The area of forensic psychology consultation examined in this study is that of Juvenile Consulting. Juvenile Consulting is being institute throughout the United States as a promising solution for reforming delinquent youth guilty of committing crimes. This is because as stated in one report, most of the youth incarcerated and in fact, 77%, are those who have committed non-violent offenses and 40% of incarcerated youth have not committed offenses more serious than simple burglary. (Casey Strategic Consulting Group for the Joint Legislative Juvenile Justice Commission, 2003, p.3) There are not many choices presently available to Judges in the disposition of juvenile criminal cases and in fact, the choice is reported as being between sentencing youth to either incarceration or probation with no choice other than these two options. Exacerbating the problem is the inadequacy of probation services since there are no resources available to probation officers to assign the youth to services such as counseling or treatment. In addition, the probation officers are under the burden of heavy caseloads and are unable to adequately supervise youth to whom they are assigned. Consulting Services for juvenile offenders is comprised of alternative punishments to incarceration and include limitations of the freedoms of juvenile offenders, education, vocational training, community service, drug or alcohol treatment services as well as other services that are focused toward rehabilitating juvenile offenders without the necessity of incarceration. (American Institute of Justice, 2013, p.1) It is reported that the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders has been acknowledged as requiring a new model and that the new model should be one that focuses on assisting youth who are “troubled and chronically delinquent”. (Saul, 2013, p.1) Juvenile Justice Consultants are under the requirement of having excellent knowledge of the way that the juvenile justice system works and the proper methods for juvenile “security, treatment and supervision”. (HC Consulting, 2013, p.1) These reports have informed the writer of this work of the various alternatives available for dealing with juvenile justice offenders other than incarcerating these youth. The work of Gerstein and Briggs (2011) reports that the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) has been extensively utilized in the examination of personality differences between violent and non-violent offenders. This type of testing is utilized in Juvenile Consulting to determine the potential for rehabilitation of juvenile criminal offenders.
Contributions of Sources
The first source reviewed and specifically that reported by the Casey Strategic Consulting Group for the Joint Legislative Juvenile Justice Commission in 2003 was informative of how the greatest majority of juvenile offenders commit crimes that are non-violent in nature and that an alternative to incarceration is badly is critically needed for dealing with non-violent offenders who are juveniles. The American Institute of Justice report has informed this writing concerning the lack of viable alternatives to Judges in juvenile court other than incarceration or probation for juvenile case disposition. This report serves to highlight the critical nature of the first report in its requirement for an alternative in juvenile justice sentencing. The knowledge-based report reviewed presented by Saul (2013) reports that Juvenile Justice Consultants have agreed as well that a new model is needed in the system to cope with some juvenile offenders who do not need to be incarcerated or branded with an offense due to the non-violent and petty nature of the offense. Many of these children come from homes that are the root of the commission of these offenses. Counseling and treatment is stated to be a viable alternative for these juvenile offenders thereby requiring that Juvenile Consulting be instituted into the Juvenile Justice system. Consulting is an integrative provision that intersects with other agencies such as the Department of Human Resources, which interact with juvenile offenders and their families. The work of Gerstein and Briggs (2011) presents a method that can be utilized to separate the potential juveniles offenders to receive an alternative form of treatment from others who will be incarcerated or placed on probation.
Summary and Conclusion
The material reviewed in this study has informed the writer that alterantive programs are needed to cope effectively with proper rehabilitation of juvenile criminal offenders who do not commit violent crimes. This study has revealed that there are viable methods of identification, adjudication, and treatment in the form of Juvenile Counseling that offers an effective new model in this area of Juvenile Services.
- Gerstein, LH and Briggs, JR (2011) Psychological and Sociological Discriminants of Violent and Nonviolent Serious Juvenile Offenders. Journal of Addiction & Offender Counseling. Vol. 14. Issue 1. Retrieved from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.2161-1874.1993.tb00086.x/abstract;jsessionid=40BB13E9F0A75D19FC1950302D92DB53.d01t03?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false
- Juvenile Justice Services Program Administration (2013) HC Consulting Services. Retrieved from: http://www.hillchristianconsulting.com/govt-nonprofit-consulting/juvenile-justice-services
- Probation Plus (2013) American Justice Institute. Retrieved from: http://www.americanjusticeinstitute.com/probation.html
- Reducing Juvenile Incarceration in Louisiana (2003), Casey Strategic Consulting Group for the Joint Legislative Juvenile Justice Commission. Feb. Retrieved from: http://correctionsproject.com/tallulah/pressRoom/reports-rulings/caseyReport.pdf
- Saul, J. (2013) Rehabilitation of Juvenile Offenders Requires a New Model. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Consulting. Retrieved from: http://www.drjenna.net/about-dr-jenna/forensic-psychiatry/juvenile-delinquency-evalua/rehabilitation-of-juvenile.html