Juvenilesand The Legal Process.
Juvenilethese are courts that deal with cases which belong to minors.Juvenile court system organization and their method of operation aredifferent compared to the adult court. When these minors commit anycrime instead of been arrested as in the case of adult court they aredetained. The mode of operation of these juvenile court varies fromstate by stateSiegel, Larry, and Brandon. (241).
Thispaper focuses on the juvenile crime problem, necessary steps topromote safe schools, traumatic events experienced by many studentsand applicable law and procedures that govern juvenile crime and thecourts. In my paper I have concentrated on Birmingham as my state
Juvenile crime problem.
Thenature of juvenile crimes in Birmingham according to FBI reports isthat most of the juvenile crimes are committed by black minors whoare between 10-17 years. The type of crimes which are common here arethe violent crimes such as raping, homicide, robbery, domesticviolence and assault. Similarly, other crimes that are evident hereis motor vehicle theft and also vandalism.
Accordingto BessemerCutoff Chief Assistant District Attorney Bill Veitch, in Birminghamabout 16 minors were found to be responsible for murder on January2015. This was inclusive of a 15-year-old who was charged ofmurdering three people and suspected of killing another one.Moreover, a 13-year-old was charged for shooting another kid. By 2015December there were 298 warrants issued on juveniles. In 2014, 360teens were charged for various crimes as compared to 2013 where 386teens were charged. This research was done in Jefferson county inBirmingham division. In statistics it is believed that Birminghamexperiences the highest juvenile crimes compared to all othercommunities in US. Due to these crimes, Birmingham is believed to bethe most dangerous state in America Siegel, Larry, and Brandon.(234).
Thesecrimes are triggered by some factors such as family issues, economicand social problems. The family issues include the structure of thefamily, neglecting a child, how a family is being managed forinstance how children are supervised and controlled by their parents.The social factors are the peer pressure situation. The economicalfactor which mostly triggers these crimes are the poverty of thefamily and the peers economic level Taylor and Robert. (167).
Consequently,to combat these crimes most of the schools have collaborated withNational Crime
PreventionCouncil. This body was established in 1998. It was created to help incrime prevention in Canada collaborating with all the levels of thegovernment. It helps in reducing crimes by analyzing on the riskfactors before the crime happens. The agency gives information on howto choose, analyses and help in promoting the sustainability ofoperative programs to combat crimes. Their methods of operations areknowing the community issues and factors, selecting an operativeprogram to prevent crimes, implementation and performance evaluation.
Theschool districts which have collaborated with NCPC according tostatistics, juvenile crimes have decreased by 25% within a period ofsix months Grisso and Thomas (163)
Safeschools are where there is a conducive environment for learning. Thenecessary steps to promote safe school is the involvement of thewhole school that is ensuring that the relationship between teachersand students is good. Secondly, is effective school leadership theprincipal and the student leaders. The process of engaging parentsand the community also play a vital role. Also incase of making thebest decisions, there is need to use the relevant data. Then there isneed to expect good consistency of behaviors as well as effectiveteaching Taylor and Robert. (167).
Topromote safe schools there is need to take all the necessary measuresto prevent these crimes. For example, how to assesess a student whohas the potential to commit a crime. These students have the signsthat if detected earlier necessary counselling can be done to preventa crime. First, counsellors suggest that these students they showtheir signs before engaging in a violent crime by drawing or throughwriting. They use violent drawings or writings. These writings can bein letters or in poems forms. Similarly, these students imposeseveral threats to other students. These threats should be welladdressed. The threats such as I’m going to kill you or somethingwill happen to you. Also, students who had past violent acts towardsother student have high tendency of repeating the same crime. Theyneed to be observed keenly. Students who mostly have the tendency oftorturing animals or inflicting them have the probability of actingthis towards fellow students. Finally, students who have experiencedrelationship breakups have likelihood of committing violent crimes.These students need to be counselled or reported to NCPC Siegel,Larry, and Brandon. (226).
Thecrimes committed by juveniles they do it as a gang. Teens engage inthese crimes due to poverty, feeling neglected by their families,peer pressure, school failure and domestic violence. These youthgangs are in each state. It is believed that in US there are 3,875gangs made of youths. Their crime has spread from inner cities whichholds a high population to the smaller cities and villages. The useof police in combating drug trafficking by involving communities.Also, the support from community and youth in planning andimplementing are very important.
Isa situation that causes physical, mental and emotional distress.Physical abuse means harming a child physically or injuring a childto hurt the child or deliberately moves. The indicators of physicalabuse are such as unexplained burns, cuts, fractures abrasions andbruises. Also other indicators are fearing of adults or specificpersons, violent attacks to other children, wearing dresses with theintention of hiding injuries and finally being unable to remember thecauses of injuries. The indicator mental abuse is insomnia or bedwet. Sexual abuse indicators include child clothes being stained orbloods in the underclothes, unusual itching in genital or sufferingfrom STDs.
Childrenbeing abused have high chances of engaging themselves in crimes as aresult of feeling guilty and suffering from distress. Due to thisstate laws and federal laws have been enacted. This have led toseveral people being detained. These persons harm the child andteachers have been given responsibilities to ensure that they reportany suggestive sign of a child been abused. The government usesseveral methods to prevent these kind of abuse. For instance,community education which helps families and children with adequateknowledge.
Thegovernment uses programs that educate parents on how to healthy raisetheir children. Also the programs in educating children on theproblems encountered by taking drugs, sex or involvement in youthgangs. There is also the use after school programs such as scouts,involvement in church groups and voluntary work in the community.These helps the teens to have the chance to interact safely.
Theschools district needs to use counsellors who help in identifyingseveral symptoms that can be observed in several students. This helpin reducing the children crimes in school.
Thestudents affected by drugs need to have detoxification programs asthis have proven positive to students in other schools who were usingdrugs before. This program helps drug addicts’ student to abstain.
Onceyouth experiences these traumatic events they may find themselvescommitting suicide. It is easy to prevent this if the signs are wellknown. These symptoms include, suggestive words like I’m thinkingof committing suicide or saying I wish I could die, or tellingfriends that he/she suspects of something to happen, sharing his/herfavorite possessions to other friends or throwing them away, being ina very happy mood simultaneously followed by signs of depression andfinally the teen may create suicidal notes or letters. Teens alwaysfind hard to commit suicide teachers and other professionals beenconversant with these can help prevent youth suicidal Siegel, Larry,and Brandon. (211)
Law and procedures
InBirmingham, curfew law which took effect on October 2008 states thatchildren under the age of 17 are not allowed in streets of Birminghamduring weekdays after 9.00pm. On weekends they are prohibited to bein the streets after 11.00pm. the federal juvenile law states thatminors have the right to be separated from the adults they can’t bejailed if this place is not secure not be to detained longer than itis required before they face federal magistrates and not detained fora longer period than the crime committedGrisso and Thomas. (123).
Theprocedure in juvenile courts are different from the adult courts.Here, the minor is arrested by police officers or taken for referralby his/her parents. After arrest the youth should either be detainedand charged immediately or be released. This is done base on theevidence. The juvenile need to face trial for a period not exceeding24 hours from the time of arrest. If the judge will hear the case andthe youth seem to be hostile to the community is detained. There aretwo types of petitions one being delinquency petitions and waiverpetitions, a waiver petition makes the youth be taken to criminalcourt where he/she is treated as an adult. Unlike adult’s courtswhere one is arrested and taken to a county jail. Also in adultcourts one has right to bond while in a juvenile there is no bond.Finally, the adults have constitutional rights to jury unlike thejuvenile.
Grisso,Thomas. Juveniles’waiver of rights: Legal and psychological competence.Vol. 3. Springer Science & Business Media, 2013.
Siegel,Larry, and Brandon Welsh. Juveniledelinquency: Theory, practice, and law.Cengage Learning, 2014.
Taylor,Robert. Juvenilejustice: Policies, programs, and practices.McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2014.