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Crime Causation and Diversion, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 904

Essay

Introduction

Juvenile delinquency involves those criminal acts done by the youth before they attain the age of majority. Delinquency also encompasses status offenses. These offences are deeds done by the juveniles, but are not supposed to be done since they are still minors. A status offense goes against social regulations or an act that is not morally correct. Juvenile diversion, intervention or prevention programs, is aimed at preventing and assisting juveniles who are at risk of carrying out criminal activities to stay away from these activities. Among these programs is the diversion, which usually occurs, before a trial, and probation, which is after a conviction. The probation program usually occurs after a conviction as a form of punishment.

Probation

The basic functions of juvenile probation programs are to intake screening of juvenile cases referred from juvenile courts, pre sentence investigation of juveniles, and court supervision of juvenile offenders. The types of juvenile probation are supervised probation, where the juvenile should report to the probation staff at regular intervals and the officer will prepare a report on some stipulated aspects (Freeman, 2001, p.88). The other type is unsupervised probation. This is where the juvenile is not supposed to make a report to the probation officer, but still perform some stipulated tasks such as community service and avoid criminal activities. The goal of probation programs mainly is to assist youth accomplishes the supervisions ordered by the court and helps them keep away from criminal conducts in the future. Probation officers help the juveniles in both supervising and guiding according to the court orders. Concerning the prevention future crimes, those who assessed on low crime levels get minimal supervision. Those assessed on a high or moderate risk of committing a subsequent crime get community supervision programs. Usually the probation units include screening, intake, low-level supervision, standard range supervision, diagnostics, and sex offenders. The participants in probation programs are the juvenile the probation officer and the guardians or parents of the juvenile.

Diversion

Juvenile diversion is the diversion of the youth from the juvenile justice system. Diversion programs tend to find alternatives to prevent the juveniles from the formal process of justice. These programs involve youth referred to the program by teachers, parents or law enforcers because they seem to be at risk of committing crimes or those who have been arrested. Diversion programs may involve treatment programs, training of parents, programs to mentor, underage drug abuse, and intervention programs. The objective of this program is to redirect the youth from the process of the judicial process while in the process making them responsible for their actions. They assist the youth to overcome their problems without going to court. Diversion programs are also not costly as compared to court proceedings (Greenwood, 2007, p.190). The main goal of the diversion program is to tackle deviant behavior by juveniles with a view of preventing any future offenses by the juveniles. When a juvenile is referred to diversion the diversion officer may refer the individual to community service, restitution, counseling or educational programs. The diversion service is usually voluntary, and for its success, the juvenile’s parents or guardians and the juvenile should be willing to work with the diversion staff. The goal of juvenile diversion is to keep the juveniles out of the justice system, when they go into the system they learn criminality and, therefore, the best solution is to prevent the juveniles from getting inside the system. Juvenile diversion Is done at a lower cost by working with the youth and their parents in their local communities. Diversion programs are preferred because they decrease the stigma related to court convictions. Diversion also assists to build and improve the social adjustment of individuals through improving self-esteem, building family relationships and improving the skills of decision-making (Taylor, 2006, p.130). Diversion also reduces litigation costs and improves efficiency in the justice system. The participants involved in diversion are the juvenile the parents or guardians and the diversion officer.

Conclusion

Between probation and diversion, diversion is the best since it happens before any entrance of a conviction is while probation usually occurs after a conviction. Diversion also focuses on the root issues of the problem that leads to the diversion. When one opts for diversion, it implies that the juvenile has not proceeded with the justice system and, therefore, have no criminal record after the diversion is complete. This only applies if the individual successfully completes the diversion process otherwise; the initial process applies in case the juvenile does not complete the program. In case of probation, there is already a criminal record when the probation program is completed. The difference is that, in a diversion, one goes through a process of treatment and other specified conditions in order to avoid conviction. It applies when incarceration or strict supervision is not required. On the other hand, probation happens in a situation where one is convicted of any offense but instead of incarceration one is allowed to release but is supervised. Diversionary programs tend to avoid conviction and incarceration while probation is a form of punishment after a conviction and a juvenile risks incarceration in case of violation of probation conditions.

 

 

References

Freeman, M. (2001). Substance abuse intervention, prevention, rehabilitation, and systems change strategies: helping individuals, families, and groups to empower themselves. Cengage Learning.

Greenwood, W. (2007). Changing Lives: Delinquency Prevention as Crime-Control Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Taylor, W. (2006). Juvenile justice: policies, programs, and practices. New York: John Willey and Sons.

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