Ask students to research the evolution of the juvenile court. What principles were the juvenile court founded on? How is the juvenile court system different from the adult court system? Some people believe that due to the nature of juvenile offending today, the juvenile court should be abolished. Do students agree? Why or why not?
Have students research and present on the relationship between age and juvenile offending. Based on what we know about age of onset, what can we do to effectively address and prevent juvenile offending?
Provide your students with a few scenarios of violent and nonviolent crimes and have each determine by what methods a juvenile offender can have his or her case transferred to adult court. What are the advantages of transfer? What are the disadvantages?
Have students research the types of programs available to juvenile offenders in your area. Have them explain which, if any, needs to be revamped or seems unfair to the juveniles or the law-abiding public.
Have your students debate the future of juvenile corrections. Will it become harsher or less harsh? What about adjudication? Have them look at high-profile cases such as the “Slenderman” attempted murder case for examples.
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