Essay Sample on the Missouri Model of Justice System

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For over 100 many US States had a common belief that the Juvenile Justice system was the means by which the public would be protected from the children who are in transition to adulthood. It was commonly agreed that children who engage in crimes were not in the same class as the adults who committed the same crimes. It was believed that there was a higher capacity among children to change that there is for adults. As a way of responding to these changes, there is an establishment of a separate justice system for juveniles by the state. The system is different, providing services related to the juvenile dissimilar to that of the adults. Since 1899, there has been a substantial growth as well as changes in the juvenile justice system since the establishment of the first US juvenile justice system in Illinois State. Initially, there was an informal court system whereby the court proceedings entailed a conversation between the judge and the youth, and the defendant did not have a legal representation. In order to separate the juveniles’ jails from that of the adults, there was a creation of a probation system by the early juvenile courts. At the same time, the probation system used a separate system of service delivery to provide supervision, education, and guidance to the minors. All the US states, as well as the District of Columbia, followed Illinois to establish the juvenile justice system (Bonnie & National Research Council, 2013).

In 1967, a ruling in a case involving In re Gault determined that the US Constitution has a provision for the same rights of the juveniles as well as the adults when it comes to the court representation. These rights included that of an attorney as well as that of having a confrontation with the witness. In 1971, the US supreme court held that there was no constitutional right for the juveniles to have a jury trial. Today, the justice system of the youth has a primary goal of maintaining rehabilitation and there is an important way in which this system has a distinction from the criminal justice system. Unlike the proceedings of the crime by an adult, members of the public are not allowed to access the hearings of the juvenile courts and the information provided during the proceedings is usually confidential, offering protection to the child against committing delinquency in adulthood. Some states offer therapeutic and education program, or the child is put into the residential program. Since the 1990s, there is a steady decline in the juvenile crime. However, when there was a rise in the rate of juvenile crime all over the US in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There was an adoption of the “get tough” crime policies by the states. Because of this, some youths were deprived off some of the protections offered by the juvenile justice system. Ever since 1975, Juvenile Law Centre has made sure that there is the involvement of the Juveniles in the Missouri justice system for the juveniles. The juveniles are treated with dignity, given the right to acquire education and provided a chance to become healthy as well as productive adults (Wilson & John F. Kennedy School of Government, 2013).

The US president and the Congress established the JJDP (Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention) Act of 1974, and its aim is to prevent well as control delinquency in the US. Missouri State also developed its own Juvenile, who has as attained success. Several strategies make the juvenile justice system of Missouri attain this success, and these include its location close to the homes of the juveniles. In addition, these facilities are small making their management efficient. The facilities do not resemble the traditional cells but are more like homes, making the juveniles be comfortable. In addition, the staffs of these facilities are well trained to handle the juveniles. The juveniles also receive respectful as well as dignified treatment while in these facilities. Unlike the traditional model, the Missouri juvenile justice system uses a therapeutic as well as a rehabilitative model. Its aim is to bring a positive impact to the lives of the youths by teaching them how to be positive in life (Merlo & Benekos, 2013).

The Missouri juvenile model has achieved success because only 8 percent of the juveniles go back to their old habits, and only 8 percent of these youths proceed to the adult classes. A third of these juveniles receive their GED or high school diplomas while still in these facilities, and approximately 50% go back to school. Over the last twenty years, there has been a steady increase in the rate of juvenile incarceration. Each day, over 368 out of 100,000 juveniles are serving their terms in correctional facilities, not to mention that all these people will be back to their community. There is a need for a programming services continuum to assist the population of the incarcerated juvenile to prepare them for release, go back to the community, and leaving the prison. the aim is to ensure that there is an improvement of their success when it comes to the adjustment to the community. In addition, such a programming service will ensure that there is a reduction in the recidivism risk. The Missouri Model of Justice System for Juvenile correction is hailed as being a leader in the juvenile reform area. Nevertheless, very little empirical analysis on this program has been done. The governance of the tone and the structure of the juvenile justice system is a periodical understanding of the delinquency and how best the delinquency behavior can be corrected. More focus is put on therapy as well as education instead of punishment in the Missouri juvenile justice system. In the 1980s, there was a closure of the training schools as well as large facilities that were characterized by minimal schooling. The aim of this paper is to conduct a policy analysis of Missouri model of the justice system (Bonnie & National Research Council, 2013).

Policy statement

The term juvenile does not have a clear definition. Some states perceive a juvenile as being an 18-year-old while others see a juvenile as being a 15-year-old. In Missouri, a juvenile is a person whose age does not exceed 17 years. Nevertheless, the juvenile system of justice serves a vulnerable as well as a marginalized population of youths guilt of a crime. The funding for this system is mainly from the state. Various issues such as perception of events, perceptions issues, a shift in population, and program changes have affected the Juvenile justice system of Missouri in immeasurable ways. Today, five referral categories do exist in Missouri, and these are status offense, law violation, municipal/juvenile violation, abuse/negligence/custody matters, and law violations. The focus of this study would be juvenile justice system of Missouri with the focus being the juvenile population (Missouri Bar, 2011).

The Missouri model of the justice system is an intervention program targeting the juvenile offenders, and it aims at reducing recidivism. Though there is a causal influence understanding variations, the model of Missouri juvenile justice system has ensured that certain identifiable cycles are followed. The legal thinking on delinquency and juvenile justice has strongly influenced the state of Missouri. Many states across the US including Missouri held their juveniles in training facilities with each gender being kept in different facilities. In 1889, Missouri State opened tow juvenile facilities, one in Chillicothe to house female and another one in Boonville to house the male juveniles. In 1948, there was a killing of two youth in the Boonville facility and following this incidence, the courts became more active in influencing the processes of the juvenile justice. In 1967, the Act of the Unified Juvenile Court was passed by Missouri legislature and under this act; the court assumed the jurisdiction over all the adoption, delinquency, abuse, and the status offense related cases. The law gave the provision to the court that they should make a consideration of having the least punishment alternatives as well as reduce the placements of out-of-home. Whereas there is an extensive criticism of the Juvenile system of the US for its involvement in abuse as well corruption, the juvenile system of Missouri is however transformative. It ensures that the offenders are not repeating their offense once they go through the system (Bonnie & National Research Council, 2013).

Many offenders are passing through the Missouri facilities where they are receiving a national commendation. Through this system, a caseworker is assigned to a group of 10-15 offenders and during the day, the offenders are allowed to go to school. In addition, the offenders are also allowed to engage in co-curriculum activities such as sports and play production. The offenders are also taught how to work as a team, and this is through mingling together through mountain climbing and camping. Through this system, many teenagers are becoming better citizens. There is an emulation of this system by several states including Virginia, New Mexico, California, and Louisiana. Washington State, for instance, closed its troubled juvenile center of detention namely Oak Hill Youth Centre in 2009 and rebuilt it to look like the model of Missouri. There has been a change in the Missouri system from its traditional punitive system that was characterized by harsh conditions such as rape, beatings, and sometimes death. Tremendous improvement in the model took place in the 1970s. Under the model, the juveniles whose crimes are minor such as trespassing or skipping classes are placed in cottages or low-security houses in a group of 10 kids. The small size is essential as it ensures that there is efficacy among the staff members when it comes to working with the individual offenders. The system also provides that delinquencies with violent crimes are put into the gated facility with a capacity of holding about 50 offenders. It offers the same atmosphere of the group as well as ensure that its focus is on rehabilitation. Having been placed in small groups, the offenders are also provided counseling services as well as allowed to go to school. Once a juvenile is found to have acquired good behavior as well as demonstrated progress, he or she can e released after a short time. Critics stipulate that the Missouri juvenile system is too lenient on juvenile delinquency and that it may contribute to the youth not becoming law abiding. However, studies done on this system indicates that very few people who have gone through the juvenile system of Missouri tend to get into the trouble compared to a high number of juveniles in other systems (Merlo & Benekos, 2013).

The laws and policies direct the direct the juvenile justice system and they (the laws and policies) are guided by parens doctrine. It requires that the state to act as the parent to ensure that the interests of juveniles whom they serve are met. The Missouri system of Juvenile was established and improved so that it would respond to the numerous needs of the youths, running simultaneously with the teachers, caregivers, protectors, and ensuring that the community safety is a priority. The objectives of parens patriae also necessitate the tailoring of the administrative decisions to individual children. The operations of the Missouri juvenile justice system take place with limited resources as well as with more obscure goals than the criminal justice does (Merlo & Benekos, 2013). The juvenile justice system in Missouri has undergone numerous reforms including the construction of the juvenile correction centers with a dormitory style. The focus of the Missouri juvenile justice system is in therapy as well as comfortable conditions of living with a great emphasis on the job training as well as on education (Wilson & John F. Kennedy School of Government, 2013).

Prior to the 1970s reform, the Missouri juvenile justice system was littered with poor strategies that led to the rise of crime rate, endangered the juveniles, wasted a lot of money, and damaged the bright future of the youths. The policy also violated the profound meaning of the equal rights provided for in the law. Despite numerous scholars as well as juvenile practitioners providing the direction on how the juvenile justice system should be done, there was a consistent failure of this system in many states. However, the Missouri system has achieved success in the last 20 years, and many states are already reconstituting their system to resemble that of Missouri. The primary function of the juvenile system of justice is the preventing a juvenile from recommitting the offense. Although the court plays the role of preventing the breaking of the laws by the community, it will continue to respond to the adolescents who continue to engage in delinquency within the community. While providing services or imposing sanctions, the court will have the final say concerning the type as well as the intensity of the interventions for the juveniles. The knowledge about the adolescent development is essential when it comes to the making of the decision with the aim of preventing the reoffending among the adolescents (Merlo & Benekos, 2013).

The justice system of the juveniles in the US has struggled for a long a long time with the innate tension between the role of the system in ensuring that the punishment for the violation of the law is met and the role of the system to ensure that the juveniles are attaining a constructive behavior. The juvenile justice system should ensure that the public is protected from the harm brought about by the juvenile offenders, and it should ensure that these juveniles are leading a productive life in future. To attain these goals, it is important to control the short-term behavior as well as having a means to induce a behavior change that will continue even after the juvenile is not supervised by the court. Missouri juvenile justice system uses various methods to control the acts of the juveniles and among the old methods included the use of the community supervision as well as custodial care (Merlo & Benekos, 2013).

Approximately 93,000 youths are placed in the facilities of juvenile justice across the US. The state-funded, residential and the post-adjudication facilities hold approximately 70% of these youths. Each day, each youth held in these facilities spends about $240.99 each day. Since most states are spending a lot of budgetary constraints, there is a need for the states to reconsider ways that would reduce the spending on the juvenile justice system. The state of Missouri is also spending a lot to keep the youths in the facilities, and it falls under this category. The rate of recidivism is higher among the adolescents who are imprisoned that the youths who serve in the community. Policies whose aim is to confine children do not guarantee public safety. According to studies, states that raised the youth number in the facilities did not have a reduction in the crime rate. According to studies, recidivism rates can best be reduced by the use of the community-based programs. Such programs also promote positive outcomes of life. Studies have indicated that the rate of recidivism can be reduced by about 22% using these programs. Low cost is incurred by using the community-based programs than by using incarceration. There is efficacy in a community-based program and at the same time, the programs have been shown to produce more benefits in terms of public safety than putting the youths into the detention or incarcerating them.
There is an existence of numerous theories to give an explanation why there is a rise in the youth numbers that are placed under the juvenile justice system. Among these theories include the idea that there is a rise of young members of the gang. The Missouri model of the juvenile justice has been embraced nationally as the model to emulate. The Missouri model has a great emphasis on small facilities, and its focus is on rehabilitation as well as support for the youths. The model has been shown to influence positively the youths and to improve the safety of the public. While in the facilities, the youths can attain the educational benchmarks at a rate similar to the youths who serve their terms at the prisons. Although the best practice to treat the youths who have broken the law, if there is a need to confine a young person, the best model to emulate is the Missouri model. However, there is a need for more focus on the community-based programs instead of confinement. In terms of cost, the community-based programs are inexpensive compared to the confinement. Research investigating the effects of community-based versus the institutional interventions has shown that more positive outcomes are achieved by youths who undergo treatment in community-based programs. According to research, the best way to enhance public safety is to ensure that there is more investment in the community-based youth programs as this will also save money. Another recommendation is to ensure the rate of employment among the youths is improved. According to studies, there is a less likelihood for an employed youth to engage in crime than an unemployed youth. Another strategy will involve establishing programs within the community that will address issues such drug and substance abuse, mental illnesses, as well as the emotional distress that occur as a result of trauma. Subsequently, it is important for the jurisdiction to ensure that the confined youths are receiving care even after they transit into the community. Such care would include arranging for housing, employment, and other support for the youth once they are released from the confinement.

The policy will discuss the juvenile justice system and will look at how the efficacy of the Missouri justice system in preventing crime. The recommendations provided by this policy will assist the law enforcers and the people involved in the youth rehabilitative efforts, to be effective in their work. The policy will strengthen the current reforms made to the juvenile system, assisting other policymakers in developing better policies and this in term will help them to avoid discrimination. In addition, the policy will be essential in assisting in predicting the juvenile justice system’s future. The policy intends to give the description of the juvenile justice system in Missouri State.

Literature review

The primary purpose of the criminological theory is to assist an individual in understanding criminal justice as well as a crime. Through the theories, we are able to learn about how the laws are made as well as how they are broken, deviant, and criminal behaviors, and the criminal activities pattern. Theories are also essential as they are used in guiding the policymaking.

Several theories would conduct this study, and they include the following:

  • Absolute deterrence: this entails any form of crime that is being prevented due to the presence of formal system to ensure that a person is receiving punishment for committing a criminal act.
  • Deterrent theory: the theory indicates that there can be the control of a crime through the utilization of punishment that brings together a proper degree of severity, celebrity, and certainty.
  • Expected utility principle: it states that individuals’ acts in a way that would benefit them as well as reduce loss. Through this theory, individuals are willing to increase their pleasure as well as reduce their pain.

Social learning theory: Robert Merton developed this theory with the anomie concept, which involves a split between the goal of an individual and the impediment possessed by the society to attaining these goals. In 1992, Robert Agnew indicated that worry and stress is a criminal behavior impetus and that the source of these emotions is anomies. There exist three main forms of strain namely lack of capacity to attain a goal, positive motivations’ loss, and the quantity of negativity in the life of an individual. There are two ways of measuring strain namely the identification of the life aspects by the subject or the predetermination of the strain causes by a researcher and asking the respondents whether there is an existence of such strain in their life. According to Agnew’s research, there is a connection between the negativity and the life of a person that is then connected to the criminal behavior.
According to the experts of juvenile justice, the Missouri model is a potential reform movement that is emulated by many states to reduce youth confinement cost. California, whose annual spending on every incarcerated juvenile stands at $200,000 had a reallocation of $93 million in the expenses of the prison by sinking state confinement. Facilities like Missouri Hills near St. Louis do not have the barbed wire that characterized the traditional prison. The Missouri model limits the number of youths living in a wooden cottage style dormitory to 10, and each of these facilities has two facilitators. The majority of the other states do not have such an arrangement and most of them maintain the traditional juvenile justice system of putting the juveniles in the same cells with the adults. The most impressive thing about the Missouri model is that it has the lowest rate of recidivism in the nation. Other states, for instance, Illinois, Louisiana, and Florida are focussing on bringing improving the facilities to prevent the juveniles from running. In order to avoid confinement, some states work at the level of the country to ensure that the youths remain in their community while they are been rehabilitated. According to the advocates, this option is cheaper compared to the residential care. The two largest systems of the state namely the California and Texas cut long-term confinement of the juveniles, requiring that each county would use detention halls to house offenders of low-level.

Each year, one-half over a period of two years cut the youth population in Texas while the state of California reduced its youth population from 10,000 in 1997 to 2,500 presently. However, many critics see county and city detention programs as uneven and indicate that there is an inadequate monitoring of these facilities by the states. Using the Missouri model techniques, Missouri was able to cut the population of the adults from 2005 to the first half of 2007. Through the Missouri model reform, there is a nationwide impact, for instance, a 12% decline in the number of the juvenile offenders from 105,000 juveniles to 93,000 youths from 1997 to 2006.

A study was done by Krisberg, Vuong, Hartlney, and Marchionna (2010) looked at the means that can be used to reduce the correction system of the state. According to the study, the creation of the state-wide correction centers for the juveniles took place in 1941. The initiation of the juvenile system was the creation of the CYA (California Youth Authority). For three decades, the CYA population did not go beyond 7,000. Towards the end of the 1970s as well as at the beginning of 1980s, the CYA population began to rise. CYA was later changed into Division of the juvenile facilities. There was, however, a decline in the population of the youth offenders in 1997. The data for this study was from various agencies of the state as well as from the interview that was conducted with individuals who had knowledge of the declining trend of the CYA population. There was also a review of the media coverage regarding the youth crime. The data showed the change of the numbers and the media review, as well as the interview, provided the changing numbers’ context. Just like the Missouri justice system, there is a declining trend of the juvenile offenders in the California State. The rate of the arrest of the Juvenile felony was 2,902 in 1991 to 1,345 in every 100,000 youths of ages 10 to 17 in 2009. The two systems show a drop in the number of the juvenile arrest. In California, the reduced arrest has led to a decline in the custody of CYA since fewer arrests will translate into fewer youths in the facilities.

One of the focuses of the California juvenile justice systems is the public safety. The primary goal of the California model of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate as well as treat the juveniles. The Missouri model shares the same goal of restoring as well as treating the juveniles, preventing them from returning to their old habits. There are numerous methods as well as programs used by the California model for addressing the crimes committed by the juvenile, ensuring that the severity of the crime is considered, as well as regarding the offender’s background. The California models run a number of programs such as treatment, incarceration, detention, as well as community supervision. In addition, the system offers an increasing response to the increasing severity, for instance, the formal probation, informal probation, incarceration, and detention. Since the primary goal of the California juvenile justice system is to ensure that the juveniles are being rehabilitated, they system works with other agencies to achieve this goal and these agencies include the schools, agencies of the social services, as well as community-based organizations. Following the arrest of the juvenile offender, a law enforcer has a right to take the juvenile either to the juvenile hall or to the offender’s parents. Since there is overcrowding in most of the juvenile halls, only violent offenders are taken into these rooms, and the rest of the arrestees are released. If there is a placement of the juvenile into the juvenile hall, the department of the probation or the attorney of the district may take the youth to the juvenile court and file a petition there, a move similar to the filing of charges in the adult courts. The district attorney in the California state may also opt to ask for the remanding of the juvenile to the courts of the adults. Once the minor is proved guilty, he or she is placed on community probation, placed in a group home or foster care, or incarcerated in the juvenile camp within the county. Consequently, the judge may opt to send the juvenile to the authority of the youth. The California juvenile system ensures that 97% of the of the juvenile offenders are supervised by the county department, and the remaining 3% are submitted to the Youth Authority and the state becomes their primary responsibility.

The California system has identified numerous treatment services for the juvenile offenders. The policy has identified several factors that may put the youth at the risk of committing a crime, and they include the family dysfunction, school failure, mental disorder, and substance abuse. Among the intervention services proposed by the system include the school services, social services of the county, as well as the community-based organizations. California’s Division of Juvenile Justice provides academic, vocational education, and treatment programs that address criminal and violent behavior, substance abuse, medical care, problems of the mental health, as well as maintaining security as well as a safe learning environment. The assignment of the living units is based on the age, institution violence risk, gender, as well as their needs for the specialized treatment. Unlike the Missouri model, the integrated behaviour treatment model forms the framework for the programs of DJJ of California. The aim of this model (integrated action treatment model) is to ensure that there is a reduction in the institution violence as well instilling anti-criminal attitude to the juveniles. In addition, the model provides skills to the youth on how they can manage their environment. There is thus some similarities between the California model and the Missouri model in that they both serve the purpose of rehabilitating the youths. Just like the Missouri model, their California model ensures that the youths are attending schools to attain a diploma of the high school. Since the year 2004, the number of the youths who have achieved academic success through this model stands at 5,632. The number of juveniles who completed the high school education rose to 300%.

When there is a recommendation for an intervention for the youth, there is efficacy when it comes to the reduction of the recidivism rate. In addition, there is the promotion of the positive outcomes of life using the community administered intervention or those administered outside the juvenile justice system. Such programs appear to reduce the rate of recidivism by about 22 percent and at a lower cost than the cost incurred through imprisonment. According to researchers, youths treated in an outside secure environment have positive outcomes. Recent studies indicate that while appropriate treatment improves the outcomes in both the community and the institution settings, high success occurs in the community setting than in the institutional setting. Comparing the large residential and the community programs are compared; research shows that there is the dampening of the appropriate services positive effect by the residential facilities. According to WSIPP (Washington Institute for Public Policy), more taxpayers’ money would be saved if there is an investment of alternative approach other than incarceration.

In Colorado, there is the decentralization of the juvenile justice system. Colorado State has three main law enforcement agencies namely the municipal police department, Colorado State Patrol, and the Sheriff’s department. Each county of the Colorado State has a sheriff whose term lasts for four years. The main role of the sheriff is to maintain the jails within the county, provide criminal and civil paper service, as well as investigating cases involving crimes. The county funds the Department of the sheriff. The department of Colorado municipal police primary role is answering the service calls and temporary housing prisoners prior to their transfer to the county jails or while pending to be released. The Colorado State Patrol turns the cases involving the juveniles to the sheriff department or the local police. In general, the main role of the juvenile law enforcers includes putting the juvenile into custody temporarily without a court order when there is a strong ground that a juvenile has committed a delinquency act. In Colorado, a juvenile is only taken into the custody once there is an insurance of a court order. There is an appointment of an agency or an individual to perform screening or intake function for a juvenile who is taken into the temporary custody.

The Colorado Intensive Aftermath Program is run by DYC (Colorado Division of Youth Corrections), its operating area is the Denver Metropolitan, and these areas include Jefferson, Denver, and Arapahoe counties. Various techniques such as the education, psychological, and standard battery instruments do the assessment of the juveniles in this program. Other assessment techniques include the youth offender service level as well as the adolescents who are living independently, and this is through employment and education. The Colorado program ensures that there is service delivery continuity. The model also offers individual counseling, vocational training of skills, experiential activities of learning, parent orientation, survival skills, and anger management skills. Apart from that, the youths in the Colorado family are engaged in numerous counseling groups. The majority of the youth in the program spends several months undergoing programming in the day treatment that offers a high structure level during the day. Several other activities of monitoring the youths include the random urinalysis and curfews. Through the Colorado program, the youth are required to be reporting to the supervisor team once per week.

Numerous studies indicate that there is a high likelihood for the incarcerated youths to recidivism than youths who undergo supervision through the settings that are community-based.

A study of the incarceration of youths in Arkansas found that there was a high rate of recidivism and apart from that, the incarceration experience is an important factor in increasing the recidivism odds. The study also found that approximately 60% of the studied youths went back to the DYS (department of youth services) in a period of three years after their release. The study further indicated that there was an increase in the possibility of going back to the DYS for a prior commitment youths by 13.5 times than for youths possessing a weapon (3.5 times), poor relationship with the parents (0.6 times), or gang membership (2 times).

Similar findings were found in Texas where there was less likelihood for the youths who were placed under a community-based program to committee delinquency behavior than incarcerated youths. 63.4% of the 443 studies about the justice systems of the juveniles show that youth who received interventions that put more emphasis on the community-based treatment, as well as other alternatives parallel to incarceration, had a less likelihood to recidivism than those with no intervention. In addition, the study showed that 32 to 37% of youths who are provided with the employment as well as behavioral programs were likely to recidivate compared to a higher rate of recidivism (50%) for youths who did not receive any form of intervention.
Recidivism studies from large residential facilities of correction, such as the training schools show a high percentage. A study done by youths discharged from the two training schools of Minnesota in 1991 indicated that there was a re-arresting of 91% of these youths five years after they were released. The similar study in Maryland sampled 947 youths whose release from the correctional facilities was in 1994. According to the study, 82% of the youths were referred to the criminal or juvenile court in a period of two and a half years following their release. In the state of Washington, 59% of the youths who were incarcerated were returned to the incarceration center for a period of one year while 68% in two years.

Numerous other studies show a similar pattern of a high percentage of youths being re-arrested few years after their release. Incarceration is not the way to handle the youths who are involved in delinquency behavior. There is a need to alternate incarceration with other programs as these programs are effective when it comes to public safety. According to research, the majority of the youths desist from illegal as well as delinquency behavior on their own without the criminal or juvenile justice system interventions. However, when there is the involvement the two systems or one of them, such a move would impede the youth’s development. In addition, involving other of the system would derail the chances of the youth to successfully transit into adulthood. There is the disruption of the youth engaging naturally with the members of the family, work, and school. Recent studies have shown that confinement has a high likelihood of reinforcing delinquency behavior in the at-risk group than individual treatment in the community. In addition, confining a young person in a confined facility would make him/her feel that the society has socially isolated him/her. Because of this, the youth aremore likely to associate with his or her peers as they feel that they are isolated socially.

A study was done by the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Office indicated that the likelihood of the youth returning to their old behavior is high if they have a direct contact with the juvenile court. In addition, the percentage of the youths likely to repeat the same delinquency behavior following their referral stands at 41. Incarceration can also hinder the process of natural development of getting educated and being employed as the youth does not have equal opportunities likes the youths who remain in the community. When a youth does not develop these attachments, he/she is likely to have reduced recidivism. The study, however, fails to recognize the role played by the confinement facilities. Although the confinement facilities are associated with so many setbacks, many youths change their behaviors through these facilities. According to a study done in 1993, the rate of crime among the youths is low among the youths who have stable jobs. Due to the education, opportunities for employment, and natural processes of life, research indicates that the incarceration process could make a person to an unstable employee. However, no sample size or the methodology is well established in the study. The study also fails to recognize the youths who succeed in education and employment after the incarceration.


  1. Champion, D. J., Merlo, A. V., & Benekos, P. J. (2013). The juvenile justice system: Delinquency, processing, and the law. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Education.
  2. Bonnie, R. J., & National Research Council (U.S.). (2013). Reforming juvenile justice: A developmental approach.
  3. Missouri Bar. (2011). Missouri juvenile law. Jefferson City, Mo. (326 Monroe St., Jefferson City 65101: Missouri Bar.
  4. Wilson, J. B. & John F. Kennedy School of Government. (2013). Cross-branch collaboration: What can we learn from the collaboration between courts and the division of youth services in Missouri?. Williamsburg, Va.: National Center for State Courts.


As the years go, several programs on the comprehensive aftercare have been generated. Among these programs include the Maryland’s juvenile aftercare program for drug treatment, the Michigan Nokomis Challenge program, as well as the PIPAP (Philadelphia Intensive Probation Aftercare Program). Such programs are not present n Missouri, and it is important for the model to include them to ensure that there is efficacy in the juvenile service delivery. However, the programs should be proper to avoid problems during the program implementation. In addition, such programs should be inclusive of all the groups, bow the low and the high recidivism risk groups. There is a need to focus more on the criminology factors and more components of treatment should be involved. Although the Missouri model is among the best in the US, there is a need for more, and there is a need to monitor the youth once he/she is released back into the community. Such a youth should receive support from another program for instance support for education once he/she is living in the community. In addition, another program whereby the youth who have made a change while in the juvenile custody should be implemented with the aim of positively influencing the youths within the community to change. The Missouri model should also incorporate some of the interventions provided in the intensive aftercare program (IAP). The aim of IAP is the reduction of the recidivism among the parolees with high risk by preparing them to better prior to their release into the community. A highly structured as well as an enhanced transition from the lives in confinement to the life in the community would make the parolee benefit in many areas such as peer relations, education, mental health, and family relations. The aftercare models by Armstrong and Altschuler integrates the theories of criminology namely the social learning, social control, and the strain theory to offer an explanation for a serious, as well as a chronic delinquency. According to Armstrong and Altschuler, a serious, as well as a chronic delinquency, has a close relationship with social disorganization, weak control generated by the inadequate control, the strain that is generated by the disorganization among others. According to them, an effective intervention needs intensive supervision, as well as services both after the youth, is released as well as during the reintegration and incarceration. The model of IAP also entails a correctional continuum comprising of three segments namely the pre-release as well as preparation planning for the period of incarceration, structural transition requiring the participation of the aftercare and the institutional staffs prior to as well as following the re-entry into the community. In addition, the model also entails the reintegration of the activities to ensure that there is an adequate delivery of the services, as well as a necessary social control level. This should be the alternative model for the current Missouri model. The IAP’s central component is the system of the overarching case management. The IAP model is a mechanism that attains coordinated planning as well as the consistent and continuous provision of services, referral, as well as observing juvenile offenders who are placed in a secure confinement awaiting transition into the status of the aftercare in the community.

There are several elements of the model, and they are as follows:

  • Risk assessment as well as classification: to maximize its capacity for the reduction of the crime, the focus of IAP is high-risk offenders. Sometimes, the youths who pass through the Missouri model tend to go back to their old ways. With IAP, there is the utilization of the authenticated risk screening instrument to identify clearly the youths who are at a higher risk.
  • Individualized case planning incorporating family as well as community: this component gives the specification for the need for the institutional as well as aftercare staff to identify the service need as well as treatment of an offender soon after commitment as well as plan the means of addressing those needs during the incarceration, community aftercare and the transition. The component also aims at addressing the youth problems in relation to their peers, families, schools, as well as other social networks.
  • Intensive scrutiny and services: although the model of IAP offers a close supervision as well as control the offenders of high risks within the community, the model also necessitates treatment and service. Such an approach requires an adequate number of staffs to ensure that the caseload is small. It also requires funds to ensure there is the provision of services. Ideally, the services provided by IAP are parallel to those offered in the institution.
  • Graduated incentives balance and consequences: the model of IAP requires that sanctions are used to chastise inappropriate behavior and the use of rewards to mark progress or to encourage. Since the programs on intensive supervision are intrusive, there is a likelihood of the occurrence of many technical violations, for instance, the curfew violation. Unlike the Missouri model that relies on cottage and supervision of youths in small groups, the IAP model creates a partnership with and working relationships with families, agencies, and organizations to ensure that the program is successful. There has been a successful implementation of the IAP program in Nevada, Virginia, and the Colorado States.

Another recommendation would be increasing the number of MTFC (Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care) as an alternative to the Missouri model. Instead of putting the youths in small groups, the best alternative would be to place these youths into foster homes where a family would be given a responsibility of one youth. Individual treatment is essential, as it will enable close monitoring of the child. The first step would entail retaining the youth with the foster parent with total restriction, but with the improvement of the youth’s behavior, there is the loosening of the restriction and more freedom is accorded to the youth. Although there is a close monitoring of the youth by the foster parent, the youth also receives training on the social and job skill from a therapist. The birth parents also receive training on how they can discipline the child properly. On average the rate of recidivism reduction by MTFC stands at 22 and the method and unlike other models, it is cost-effective.

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