Juveniles and the Correctional System
It’s not the most pleasant thought when we think of a juvenile as “dangerous”
Or a “delinquent”, but there are way to many instances for us to consider. For example, the daily news doesn’t hold back when children commit crimes so horrible that there just has to be a justifiable reason for it. The truth is though, in the most recent years, about 1,350 youths under the age of eighteen are arrested for homicide (Clear, 470). Aggravated assault is the most troubling at 57,650 juveniles committing such heinous acts. These incidents remind us that kids are capable of disturbing behavior, no matter what age. Because of the severity of these cases, the juvenile system has become a gravely issue concerning correctional professionals and policy makers (Clear, 471).
The history of juvenile corrections is quite dire compared to what we have accomplished today. In the 1600’s, the Elizabeth Poor Laws were established to place delinquent children under the care of the Church wardens and overseers. Most ended up in poorhouses and working houses, working under oppressed conditions that were closely viewed as slavery (Clear, 471). Juvenile Corrections in the United States went through five pivotal stages that reflected the social, intellectual, and political currents of the time. The first period was called the “Puritan Period” which started in 1646 and lasted till 1824. The earliest attempt by the American Colonies to deal with problem children was the passage of the Massachusetts Stubborn Child Law in 1646. This act plainly stated the child was “evil” and that the family has to punish them accordingly. If the child did not obey his parents, he was punished by the law enforcers (Clear, 472). The Refugee Period started directly after 1824, lasting until 1899. During these years, reformers created institutions where delinquent children can learn skills, develop good study habits and live in a more stable environment. The first...