Thesis Sample: Juvenile Justice System
THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM IN THE CONTEXT OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the University of Flowers in partial
fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree in
Christian Baller, Ph.D.
Professor in charge of theses on behalf of the Advisory Committee
Henrik Potter, Ph.D.
Committee member from the Department of Justice
Melissa Rosse, Ph.D.
Committee member from the Board of Senior Thesis Readers
I would like to thank Dr. Christian Baller for inspiring me to explore the criminal justice system in the context of gender perspectives and guiding me through writing this paper. I would also like to thank Dr. Henrik Potter for constructive criticism and driving my interest in juvenile justice cases. I would like to thank Dr. Melissa Rosse for guidance and support with helpful advice and recommendations. Finally, I want to thank my parents and relatives that gave me constant support during my undergraduate career.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS iii
LIST OF TABLES iv
CHAPTER 1 2
LIST OF TABLES
Juvenile prisoners often have experienced childhood sexual abuse. Children tend to be involved with delinquent and criminal behavior if they are victims of sexual abuse. Childhood sexual abuse poses risks of mental disorders that potentially contribute to criminal and delinquent behavior. In the past year, the U.S. government has begun examining possibilities and current situations of services related to mental health in juvenile correctional institutions. In order to make mental health services more effective, the construction of policies must take into account the ways of life for these youth. Therefore, policymakers must design activities and mental health services accordingly. This research examines how the justice system has addressed questions around juvenile sexual abuse. The first objective of this paper is examining previous researches on child sexual delinquency and abuse.
The second objective of this paper is studying governmental approaches of the state towards juveniles who have suffered from sexual abuse. For this purpose, interviews were conducted that examined legislative state system reactions and regulations connected with childhood sexual abuse victims, as well as what procedures take place once sexual abuse is identified, what types of programs and resources are allotted to the victims, and whether or not these resources are sufficient and appropriate. Interviews were conducted with professionals who specialize in the juvenile justice system. These professionals are also advocates and specialists of childhood sexual abuse, such as juvenile probation officers and family court judges. This paper aims to evaluate the justice policy for juveniles and perceptions within states regarding the needs of juveniles who have suffered from sexual abuse.
Child sexual abuse is a sexual behavior of any nature directed toward a child by an individual. Such behavior always presupposes a breach of the child’s trust. Forms of sexual abuse can involve and don’t involve physical contact.
The American legal system is designed to respond child sexual abuse cases and plays an important role in legislation. The system is extremely complex and consists of state and federal courts, appellate and trial courts, numerous investigative agencies, and multitude of probation officers, attorneys, and related specialists. Furthermore, the legal system have particular features from place to place. The particular difficulties involved in response to child sexual abuse only complicate further an already complex legal system.
Child sexual abuse is listed as a crime of a serious level in all states, and many children give evidence in criminal proceedings. The research of American Children Association has estimated that nearly 30 percent of girls and 8 percent of boys in the U.S. had incidents of sexual abuse before the age of eighteen. These estimates are probably modest as many cases of child sexual assault or sexual abuse are never reported. (…)
The purpose of this chapter is to underline the main points in which victims have contact with the juvenile justice system presented with prosecutors, police, juvenile and criminal courts. According to the survey of The National Victimization Statistics, juveniles are the most victimized part of population. Children at the age of 12-17 are victimized three times higher than adults for robbery, rape and sexual abuse.
The overall picture of juvenile criminal system suggest that child victims of sexual crimes are treated in a distinct way from juvenile victims of other crimes. The disappointing fact is the lack of information available about cases in regard to child victims. (…)
This research has attempted to clear the issues of child victims in the juvenile justice system. The boundary between criminal courts and juvenile justice has dramatically changed for children in the past year. There is no proof that mandatory or automatic refusal to criminal court reduces recidivism and improves community safety. Nor does it provide the personalized services and approach of juvenile justice. Refusal to adult criminal court also helps to delay in adjudgment and potentially puts children to adult criminals. The ways for rehabilitation in juvenile justice system requires that the verdict corresponds the children not the crime. Instead of increasing the restrictions on juvenile justice system with compulsory refusal to adult criminal court, more options should be designed to enhance the ability to respond to every child on an individual basis. (…)
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