Reconstruction of NC Juvenile Justice
The Juvenile Justice system today consists of many different areas of expertise. Juvenile Justice Workers, for example, are individuals working in this area. Juvenile Justice Workers must work to rehabilitate deviant youthful offenders and help to place them back into society as fit individuals. They must develop an understanding of the place children fit into society. This can be a lengthy and difficult task dependent upon state laws. This is why I believe the state of North Carolina is in need of juvenile reform.
The state of North Carolina is one of three states in which a juvenile can be charged as an adult at the age of sixteen. Any youthful offenders entering the court system prior to the age of sixteen will enter through the Juvenile Justice system. This is why the system today is failing in many areas.
Local law enforcement find themselves arresting and re arresting the same offenders, only for the courts to release them over and over. Many law enforcement agencies have developed a “why bother” attitude due to the failings of the Juvenile Justice System and juvenile delinquency prevention.
Policymakers and citizens alike need to focus their attention on the reform of the Juvenile Justice system, contributing needed attention to the problematic areas such as Gang Awareness Programs, truancy, and runaways. Also; the establishment of new penitentiaries should be on the top agenda. Juvenile penitentiaries should be structured in such a way to include specialized programs of interest, benefiting all offenders including status offense youths in need of rehabilitation.
Teaching life skills to incarcerated offenders will provide them with a meaningful education and vocational opportunities. This will equip them with the tools for a successful termination and thus, they will be less likely to re-offend.
Without the proper consideration of the Juvenile Justice System, society as a norm will diminish, leaving open only avenues of criminality to today’s youth. Today is the time of rehabilitation and reform assuring a bright future for the youth of North Carolina and America! I believe now is the time for more structure within the Juvenile Justice System.
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