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Date Created: 11/06/15
Week 1 Discussion: Parens Patriae 1 CJA 374: Juvenile Justice Systems and Processes Week 1 Discussion: Parens Patriae 2 Week 1 Discussion: Parens Patriae According to Champion (Ch. 1), “Parens patriae is a concept that originated with the King of England during the twelfth century. It means literally the father of the country. Applied to juvenile matters, parens patriae means that the king is in charge of, makes decisions about, and has the responsibility for all matters involving juveniles.” After kids turned seven years old if they committed a crime, the king was the one who decided their fate. Juveniles did not have any rights in the court system. The state became assumed responsibility for juveniles behavior after the age of seven instead of the children’s parents. Supporting this theory McGhee and Waterhouse (2007) states that, “children were wards of the court, and the court was vested with the responsibility of safeguarding their welfare.” Parents were responsible for making children and the state was responsible for making them productive members of society, as well as, dealing with them when they were not. Parens Patriae definitely still influences juveniles courts today. The court systems have adopted the parens patriae theory being more lenient on juveniles by trying not to incarcerate them but to rehabilitate them. They do this by offering programs, counseling, restitution towards victims, mild sanctions, probation, and more. To play the devil’s advocate, Champion (Ch. 1) states that, “ the strong treatment or rehabilitative orientation reflected by the parens patriae concept is in conflict with the contemporary juvenile justice themes of accountability, justice, and due process.” The gettough movement is geared toward harsher punishments for juveniles. If I had a child who was arrested I would prefer the judge go with a the get tough movement I would want my child to learn their lesson and understand what consequences could come from Week 1 Discussion: Parens Patriae 3 one bad decision. I believe if you are too lenient and give a child too many chances they start to try to get away with things and do not take you serious. I would really want my child to get a rude awakening if he or she was arrested. The get tough movement is the best chance we have at shocking children who are committing crimes and whip them back into shape. Week 1 Discussion: Parens Patriae 4 References Champion, Dean J. The Juvenile Justice System: Delinquency, Processing, and the Law. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010. Print. McGhee, J., and L. Waterhouse (2007). “Classification in Youth Justice and Child Welfare: In Search of ‘The Child.’” Youth Justice 7:107–120. The theory behind the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate them but then in the adult system it is to punish them. Why do you think this is and do you agree with it? Should we not be pushing to rehabilitate adults to because more then likely they will get out of prison or jail someday I feel we should be pushing for rehabilitation for adults because they will be released at some point and if they do not have the means and education to be able to improve themselves and some type of a skill they will only return to what they know then which is a life of crime. That is like setting them up to fail.
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