Week 3: guided response 1

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Each response should be a minimum of 100 words and should include your thoughts associated with their posted information. Continue to support your arguments with examples from the required materials and/or other scholarly resources. Review your classmates’ opinions in light of your understanding of the juvenile justice system. In your response, focus on alternative juvenile court solutions addressed in your readings. Provide a different perspective that either supports your classmate’s opinion or provides an alternative opinion. How does the juvenile court issue affect our social justice goals? 


I believe the philosophy behind the juvenile court system should be rehabilitation within all possibility, punitive only as a limited resort. This is because juveniles physiologically are found to have issues that are developed through their upbringing and limited understanding of how to react to situations alternatively to they way they are used to. When it comes to restorative justice the popular programs include victim-offender mediation, community service, restitution, and circle sentencing. Circle sentencing is when all parties have an opportunity to listen to each other’s account of the crime with a judge present. The judge will use these accounts to determine an appropriate sentence for the offender. (Listwan, 2013)

I believe rehabilitative programs can only be effective if the juvenile understands that the crime they committed was wrong, and only if the offender is remorseful of their actions. The offender must also be willing to change the factors that led them to crime initially. This is accomplished through risk reduction and risk control, which are designed to address these underlying causes. As critics of restorative justice point out, the fear is that the attention of the court is focused on the juvenile while no attention is paid to the rights of the victim. (Listwan, 2013) 

Historically the juvenile justice system was built on the idea of rehabilitating youth into a “second chance.” In the past youth crimes were treated not much different then those of adult offenses. It wasn’t until the 1980s that restorative justice became popular. Since then victims report that they feel less fear of repeated victimization while the offenders report to be more connected to the process and less likely for recidivism. (Listwan, 2013) I do not believe enough time and resources have been spent to fully understand the underlying circumstances behind juvenile crime. Though the majority of cases support that the offenders were subjected to dynamic family and societal circumstances that contributed to their crimes. Just last week we were discussing the life course theories and how individuals develop a lifestyle based on their surroundings.

Personally, I believe that children are born with good intentions. Family and their society dynamics are the majority contribution to juvenile crime.  

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