Juvenile Justice History

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There are six important periods in the development of the United States Juvenile Justice system. The initial process has early ties dating back to the nineteenth century. The earliest attempt to control juvenile activity was during The Puritan Period from 1646 until 1824. The Massachusetts Stubborn Child Law was passed in 1646. The Puritans during the period regarded children as evil and put responsibility on the home to develop and increase youths. If the parents were failing, the young could, then be subject to the force. (Cole, Smith, DeJong).

During the period, children at the age of five were treated either as little adults or property. A seven-year-old baby would be sentenced in criminal courts. At 1648 in Massachusetts the person who cursed his biological parents would be put to death. The second point is The Refuge period from 1824 to 1899. Juvenile crime started to become right alongside American cities.

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In order to see the current position of juvenile offenders in the court system, particularly those tried as adults, it is essential to see the progress from which the juvenile justice originated. Up until the early nineteenth century, juveniles were heard in the same courts as every other offender. There was no difference between criminals, regardless of age. It seemed the only thing society worried about was that the crime was committed and that they took in custody the individual responsible.

In the period since the founding of the juvenile court, juvenile justice policies have developed amid the contradiction between the goals of punishment and rehabilitation of young offenders. The point and use of juvenile justice has undergone significant change in the last century. Juvenile justice systems were originally formed to protect youth from the adult systems of justice and to provide discretion in decision making involving youths so that juvenile justice actors would make decisions that were in the best interest of the children.

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