Continuum Sanction as a means for administering Treatment or Punishment options for Juvenile Delinquents

Continuum Sanction as a means for administering Treatment and/or Punishment options for Juvenile Delinquents

Continuum sanctions are a methodology developed for ensuring the selection of suitable punishment option to enhance effective restoration for juvenile criminals.  According to Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Act (2002), advanced sanctions are a series of sanctions usually established on accountability (Lawrence and Richard 54). Examples of these sanctions comprise motivations, treatment, and facilities. The sanctions apply to teenagers held in the juvenile justice system in order for them to become responsible for their actions. Moreover, the sanctions protect all the victims including the community affected by the adolescents’ criminal behavior thus helps maintain law and order as well as preventing further criminal activities from juveniles.

Sanctions encompass a wide range of options for teenage offenders and deals with the far-reaching spectrum from the prevention phases of the continuum to the disciplinary phase. The main aim of the sanctions is to be used for teenage offenders based on accountability. In essence, this means imposing the most suitable sanction for the appropriate offense committed by the juveniles (Lawrence and Richard 60). The other goal is to reduce postponements regarding offenses as well as sanctions them.

There are vast programs within the continuum sanctions ranging from sanctions that deal with minor crimes to those that handle most serious crimes. Primary interventions are a requisite for first-time delinquents, repeat criminals, as well as to non-violent wrongdoers. The first type of sanction imposed upon a juvenile criminal is referred to as custodial sanction (Finley and Laura 52). Here, the judge may order for the confinement of the juvenile offender in a secure facility. The offender’s freedom of movement is restricted except for purposes of counseling, medical care or education.  The judge could also order the juvenile to be placed in a foster home or a detention facility.

The second type of sanction is called conditional sanction. Under this sanction, the juvenile delinquent is required to occasionally report to probation officers, desist from performing criminal acts or to compensate the victims of his criminal acts. The third type of sanction is known as a nominal sanction (Lawrence and Richard 78). This sanction handles major crimes where juveniles are reprimanded, cautioned, and released after being reproved.

Juvenile offenders may move along the continuum scale because of several reasons. One of the reasons why a juvenile is moved up or down the continuum, sanction scale is the class of the offense committed. The more serious a crime is the more sentence and the vice versa. This implies that the juvenile offender who has committed a major crime moves down the continuum scale. That is the prevention phase to the punitive phase. Additionally, a juvenile delinquent who has committed multiple crimes is likely to be moved up and down the continuum scale to foster individual responsibility. Another reason that calls for the of the juvenile down the continuum scale is the violation of the conditions of the initial sanction (Finley and Laura 67). For instance, if the offender was under custodian sanction and violates the conditions spelled out, the judge orders for the juvenile to be moved to the conditional sanction continuum scale. This provides the offender with ample time to desist from criminal acts. The age of the juvenile offender also determines whether to be moved up or down the continuum scale. The juvenile court may decide to move a juvenile lawbreaker up the continuum scale if the alleged criminal was reported to have committed a crime at the age of ten and seventeen years.



Works Cited

Finley, Laura L. The Juvenile Justice System: Delinquency, Processing, and the Law. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Education, 2013. Print.

Lawrence, Richard. School Crime and Juvenile Justice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print

Pollock, Joycelyn M. Juvenile Justice: The Essentials. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications, 2010. Print.