Study of Public Attitudes
Demand for moral change in the society has resulted to increased youth crime and violence. This has facilitated politicizing of the youth justice and introduction of harsher punitive measures for the convicted youths found to have participated in serious and repeated offenses. The study focuses on the perception of ordinary people on how they perceive juvenile criminal justice system. The two interviewees, both male and a female from different ethnic group in the country are to represent the distinct categories within the society. As part of your interview, the respondents are given a copy of the fictionalized learner rap sheet avatar to enquire how the respondents feel the juvenile justice system should deal with the individual and whether this would be done effectively and appropriately.
The first interviewee is a 45-year-old African American woman based in Alberta. The woman is a hairdresser in an advanced beauty business in the outskirts of the city. As an African American, she views herself as a middle class in the social structure and believes in moral uprightness in the society. She is a staunch Christian and asserts that everybody should be serious with religious standing then the moral decadence in the society would be easily managed. She asserts that the society is morally decaying and becoming inhabitable due to human greed and unlimited resources that demands that a person works hard to earn a good life. When asked about the biggest problems, the respondent affirms that it is greed for money. Her input into the study is highly significant as she highlights her perception towards juvenile criminal justice system and that of her ethnic group. Her input is of great significance to the study as she emphasizes the perception of the African Americans, who have been victims of the justice system. Though she had not experienced the system personally, most of her brothers and friends from their ethnic background have been suspects and convicts.
The second interviewee is a 22-year-old white student working in a cafeteria shop in California. He is representative of the male gender who is assumed as the most destructive and hence subjects of the justice system action. He is significant in the study since he represents the whites who are assumed to be favored by the system and the male, who are otherwise assumed as more dangerous than the females. This interviewee believes that the society is a beautiful and quite place made inhabitable by the few in the society who lack proper guidance. According to the respondent, the biggest problem in the society is poor upbringing. He has not experienced the system other than knowing its roles in the society.
- Where do you live?
- What was your highest academic level?
- What do you do for a living?
- How would you describe your “social standing” or class background?
- How would you describe your political views?
- What values are most important to you?
- What do you think are society’s biggest problems?
- Have you had personal experiences with the juvenile justice system?
Juvenile Justice System
- How can you define the juvenile justice system?
- Is the juvenile justice system effective and fair? If so, how?
- Are there flaws in the system? If so, what are they, and how do you think they could be fixed?
- How do you believe victims of juvenile crime are treated by the system?
- How do you think our society in general views the juvenile justice system?
- How do you believe people in your community typically feel about the ways that juvenile offenders are treated by the juvenile justice system?
- Is there any difference in the juvenile judiciary system from the present punitive actions and punitive actions 20 years ago?
Analysis and Comparison of the Views of the respondents
The public relies on the criminal justice system to maintain safety and order. The public expects the system to separate the accountable from the blameless, debilitate the dangerous groupings, and enhance prevention and justice of the suspects (Caputo & Vallee, 2014). This is with a bid to create fairness and rehabilitate the society. The system is also expected to assist offenders re-enter the community after they are through with the sentences, which is contrary to the perception of the citizens. Even though both participants assert that the system has been domineering in prevention of crime as well as its control, punishment from the same structure has been overbalanced as offenders have been imprisoned, yet majority of the offenders have been of the non-violent category. The participants went on to assert that the system has obstructed admission to judicial relief when these confinements remain harsh and unconstitutionally abusive. Offenders continue to be punished even after they have been released from incarceration, through strict collateral consequences that prevent them to remain law abiding and contributing citizens. These youths and suspected youths have been deprived of the opportunity to access educational and social services. The result has been failure in preventing crime and recidivism.
Analysis and comparison of the respondents’ perception on the learner rap sheet avatar
After the respondents viewed the picture, they saw an honorable and active citizen in development issues. According to them, there is a high probability of the lady becoming a better and a law-abiding citizen if given proper guidance and rehabilitation. The woman asserted that many of the young girls fail to achieve their life ling dreams due to similar challenges the girl has faced. According to her, with the present guidance and improved systems, the convict’s life will improve.
Analysis of these views in relation to the political orientations, personal and occupational circumstances, prior experiences, and social statuses of the respondents
Society is significant as it defines personal morals and defines the surrounding. This is probably the greatest similar finding I had from the interviews. This is because the society has largely defined their perception towards the law and the justice system. The white man believes that with the right upbringing and adherence to the laws, and then there is no need to fear the juvenile system. According to him, the system was structured as a corrective measure to the failed morals in humans. He believes the justice system will make changes to the society and contribute to a stronger, fairer, and more democratic country. This feeling is also felt from the interview with the woman who has been part of the ethnic look that has been looked down upon for ages. According to her, the justice system cannot be fair due to complicated issues in the society such as the definition and meaning of gender and race. This is because she has seen and testifies of numerous lost hopes and future in the lives of the African Americans who have been negatively accused of drug abuse and other criminal activity because if the color of their skin. Her belief and perception towards the system is largely defined by the social status and prior experience she has had as an African American leaving in the suburbs.
Impact of the perceptions on the juvenile justice system
The belief that the improvements in the system will contribute to a stronger and fairer America is essential for introducing justice to the citizen, since a positive feedback from the citizen results to better relationship between the two parties. This is more prevalent when the system is focused in reconstituting the society, and regulating itself to affect positively other aspects in common citizen’s life. When this relationship fails, the system’s policy and goals to the society stops working
The system is presently focused on achieving its goals of reducing the high rates of incarceration in America. The system desires to minimize the high number of American youths behind bars, especially people of color. This desire has generated diverted use of valuable resources in deterring and punishing crimes. Another approach is through public education where public views are gathered and reviewed for enhanced teachings. For this reason, this research is highly significant as it contributes to the public view and the form of information to be included to public trainings.
The public relies on the criminal justice system to keep the society safe and maintain order. A branch of this system, the juvenile system facilitates reforms among the youths after they have completed their sentence (American Bar Association, 2015). Even though the society is in need of improved moral standards, increased crime has resulted to politicizing of the youth justice and introduction of harsher punitive measures for the convicted youths in serious and repeated offenses.
American Bar Association.(2015). Criminal Justice System Improvements. Page 1-13
Caputo, T. & Vallee., M. (2014) Review of the Roots of Youth Violence: Research Papers. A
Comparative Analyses of Youth Justice Approaches. Vol 4.