Discussion Reply should be 500 words each and include correct usage of APA format, your Christian world view, and relevant in-text support for both. Also, include a reference at the conclusion of each response in proper APA format.
This paper will discuss the juvenile justice system, the Uniform Juvenile Court Act, delinquency, and unruly juveniles. Juvenile crimes are complex, and many issues arise when discussing offenses and rehabilitation. Consistency is critical when handling underage offenders and different avenues must be explored in order to encompass the true proactive and reactive controls that are in place. Juveniles can be charged as delinquent, unruly, and deprived, according to the Uniform Juvenile Court Act of 1968 and this act has given power to the law enforcement, courts, judges, and guardians in order to lessen the chances of criminality and offer opportunities to rehabilitate juvenile defendants. This paper will also discuss curfew violations and the two different avenues that can be utilized in order to ensure compliance and set forth rehabilitative measures, if called for. A biblical perspective will also be illustrated in order to understand the Holy Bible’s perspective on guardianship and the importance of God’s instructions to parents of children and their raising.
Keywords: Uniform Juvenile Court Act, Unruly, Delinquent
Juvenile Delinquency: The Scope of the Courts
The Uniform Juvenile Court Act (1968)is an act whose purpose was to develop and implement clarification and uniformity in the United States’ juvenile justice system (Cox, Allen, Hanser, & Conrad, 2018). According to Quinn (2015), a conflict of ideology has existed since the inception of the juvenile justice system regarding policies, purpose, and operation. The United States and their juvenile justice system are not consistently uniform due to the differences in state legislatures, standard operating procedures, regulations, and codes. Every court and their respective jurisdictional bounds operate under their legal and procedural state boundaries but under federal guidelines. However, the United States and the present-day juvenile criminal justice system has a rehabilitative state of mind and can handle cases that involve juvenile delinquency, neglect, abuse, and dependency (Cox et al., 2018). These uniformities come from the Uniform Juvenile Court Act (1968). Also, this act has given power to other individuals charged with the guardianship of juveniles, and many jurisdictions have provided multiple scenarios in which a juvenile can be charged with in this scope.
Scope of Juvenile Courts Act and Delinquency
The scope of the juvenile court act set forth legal precedence over juveniles, their age, jurisdiction, waivers, and legal definitions (Cox et al., 2018). The Uniform Juvenile Court Act (1968) declares and defines juvenile delinquency in three distinctive categories (delinquent, deprived, and unruly) (Cox et al., 2018). A delinquent child is a child, under the age of 18, that has committed crimes, other than minor traffic offenses, and needs for the courts to intervene in order to offer rehabilitation. However, an individual who is 21 and under can be tried in a juvenile court if the defendant was under the age of 18 at the time of formal charges (Cox et al., 2018). Curfew violations would fall under the category of delinquency and most jurisdictions, if not all, have state laws and regulations that dictate the times in which a juvenile should be home or under the careful direction of a capable guardian.
According to Cox et al. (2018), a “delinquent act means an act designated a crime under the law, including local [ordinances] or [resolutions] of this state, or of another state, if the act occurred in that state, or under federal law, and the crime does not fall under paragraph (jii) of subsection (4) [and is not a juvenile traffic offense as defined in section 44] [and the crime is not a traffic offense as defined in Traffic Code of the State] other than [designate the more serious offenses which should be included in the jurisdiction of the juvenile court such as drunken driving, negligent homicide, etc.] (p. 395).
Therefore, according to the Uniform Juvenile Court Act (1968) a juvenile, under the age of 18, can be charged and tried in a juvenile court for a curfew violation if there is a legal code that dictates behavior of such persons.
However, a child who is disrespectful and does not obey the commands of guardians can be classified and charged under the unruly juvenile subsection. According to Cox et al. (2018), an unruly child is one who, “is habitually disobedient of the reasonable and lawful commands of his parent, guardian, or other custodian and is ungovernable” (p. 396). For example, a parent, in Tennessee, can formally charge a juvenile, under a petition, for being unruly or delinquent without the intervention of law enforcement or court officers. Parents should be allowed to enforce the rules and regulations that are set forth regarding their children. Some rules and regulations that are handed down by guardians are stricter than the state or local codes and help ensure the child’s safety, compliance, and practical upbringing.
Therefore, if state law mandates that a child is to be home at 11 p.m., but the guardian has set forth rules governing a most restrictive time, then the juvenile can be charged under the unruly category and brought before the court for their disobedience. These guardian codes of conduct are enforceable, and the Uniform Juvenile Court Act (1968) has granted categorical classification for unruliness in order to bring juveniles before the court to answer for their disobedience. This classification is different from other formal social controls and allows parents to have more teeth when instructing and raising their children
One biblical perspective on delinquency can be defined in Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (New International Version). Religious upbringings and biblical interpersonal relationships have been credited as a critical protective and proactive control over juvenile delinquency (Spencer, 2014). The Holy Bible instructs parents to raise their children by the instructions given by God and that children should follow the instruction and example set forth by their parents. Exodus 20:12 states, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” However, biblical parental guidance is not the only important factor. According to Spencer (2014), “It also finds that much of the relationship between familial religiosity and juvenile delinquency is mediated by the mechanisms of marital relationship, parenting practice, and attachment to parents” (p. 436). Therefore, parents should not merely coach and share the Holy Bible and its instruction but lead a life that promotes an example of behavior for children.
Before the Uniform Juvenile Court Act (1968) juvenile courts did not have a purpose or a scope regarding juveniles and specific crimes and classifications. This document has proved to set some consistencies regarding ages, jurisdictions, and other critical factors when presiding over juvenile offenders. The act sets forth definitions, classifications, jurisdictions, and powers that the court can exercise when rehabilitating this type of offender within the criminal justice system. The Uniform Juvenile Court Act (1968) has also given parents the ability to enforce their own moral and ethical code by allowing children who disobey their parents’ commands to be seen before the courts. This method is critical due to the research that many juvenile crimes are not formally prosecuted within the juvenile justice system and parents having the most exposure to a child during these developmental years. Also, biblical perspectives have offered instruction on how proactive measures can be offered by the parental units of children to prevent delinquency. Juvenile criminal acts are very complex and diverse legal situations that require attentive and sometimes delicate resolutions in order to resolve and prevent more offending and lessen recidivism.
Cox, S., Allen, J., Hanser, R., & Conrad, J. (2018). Juvenile justice: A guide to theory, policy, and practice (9thed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Quinn, M. (2015). In loco juvenile justice: Minors in munis, cash from kids, and adolescent pro se advocacy-Ferguson and beyond. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2015(5), 1247-1308.
Spencer, D. (2014). Familial religiosity, family processes, and juvenile delinquency in a national sample of early adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 34(4), 436-462.
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