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Juvenile Courts 100 Years from Now

Up to the nineteenth century, there was no difference in the way children offenders and adult offenders were treated according to the law. All were given same treatment under the criminal law and as such it wasn’t difficult to find children as young as seven years old jailed in the same prison as adult offenders. This was a very unfair practise especially since the penal system used with adult offenders was clearly too harsh for the children. With the realization of this harshness came the need for rehabilitation of the children came the need for juvenile courts.

Bodenhamer (2006) agrees with Julian Mark that, the child brought before a court of law had to be made aware of the fact that he or she was to face the power of the state. The child should also be made to understand that the main objective of the state was to care for him or her. The normal system in a court of law would not be effective in achieving the purpose. According to Miller (2012), the judge, deciding on a case where the offender is a child can never evoke a proper sympathetic spirit. Rouke (2011) further contends that if the situation was made more comfortable the judge would lose none of his judicial respect and dignity instead his work would be more effective.

There have been a number of changes in the trial of juvenile offenders since the adoption of the juvenile system of justice and this is expected to increase throughout the coming years. In future, the ideal juvenile courts would be a practical institution with a number of changes. This is largely because of the need to make parents answerable for their children’s well-being and also to instil accountability in the youths for their actions.  (Leornards 2011)

100 years from now, it is expected that there will be more changes in the juvenile system. This is as a result of better understanding of the human minds and how it works. It is unlikely that the adult due process would be incorporated in the juvenile system as this would greatly disadvantage the children Stressing more adult penalties would also be contrary to the need for justice and rehabilitation of the children as this was one of the main reasons for the adoption of the juvenile system. For the juvenile system to be relevant it must address the question of whether or not the children would leave the rehabilitation centres as better beings. With the increase in human wisdom and understanding, it is more likely that in 100 years to come, the juvenile system would be more enhanced and as such they will encompass more innovative helping programs.


Bodenhamer, D. J., Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands., & Annenberg Public Policy Center. (2006). 0ur rights. Oxford: Oxford University Press Leornards, E.(2011) “The Future of the Juvenile Court: Promising New Directions.” Future of Children Publications.131- 139.

Miller, W. (2002)”The Social History of Crime and Punishment in America: An Encylopedia.” Sage Publications.3. 4-6.

Rouke, S. (2011) “Collateral Consequences.” California Courts. 10. 2-4.

Leonards, E. (2011) “The Future of the Juvenile Courts Promising New Directions.” 6. 1-8.