrests by Gender, Race, and Age

Females

Males

Age group

Total

Black

Hispanic

White

Other

Black

Hispanic

White

Other

10 & under

87

3

0

10

2

32

0

40

0

11-12

1,009

114

0

133

7

342

0

384

29

13-14

3,380

407

0

630

41

1,099

0

1,141

62

15

2,974

342

0

578

24

918

0

1,063

49

16

3,279

342

0

663

34

866

0

1,330

44

Total juveniles

10,729

1,208

0

2,014

107

3,257

0

3,958

184

(MSP Criminal Justice Information Center. 2005).

  • In 2005 the Index crime offenses that were reported was 367,396.
  • In 2005 the Index Crime Offenses arrested that were reported was 56,272.
  • 10,729 juveniles were arrested.
  • 40,569 juveniles arrested were male.
  • 15,703 juveniles arrested were females.
  • In Michigan, the juvenile age ends at 16.

The third state chosen was New York.

Table 3-2008 New York juvenile arrests by Gender, Race, and Age

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