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Juvenile Sentencing Alternatives To Incarceration

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Juvenile Sentencing Alternatives to Incarceration
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There are many different ways to punish a juvenile for a crime that they have committed. The
most common is incarceration, otherwise known as jail or prison. This option has many disadvantages.
I will explore the different aspects of incarceration: how it affects the juveniles, and if, over all, it is an
effective way to punish young criminals. I will then present several alternatives to incarceration, now
being used, such as: community diversion, counseling, education, behavior management, probation, as
well as other methods that not only punish the juvenile, but also provide an opportunity for
rehabilitation. For this paper, when talking about incarceration and community alternatives as
sentencing options, I intend for them to be applied to the not as serious juvenile crimes. Status offenses,
minor in possession, breaking and entering, and minor burglary charges would fall into this category.
However, I think for more serious, violent crimes there is less discretion as to punishment options, and
therefore most community alternatives may not apply to them.
Incarceration for juveniles in this country is largely based upon our criminal justice system for
adults. As Jeffery Fagen (2010) states in his article, there are many similarities between the two
systems. The primary goal of both is to punish and isolate the offenders from the outside. Freedom of
movement is severely limited, as is contact with family and friends. Fagen (2010) states: …Privacy is
nonexistent; and the choice of clothing, language, and other modes of personal expression is off-limits.
Whatever developmental importance these forms of self-expression and self-determination may have
for adolescents, it is sacrificed to the primary goals of security, control, discipline, and punishment. (p.
43)
While the above statement about correctional facilities may be helpful for adult criminals, I do
not think that it is in the best interest of a juvenile because they have not yet reached full maturity. They
are still young kids that need guidance and direction. They cannot just be locked up and be expected to
reform. How are they going to reform and become productive members of society if there is no
education? Another drawback to the incarceration of juveniles is cost. There has been in recent years a

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Juvenile Sentencing Alternatives to Incarceration Instructor Class Date Name There are many different ways to punish a juvenile for a crime that they have committed. The most common is incarceration, otherwise known as jail or prison. This option has many disadvantages. I will explore the different aspects of incarceration: how it affects the juveniles, and if, over all, it is an effective way to punish young criminals. I will then present several alternatives to incarceration, now being used, such as: community diversion, counseling, education, behavior management, probation, as well as other methods that not only punish the juvenile, but also provide an opportunity for rehabilitation. For this paper, when talking about incarceration and community alternatives as sentencing options, I intend for them to be applied to the not as serious juvenile crimes. Status offenses, minor in possession, breaking and entering, and minor burglary charges would fall into this category. However, I think for more serious, violent crimes there is less discretion as to punishment options, and therefore most community alternatives may not apply to them. Incarceration for juveniles in this country is largely based upon our criminal justice system for adults. As Jeffery Fagen (2010) states in his article, there are many similarities between the two systems. The primary goal of both is to punish and isolate the offenders from the outside. Freedom of movement is severely limited, as is contact with ...
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