The legal status of children before 19th century was that of young adult and children as young as seven years old could be prosecuted in adult court in case. They were accused of crime and the crime once established lead to their imprisonment in adult courts. This, however, had adverse effects on the mental state of the young convicted minds. In most cases they are emerged from prison being more learned and informed in crimes owing to imprisonment with adult criminals and committed violent crimes. Thus after release from adult prison instead of being rehabilitated and as a result the crime rates soared (Chawla & Derr, 2012). In late 19th century there was a vital shift in juvenile justice system and world’s first juvenile court was established in Chicago. Based on the ideas that children were too young to take responsibility for their actions and since they were too young their character was not yet fully shaped thereby providing with the opportunity to reshape their mind, character, and personality (Giroux, 2010). These two ideas to date serve as a benchmark for juvenile justice system. However since the early nineties the world has embraced the more strict approach to juvenile crimes and the minimum age to be tried as adult has been lowered based on the opinion that if a child kills and vandalize then he should be brought to justice. It is witnessed that legislations permitting charging children like adults in case of particular serious and violent crimes. This puts an end to the discretion of judge in deciding whether a juvenile is to be prosecuted like an adult or minor and forfeiting to consider psychiatric evaluation, family status and condition of the juvenile criminals in deciding how they should be tried in court. As a result child who committed violent crimes tried in courts like adults and kept in criminal facility with adult prisoners. According to human rights report the prison conditions are frighteningly poor with serious risk of these minor convicts being assaulted and abused by the adult prisoners (Barton & Edna, 2018). Thus, inception of justice, and law, discrimination with youth, success of diversion, decriminalization, desecration and how the power and institutional injustice and prevails and gives rise to youth injustice will be discussed in this essay.
The ascendancy of injustice, law, policy and underpinning rationales: The youth injustice was a serious concern in England and Wales. Therefore the, the authorities took the notice and separates young offenders from adults and passed the act to overcome the issue of injustice. In this regard, the Royal Philanthropic Society opened a center in 1792 to assist the youth build their career so that they may remain away from crimes. Moreover, in 1823, prison ships were introduced to house some young person’s separating from the adult offenders. Similarly, Parkhurst Prison was opened in 1838 run by the state exclusively for juveniles. It was also recognized that the youth will be given full discretion to decide their lived and aspirations. In this regard, many new laws and policies were introduced (Bateman & Hazel, 2014). In 1847 Juvenile Offenders Act was introduced to ensure the justice to young persons in England. The age under 14 years was defined as the defined age of juvenile. In addition to these laws, in 1893, Reformatory Schools Act was also enacted to strengthen the justice with the youth. The reformation and policy implementation and inaction of certain laws to curb the youth injustice was not confined to the United Kingdom but this practice was adopted thoroughly by other countries as well. Because, the youth injustice was basic human rights issue and this injustice could lead to the unbearable loss of nations. In this lieu, the United States of America heeded towards this spree problem of the country. Moreover, the perennial injustice prevalent in the United States, it established its first juvenile court at Illinois in 1899 (Cushing, 2014). The basic purpose of this court was to define that the crimes committed by the youth and adults should be treated separately and they must be trialed accordingly. The juvenile justice system has grown significantly. The proceedings of the court were conducted behind the doors and only few were allowed to witness the court proceedings. Moreover, the youth justice has substantially spread its jaws to the other countries of the world that paved a way to ensure the zero tolerance towards youth injustice anywhere in the world. Moving ahead, the youth justice has been heeded significantly in these years under the auspices of the United Nations Organization. It has provided a formal and very strong documentation for ensuring the youth justice regardless of color, creed, and class. In 1953, it proclaimed a document of Human Rights of Children in which it has declare zero tolerance of youth injustice in any member state of the UNO in the world (Bishop & Frazier, 1988).
Moreover, the diversion and decriminalization has become the objective of the governments to be lessened. In England and Wales, the diversion of youth crime and injustice could only be achieved when the offense is admitted by the young offender. Failure to do so will hamper the process of diversion of youth and the criminalization will get enhanced. Sentencing and punishment for offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) is made in to enforcement when the offender does not confess the crime (Lentillon, et al., 2006). Moreover, according to latest research the young offenders who are put with the criminal justice system become more crime –centric and this affects them more strongly and pushes them to commit crimes. On the contrary when the young offenders are put with the justice system of family approach, then the youth will not commit the crime again. Today, the youth diversion has become more vigilant and operate across the United Kingdom as well. However, an international analysis that conducted a survey involving more than 73, 00 young people over 35 years showed that formal justice system with youth makes them stronger and they commit the offense time and again (Coussée, et al., 2008). The youth diversion, however, is necessarily important to ensure the youth injustice in a society. Similarly, decriminalization is a process through which the crimes are reduced and the youth are brought under better policy agenda to reduce crime.
Moving forward, in England and wales the juvenile offenders under aged 17 who were sent to the rehabilitation centers such as detention centers, borstals, and other youth custody institutions with education fell from 14000 to 1800. Similarly treatment programs to juvenile offenders have remained the prerogative of the government of England and Juvenile to overcome the youth injustice (Jenson & Howard, 1998). The ultimate objective of these programs is to make the youth of the country more efficient and responsible citizen on the country. Moreover, the development is situated within theories and examples of decarceration, deinstitutionalization, abolitionism and reductionism, drawing on attempts to close institutions or to reduce institutionalization in the fields of youth justice (Muncie, 2005). Alternative explanations of what happened in juvenile justice in England and Wales are considered and challenged. Conclusions are then drawn as to the conditions that are necessary for any decerebration strategy to be successful and sustainable. Therefore decarceration is very viable and effective for the development of youth to prevent them committing crime. This also helps the habitual youth criminals to be rehabilitated and play their definite role in the formation of better nation of England and Wales (Allen, 2012).
In addition to it, the success of diversion, decriminalization and decarceration has been promised to achieve. Recently, governments around the world have recognized the decarcation strategies. The United Nations adopted a standard of minimum Rules for Non-Custodial Measures. This states that the member states shall develop non-custodial measures within their legal systems. Thus reducing the use of imprisonment and to rationalize criminal justice system and policies (Lemert, 1981). Many successes has been achieved by the global countries to attenuate the social injustice of the youth. Firstly, drug treatment measures including diversion programs for drug offenders. Shorter sentences initiatives have been taken. Similarly, in the United States of America, Corrective Independent Review Panel was established for the purpose of this was to prepare recommendations and the recommendations regarding reducing youth crime and youth injustice were implemented successfully (Austin & Krisberg, 1981). Another success story of decarceration was that of the Finland whose decarceration rate was four times higher than those of Scandevian countries. Hence in 1950s it successfully reduced the number of prisoners. In United Kingdom, through the effective policy and legislation it has achieved significant results of decriminalization, and decarceration. In 2012, Legal Aid, Sentencing, and Punishment of Offenders Act dissolved the physical custody remand of children and enabled courts to discharge the youth offenders in the United Kingdom. Similarly, the United Kingdom has successfully achieved the goals of decarceration through effective legislation in the region .For this purpose it enacted the Transforming Youth Custody Act to secure colleges for 12-17 years old students of England. Moreover, the United Nations unanimously passed the several resolutions and articles incorporated in the UNCHR to project the youth from injustice with them. Thus, the success of diversion, decriminalization and decarceration has been heeded significantly by the governments around the world and in the United Kingdom significantly (Goldson, 2006).
Lastly, Power and institutionalized injustice has long history in both developed as well as developing country. Racial, gender and class have always remained under the severe and stringent social, economic and political injustice in developing countries and developed countries alike. In 1960s, the white showed severe injustice to the youth of black African (Roberts & Hough, 2005). The black youth of South Africa were excluded from the central policy of South Africa. They were lethargic youth injustice can be easily traced from the institutional injustice carried out by the African white rulers on African Black subduction (Forstenlechner, 2010). The unbearable institutional injustice for example, the separate schools for the youth of Africa, separate restaurants, washrooms, even shops for the African youth created the historical mayhem for the youth of Africa. This pushed the African youth under the leadership of Nelson Mandela to fight for their rights of equality. However, the injustice with the youth was institutionalized and this led towards the historical movement of Africa by Nelson Mandela. Similarly, the power and institutional injustice with youth became institutionalized in the United State of America. Therefore in USA youth of minority and non-American were treated with complete discrimination and by mean attitude of the offices (Allison, 2017). Moreover, institutional injustice prevail in a society where the people have deprived their basic human rights. In the contemporary world, the minorities in the world are being deprived of their basic social, economic and political justice and injustice happens to the minorities around the world. This minority may be cultural, ethnic, religious or political (Prettitore, 2013).
Class injustice prevails in the world. World has experienced severe class discrimination and injustice. This injustice range from workplace to educational institutions and even in the markets and at the shops as well. A survey conducted by the law firm revealed that more than half means 52 percentage of the human resource directors and managers are of the view that there existed social injustice at the workplace in the United Kingdom businesses (McKenna, 2012). The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF has assessed that due to lack of adequate record keeping accurate figure of minors held in prisons around the world cannot be established correctly. However, the number is estimated to be in millions who due to inadequate laws have been convicted of crimes that do not fall into the category of crimes in the first place. For instance, there are minors in juvenile jail for not attending school, stealing a shirt from classmate, hitting the teacher, running away from one`s home, by-passing the curfew hours .On the other hand, there are also the minors who are doing time in prison without being convicted and those who have been convicted are tried in court of law severely. Moreover, they do not have access to the educational facility in many cases and they do have access to education that hold equivalency to high school diplomas well. This is not useful in helping them for jobs and earn their living well once they are outside the prison. Furthermore, they have no contact with the outside world which has devastating effects on the young minds in some countries especially in the case of developing countries (Young, 2012). Developing and developed countries around the world are equally guilty of putting away children in jails in response to crime instead of that action being the last one to be taken in this wake. Moreover, the survey revealed that there existed 79% percentage that the promotions and recruitment opportunities in the business firm s in the United Kingdom prevailed based on class system. In Iran and Egypt, children are even granted death sentences for the crimes they commit while being below the age of eighteen despite the fact that international laws prohibit granting death sentence or a life sentence without parole to young offenders. International laws require that every country in the world must develop adequate juvenile justice system. However, Human Rights has reported several countries in Africa lacking juvenile justice system Thus, juvenile offenders are prosecuted like adults and confined in prison with adult prisoners thereby decreasing their chance of rehabilitation what so ever. In Saudi Arabia children if at the time of crime do show signs of puberty they are prosecuted in a trail like an adult further the conditions of juvenile immigrants who seek asylum in other countries equally frightening. Being in custody in custody they face inhuman staff treatment ranging from tortures to sexual abuse and being placed in overcrowded room with poor hygienic conditions. This causes skin and gastrointestinal infections being a common occurrence (Taylor, 2016). In Vietnam, Ethiopia, Zambia and many other African countries children are arrested for use of drugs and street children have been reported to be falsely accused of using drugs and put to jail (Zimring, 2015). This happens as a mean to get rid of street children rather than the mean for their rehabilitation in some countries. For example in India and Russia newborns having disabilities are taken away by the state for cure and are not appropriately attended with the required care.
Racial injustice is also the part of youth injustice. This has made significant effect on the youth injustice. Considerable higher level of unemployment is found in the race of black and Asians in the United Kingdom. Black Caribbean pupils are excluded from at 0.29 percent. The unemployment rate among blacks, Asian, and ethnic minorities is 4.6 percent and in North UK. It is 13.6 percentage (Bulman, 2017). Juvenile justice system is also not free from discrimination against color and race minors who are black and committed crimes are more likely to be put through trail in adult court instead of juvenile court. While for the same offence white children have been reported to be put through juvenile court. According to human rights watch the number of black juvenile prisoners is manifolds as compared to white offenders and offenders of crime being served with more harsher sentencing then white juvenile offenders., Apart from this, gender discrimination is also common occurrences where females have been reported to be more severely prosecuted and judged for the same crimes as compared to male crime committers. They are served with harsh sentencing and further the females have been believed to not report ill-treatment of them in prison facilities as compared to males. In this regard no concrete measures have been adopted for reforming the juvenile justice system around the globe and making it less harsh and less prone to racial and color, class and gender discrimination (Palmer, 2018). Similarly, another notable shortcoming of juvenile justice system is right to legal counsel, juvenile offenders belonging to poor families lack the financial resources required to hire an attorney to ensure appropriate hearing in court. This eliminates the chances of being served with punishment that might not be just in light of the crime committed. When juvenile criminals cannot afford an attorney they have the right to state-appointed attorney to defend them in court of law. However, these public defendants in most cases lack the training and sources necessary for juvenile prosecution and are underpaid and overburdened with work. This provides representation to juvenile offenders appropriately and due to these reasons most of the time young criminals are encouraged to give up their right. Consequently they put an end to a mean that can ensure they are represented fairly in court which is very serious on the grounds that all criminals and especially young ones need appropriate representation to make sure they are served with most just punishment in court of law (Annie, 2009). Otherwise it can put them behind bars depriving them of good education and taking them away from their families. Several instances have also been noted where children belonging to less fortunate families had to serve extended period of time in jail as they didn’t had the money to pay off their fines or court fees. Therefore, there is undeniable need to make it certain that juvenile justice systems ensure that all juvenile criminals are appropriately represented in court. None of the young offenders give up their right to counsel and that attorneys who represent the juveniles in court do have appropriate training and skills in juvenile defense. Thus the racial injustice of the youth prevailed in the world as well as in the United Kingdom.
Gender injustice is much spoken slogan in the world after 1990s around the world. This slogan of gender equality and justice started in New Zealand when it gave the vote to right to the women. Similarly, the movement in the United Kingdom in 1918 that gave right of vote and other justice to the women. However, the world has come to the conclusion that the prosperity and development of a nation can be achieved through the positive role of women and therefore, the women empowerment on all sphere of life is very vital to enhance the growth of a country. According to recent research, those countries where the gender justice prevails has 39 percent more economic as well as social growth as compared to the countries where this economic and social empowerment lags behind (Nawaz, 2013). Moreover, the gender injustice is prevalent in many developed countries as well. Such as the gender injustice with the job service, and in politics as well. There have been no any women that that become the president of the United States of America that is the flag bearer of gender equality and justice. Similarly, the juvenile justice system must acknowledge that there lies redemption for every crime especially those committed by young minds of the tender age. Instead of being punished with harsher punishments and being locked away they need nurturing and rehabilitation for being transformed into responsible safe citizens of the state in future. On the contrary to that the juvenile system of present world offers no rehabilitation by confining away juvenile prisoners who mostly serve longer period of time in jail and miss out on vital experience of growing up outside the confined walls of prison. They have lagged behind in educational and job opportunities and a chance to start a better family life once outside the prison. They are unable to fully shed away and come out of the stigma of being in prison that follows them when they come out of prison and needless to say they are judged their whole life for something they did when they were naïve and unaware of the consequences of their behavior or actions. However, gender justice needs to be prevailed in the world and in the developed nations so that the societies may develop accordingly in the 21st century of global advancement (Dickens, 2003).
Conclusively, there is a long history of youth injustice.It is an inevitable fact that the youth are the very important entity of any society of a country. The youth injustice means the injustice with the youth regarding economic, social, political and criminal spheres.Injustice with youth can deteriorate the society at the significant rate. However, the societies where the justice prevails are most developed societies and everyone gets equal social, political and economic rights. On the contrary, people who lack this, are considered as the deprived people of a country. Moreover, the perennial injustice of youth is found in world’s history where the youth has been snatched of its rights. Moreover, the perennial youth injustice had not attracted the world communities to ponder over the issue, but the start of 19th century compelled the world to think over the injustice conducted with the youth in different sectors of society to attenuate the intensity of the youth injustice. In addition to it, it was England and wales that started perennial legislation and policy-making about the youth of England. Various acts and policies were introduced to curb the perennial injustice of youth. Such as, in 1823, prison ships were introduced to house some young person’s separating from the adult offenders. Similarly, Parkhurst Prison was opened in 1838 run by the state exclusively for juveniles. It was also recognized that the youth will be given full discretion to decide their lived and aspirations. In this regard, many new laws and policies were introduced. In 1847 Juvenile Offenders Act was introduced to ensure the justice to young persons in England. The age under 14 years was defined as the defined age of juvenile. In addition to these laws, in 1893, Reformatory Schools Act was also enacted to strengthen the justice with the youth. Similarly, the injustice with youth was not confined to the general youth, but the youth injustice prevailed on the basis of class, race and gender. The racial injustice prevailed with specific religion, casts, creed, and nationality. Such as American racial injustice with Japanese American after Pearl Harbor issue, the British injustice of youth in which British excluded the youth from jobs and services, of French after escalation of tensions with France. Similarly, the gender based youth injustice has always been the serious concern for the betterment of societies. However, the perennial youth injustice has been focused by the international organizations like the United Nations Organizations, World Bank and other international actors of the world. Moreover, the success of diversion, decriminalization and decarceration has been achieved significantly through better and effective policies.
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