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The Juvenile Justice System

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Amir Mohamed

Juvenile Justice System

Assignment 1

Status Offender

         A Juvenile status offense are crimes that would not be considered a crime if it was committed by an adult. The reason being that this would be considered a        crime is because the individual is under 18. Good examples of status offenses are underage possession of alcohol, underage drinking, skipping school, and violating the city curfew. In 2004, approximately 18% of all juvenile arrests involve status offenses. Those 20% of youths that were arrested accounted for 400,000 juveniles.

Types Of Status Offenses

        “The best examples of juvenile status offenses are chronic or persistent truancy which is skipping school, running away from home, being ungovernable or incorrigible, violating city curfew laws, or possessing alcohol or tobacco (American Bar Association).”

Most city laws prohibit minors from taking a certain amount of unexcused school absences. If caught being truant, juveniles may be processed in juvenile court or have the state investigate and have child services take over. In some states parents can also be held accountable for their children's truancy and may be fined or jailed.

Why These Crimes Are Committed

From my point of view these offenses are often committed because of many reasons such as peer pressure, bad parenting, abused children, parents who take drugs, divorce situations, low income and etc. when a child is born he tend to smile in your face when you feed it, play with it, bath it, and dress it, but when you neglect your child he tends to cry for attention sometimes by breaking something, embarrassing you in a public place or causing pain to him/her self. The same rules apply to a grow youth that turns his frustration to committing status offences. A parent who is going through divorce or is abusing drugs tends to influence their children to perform these crimes to get attention from someone else and release stress. A personal experience of mine is very similar to this except I was never in trouble with the law.

        Growing up I was an abused child from an angry middle-aged father who abuses drugs. I turned in every angle there was to find help but couldn’t. I knew that if I were to tell my counselor and child services showed up to my house I would be dead meat by my father so I chose weed. Weed relaxed my muscles and took stress off my mind. As I grew up I noticed this is not the answer and I started taking my stress off my back by going to the gym and performing intense workouts until I was old enough to move out.

Main Causes

American Bar Association states that “Research indicates that many youth who run away were physically or sexually abused at home in the year prior to their runaway episode. Family dysfunction and drug use in the company of the child are also endangerment factors for youth who run away”. Sexual abuse may not necessarily mean that another perpetrator who’s not family is the abuser. In a lot of cases the father of a child is the abuser, which is why youths have no other choice besides committing suicide or abuse others. When these kids are arrested the republican mindset gets put in the officers head and instead of using police discretion and letting the teen go they think arresting them with out finding the core problem to the situation is the right thing to when in reality it leads to recidivism. For everyone who doesn’t know what recidivism is its re-incarceration for committing the same or another a different crime and ending up in jail again.



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