Assessing Juvenile Offenders

515 words | 2 page(s)

The juvenile justice system is designed to treat and rehabilitate young lawbreakers effectively. The system’s structure and the process involve three essential components of the justice system, i.e., law enforcement, court process, and correction. Under law enforcement the individuals, like the police, sheriffs, detectives, who make contact with the juvenile offenders are responsible for investigating the crimes, arresting lawbreakers and upholding the law. It is through this stage that the juveniles join the justice system. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, law enforcement dissuades the most of the juvenile offenders outside the system into alternative programs. Such decisions are settled upon after investigations have been done and it has been established that the appropriate action is to divert the matter out of the system rather than push the matter into the system (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, n.d)
Rehabilitation is the primary purpose of the juvenile justice system and a vital aspect of the process. There are different techniques and methods used to achieve this goal. These methods and interventions differ from one state to another. In the state of Texas, each county avails the services to all youths raised in the juvenile court system (Texas Juvenile Justice Department, n.d).

The probation department is tasked with handling the therapeutic interventions and sanctions imposed by the juvenile court. These interventions aim to help the young offenders to be law-abiding and productive through learning, with the aim of avoiding ‘adult prison system’.

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One of the programs the Texas Juvenile Justice Department has employed is the Work program. This program involves placing the juvenile offenders who have earned a high school GED or diploma with jobs (Trinh, 2010). This program was established through the involvement of the agency in the Youth in Custody Certificate Program with Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. According to Silver (2016), youths who are successful in their rehabilitation are allowed to take up jobs outside their facilities while the unsuccessful ones who are struggling with behavioral problems take jobs in their facilities.

Such programs offered by the Texas juvenile system are effective compared to other interventions. The program aids the youths to earn incentives and gain hands-on work skills and experiences. Consequently, they can contribute to their communities and fit in regardless of their past mistakes. Effective reentry and aftercare programs are vital for youths released from institutional confinements as they offer services that help them flourish in a noninstitutionalized environment.

  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). (n.d.). Juvenile Justice System structure and process – Case Flow Diagram. Retrieved February 10, 2018, from https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/structure_process/case.html
  • Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD). (n.d.). Overview of the Juvenile Justice System in Texas. Retrieved February 10, 2018, from http://www.tjjd.texas.gov/about/overview.aspx
  • Trinh, N. E. (2010). An evaluation of juvenile aftercare policies and practices: Assessing the Texas Youth Commission Reentry and Reintegration Model. University of Texas at Austin
  • Silver, J. (2016, March 05). Juvenile Offenders Find Rehabilitation Through New Work Program. Retrieved February 10, 2018, from https://www.texastribune.org/2016/03/05/juvenile-offenders-find-treatment-through-work/

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