The Juvenile Justice System has been the concern of many researches. Literature on the area has tackled a number of things. There are countless books, articles and other materials, which discuss various concepts as they relate to the juvenile system of justice. Such literature on the topic includes the ones which addresses the history, the concepts, and the functions played by those viewed as the managers. The concern of this paper is put on the literature, which address the concepts, roles and responsibilities of the managers. The resources used in the paper are articles from reputable journals. In the Juvenile Justice system, the managers are many. This is because of the structure of the system. The justice system of juveniles is, according to Sampson and Laub (1993), both centralized and decentralized. In the centralized dimension, there are the director(s), the department(s) manager(s), and the (juvenile justice) programmers among them, as important managers in the system.
The decentralization of the system, according to Sampson and Laub (1993), is where the juvenile system is built. The intention of this decentralized framing, as Sampson and Laub (1993) hold, is to maintain the overall objective of the juvenile system, which is to correct with the overall intention of making the child who had offended to fit again in the community he or she comes from. As Sampson and Laub (1993) state, this identification makes it mandatory that there will be managers in the counties and such local areas, to ensure that the objectives are implemented and the activities are managed at the lowest level, where the child and the community are. The managers here are also many. They range from administrator(s), probation officer(s), educator(s), social worker(s), police officer(s), and correctional officer(s) among many others. As Sampson and Laub (1993) note, sometimes the administrator(s), educator(s), social worker(s), probation officer(s) and such are managers operating in the local communities, but holding these positions at the centralized thus federal level.
Defining the concepts of the system and how they relate to the roles of the managers mentioned above, is also a key concern of this paper. There are many concepts concerned with the justice system as a whole and the juvenile one as a specific field which are addressed here. Restoration is an important concept which is covered herein. In the paper, it is discussed on why restoration is sought by the managers of this system as being opposed to the punishment, which is also a concept of a concern in justice as a system. On the idea of restoration, other concepts are also discussed, as they relate to the responsibilities and roles of the managers. One of such concepts tackled under the umbrella of restoration, is the concept referred to as restorative justice. Besides defining this, the paper identifies how the managers strive to achieve it through the roles they play or responsibilities they have.
Besides restoration, this paper also identifies transfer as the other concept relevant to the roles of the managers in the juvenile system. In the paper, the idea of transfer is addressed from the dimension of how it relates to or brings about varied responsibilities on the shoulders of the managers in the system. Another concept, which is discussed herein, is that of probation. In the paper, this is related to a responsibility that the manager(s) play. Moreover, a concept referred to by the term parens patriae is also explored, as a way of explaining some of the roles which these managers have to engage in. In discussing the above concepts and functions, this paper looks at the specific roles as well as responsibilities. In the discussion, each of the roles is addressed in full chapters before another one is taken for such. Overall, the paper looks at the roles of teaching, decision-making, coordinating, facilitating, training, mediating, advocating, caring, teaching, and supervising.
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In the role of decision-making, the paper identifies the decisions which are made by these managers, the beliefs of the system that they have to consider to be able to reach these decisions, and some of the expected outcomes from the decision they have to make. In the section dedicated to facilitating responsibility, this paper looks at how managers engage in the process of making possible the achievement of benefits intended for children in the system through the connections and help to the programs that specifically target deviancy and child offending. The coordinating role, as addressed in this paper, identifies how these managers engage various players in making possible and actualizing the programs as well as (juvenile related) laws developed at the county or national level.
While addressing to the mediating function, this paper identifies how managers come in to control and diminish poor social environments where some children live in, which may be prods to deviancy thus committing the crime. This section generally develops on the correction ideal or concept as held in the system. The paper also identifies that the managers play the role of advocating. This is defined as the role, where they help in the construction of social behaviors from all players which are not abusive to offending as well as non-offending children. On the caring role, the paper identifies the areas of such caring that the managers fill; while on the teaching role, the paper identifies the teaching areas and those whom these managers will be responsible for teaching. In discussing the training responsibility, this paper identifies a number of resources that these managers have to develop and use in order to achieve the intended objectives in the system. In the discussion of the supervising role, the paper presents the areas of such supervision and how such is connected to the concepts related to the system of justice.
Decision making is one of the roles connected to the management in the juvenile justice. There is a number of decisions made at different levels of management in this area. These levels include the federal level, where decisions on programs affecting each child offender are made. At the county level, managers in the courts are in-charge of making decisions relating to the child who is appearing in the system at this stage (Sampson & Laub, 1993). Sampson and Laub (1993) identify what they call an individual engagement in decision-making in the juvenile courts. As Sampson and Laub (1993) state, the system operates on a case basis (Sampson & Laub, 1993). The impact of this is that there can never be keeping of records to facilitate comparison between the different cases. The judge and others involved in reaching judgment, have the responsibility to develop data within the case. For those managing the cases, there is thus no comparison to be made. Each manager of the system, from top to bottom, is assigned with the responsibility to deal with each child’s case as special (Sampson & Laub, 1993). Every court proceeding and every intended program for communities on juvenile delinquency is taken as a case for all the court officers to engage in a new analysis thus reach an understanding. They have to construct it from the scratch in terms of its contents thus what should be its outcomes (Sampson & Laub, 1993).
McGowan et al. (2007) identify another area for decision-making by the management in the system to be on the issue of transfer. As McGowan et al. (2007) state, in the administration of justice for juveniles, there is sometimes a need for transfer. Transfer is defined by McGowan et al. (2007) as the child being taken from the juvenile system to that of adults. The responsibility of the management of the juvenile here, according to (McGowan et al., 2007), is to analyze the cases of juveniles which are beyond the management authority of the juvenile system. They have a role to determine if the removal of the privileges that are enjoyed at the juvenile system, also called waiver, is highly needed to protect the society or help the child better (McGowan et al., 2007). In their decision making here, they have to determine grounds why the child should not be “retained” as mandated for the juvenile offenders (McGowan et al., 2007). As McGowan et al. (2007) hold, such a decision engages a number of levels of management and a consideration of many factors. The management at the federal level may, for example, have to be taken on, though the case may be occurring at the local level (McGowan et al., 2007). Factors such as age are, according to McGowan et al. (2007), necessary to be considered in the ultimate decision.
McGowan et al. (2007) also identify another factor which has to be considered for decision-making as it relates to the transfer of the child. This factor is defined by McGowan et al. (2007) as the weight of the crime committed. As McGowan et al. (2007) postulate, children offenders, as their adult counterparts, are accused of different types of crimes. The crimes, according to McGowan et al. (2007), may range from less aggressive to very aggressive . The ones described by McGowan et al. (2007) as falling into the first category include shoplifting. As McGowan et al. (2007) hold, the second category comprises very serious crime such as the child having participated in rape, or even the child having engaged in murdering another person.
Smith (2005) also contributes to the debate on the decision-making responsibility of such manager(s). According to Smith (2005), these managers within the system are trusted as persons responsible for selecting activities and processes which will work to deter the young people from continuing to commit crime. Barnickol (2000) also concurs on the decision-making responsibility of the managers. As Barnickol (2000) holds, it is the responsibility of these managers to analyze and thus reach the decision on which way is the best to dispose the case concerning the child offender. As elucidated by Barnickol (2000), such a decision is not made by consideration of what has been done in other cases of other children. The view of Barnickol (2000) is that contrary to such, the mangers have to consider many factors relating to child or children in order to reach such a decision. Factors elucidated by Barnickol (2000) for such decision-making include moral issues around the child and society, the physical attributes around the child, the family conditions within which the child lives in, and the mental state and development of the child. The view of Barnickol (2000) is that the managers have the responsibility of understanding the child as well as the factors which may have caused the child to become a bad person before they reach their decisions which are intended to help him or her.
As Barnickol (2000) states, the physical attributes are important consideration because they can tell of the unavailable facts such as if the child has constantly been a victim to a case of abuse. The family factors, on the other, are described by Barnickol (2000) as important; thus, responsibility of the management to consider because if such are poor, they are bound to cause poor behaviors of the child. As Barnickol (2000) holds, the meaning of this is that the decision on the case relating to children does not just involve the judge and the occurrences in the room. Instead, it goes to outside to many other managers in the system as they try to unravel the society, family, and the individual child; thus, they try to reach an understanding of the crime commitment by the child. As Barnickol (2000) holds, to reach this objective, such managers have to dispatch personnel to go down to the places where such children live or try all other ways to get a full understanding of the child before they make their own recommendation which is trusted as an informed decision that will guide the child (Barnickol, 2000).
The facilitating role, thus responsibility, is well captured in Ulegtekin and Acar (2011). According to Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), this role is highlighted in the roles that these managers play in probation. Probation is defined by Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) as the case where an offending child is taken into community to recover. He or she has to do activities in the community which change his/her behavior and interactions with community members. They are to become good community members (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). As Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) identify, probation officers, among other managers in the probation process, have the responsibility to facilitate the process of probation for the young offender. Here, they play the role in the probation process of ensuring that the healing process for the young offenders is well anchored in the society (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). They facilitate those activities or roles that are done by various players in the probation process in order to facilitate the healing (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011).
Among those whose activities these managers will facilitate are the parents of the child who has committed a crime(Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). They engage the children’s parents in the system’s different roles as they concern the process ongoing on probation of their child. This, according to Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), makes possible for the parents to help the child heal faster and better. In the facilitation process, these managers also engage the whole community (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). As Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) hold, the engagement of the community is also to facilitate the healing process by helping the child to fit in thus become one among them. In the view of Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), it is not just the parents and the community members who need to be facilitated by the juvenile system’s management. Other members whom the management is responsible for facilitation, according to Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), include the teachers of the child, the child’s peers, and even the police, who have to be aware of the probation taking place (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). According to Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), the management also has a responsibility to engage teachers in the process because they too are very important in the setting proper behaviors which the child ends up having or developing. The view of Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) is that the involvement of the teachers makes it possible for faster healing from criminality because they become another level where programs intended to change young criminals are taken on. In the view of Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), the peers with whom the child interacts, can help much in the process of healing by being a source of motivation thus they should also be targeted. The involvement of the police is identified by Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) as the responsibility of the management, especially because of the role they play in probation.
The role of coordinating is described by Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) as engaging many actions by the managers. In the role of coordinating, Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) hold that the managers in this system have the greatest responsibility to create and influence activities or programs destined at changing or framing the environment of the child. These programs coordinated by them include those intended to capture the free time of the child, and those intended to impact positive social skills among others. The programs, according to Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), may be those which are within the community, but which had existed independently. The responsibility of the managers, according to Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), is to ensure that all the programs available in the community are used as a resources for the juvenile justice. They coordinate programs which influence supportive environments in homes and communities, with the view of deterring deviancy coming from disruptive home and community conditions.
As coordinators, their roles in these programs include direct management as well as support (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). Here, they advertise and make loud the community support groups for the child to join and even follow up on the benefits that such children were obtaining from their participation (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). The coordinating role is also tackled by DeAngelo (2005). As DeAngelo (2005) holds, the management in the system has a responsibility of creating committees that will be engaged in the work coordination. They are also to allocate personnel who will guide the actions and activities of these committees for the eventual benefit of the child offenders and the whole community (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). According to DeAngelo (2005), the managers’ roles are not just specific to the creation of the committees, but also to have an active role in influencing the community members to appreciate and work with the communities for the benefit of all within the community.
Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) also identify the managers in the system as playing the role of mediating. As Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) identify, as the mediators, these managers play the role of coming in to analyze and recommend of the environments for the offending child (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). They ensure that the environment in which the child is, does not promote the deviancy behaviors exposed or wished against (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). Here, the responsibility of the managers, as defined by Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), is to encourage change from the players through programs which intend to mobilize them to the desired change. They are described by Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) as having the responsibility of trying to convince the parents, the people in the community and such to change their behaviors which were influencing the children into becoming child offenders or threatened to cause that. This mobilization task, according to Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), is done by the managers and is supported by the agents within the community such as religious leaders.
Sweeten (2006) continues the mediating roles of the managers. As Sweeten (2006) holds, within the school setting, some children may have offended. Moreover, Sweeten (2006) states that it is the role of the managers to mediate on behalf of the offending children, so they do not fall prey to the labeling as well as other abuses in the school setting. Mediation here, according to Sweeten (2006), also entails making the peers aware of the presence of the child who had offended, so they can take caution not to be influenced as the child is included in the school setting. The view of Sweeten (2006), therefore, is that the mediating role of the managers for children who are within the school setting should be taken from both, the dimension of the child as well as the dimension of the school community, which may easily suffer from the influence of the child.
These managers, according to Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), also play a role defined as advocating. The role of advocacy that they play is by a number of actions (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). In this role, Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) defines that the managers play the role of influencing social choices relating to the child offender. Advocacy role is also discussed in Smith (2005). According to Smith (2005), the advocacy role has to be played as it relates to the child as well as the way it relates to the community where the offending takes place thus offence is identified as having been committed in. They have the important role of advocating for a path of justice, where the society ends up being protected from the commitment of ills committed by their own, who in this case is the offending child. Under such circumstances, where the child is liable to commit crimes again, these managers may advocate for holding the child (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011).
As Smith (2005) holds, the intention of protecting the young offenders from the wrath of the society is also an advocacy responsibility which has to be taken by the managers (Smith, 2005). According to Smith (2005), this line of advocacy engages managers seeking to change the beliefs and views as they are held within the communities in relation to the offending of children. They ensure that these beliefs and views do not end up discriminating or extremely punishing the children who have offended (Smith, 2005). Advocacy, as Smith (2005) identifies, also includes the managers ensuring that the existing laws regarding juvenile justice are operational and thus being observed by all the players in the system.
The caring responsibility is discussed in Close and Walker (2010). According to Close and Walker (2010), management in the juvenile justice has a responsibility to meet both the physiological needs as well as the physical ones. The physiological needs are identified as food (Close & Walker, 2010). The physical needs, on the other hand, are identified to include things such as disabilities which the children posses as part of their physical orientation (Close & Walker, 2010). According to Close and Walker (2010), unlike the view of punishment in which the punitive measures are used, restorative justice which is applied in Juvenile system puts a responsibility on the managers for increased meeting of these needs because it is held that they are holding the position of the parent of the child while in the system. According to Close and Walker (2010), the management has to ensure that structures are laid to receive children in a way which ensures they are cared for.
The caring role thus responsibility by the management is expounded by Graves et al. (2008). As Graves et al. (2008) hold, the management have a role to ensure that each child’s needs are addressed in the system in a manner which is non-discriminative. The view of Graves et al. (2008) is that in the system, the managers have a role to ensure that each child, irrespective of his/her background, race and gender enjoys the privileges as enshrined in the beliefs of this system for the juvenile offenders. In addressing the caring responsibility, Barnickol (2000) takes a gendered dimension. As Barnickol (2000) holds, the managers within the system have a role of caring for both genders. The view of Barnickol (2000) is that these managers should strictly follow what is defined in the concept of this system, which is called “parens patriae” (p. 432). This is defined by Barnickol (2000) as the system where managers are taking the responsibility of parenting in the system. The view of Barnickol (2000) is that as parents, the managers have a responsibility to take good care of the two sexes as they appear in the system.
The responsibility for caring is also continued in discussion by Wilson (2000). As Wilson (2000) holds, within this system, there are children who have problems relating to their mental state. Such children, according to Wilson (2000), need to be identified as a special case within this system that need attention from the managers in the programs available to ensure they meet the needs intended for the justice system for this category of the juveniles. As Wilson (2000) holds, the responsibility here engages a number of things, which identify them caring for the child. First in that is that they provide the necessary framework where such children are able to communicate (Wilson, 2000). The idea of encouraging communication is discussed by Wilson (2000) as a caring role because it is such which will facilitate the healing thus restoration which is intended for the child in the system. Besides, Wilson (2000) also identifies that the management in the system have to avail the needed personnel who will be able to help these children to reach those mental needs that they may be having.
The rehabilitating responsibility of the juvenile system, according to Close and Walker (2010), places a number of other responsibilities and roles on the managers of this system. One of these roles is the role of training (Close & Walker, 2010). As Close and Walker (2010) state, training is an important task which is done by these mangers. As Close and Walker (2010) hold, the training by these managers generally engages a number of players. They include the training targeted on the communities, those targeted on families, and those targeted on the children in these communities as well as families (Cullen & Gendreau, 2000). Managers have a rehabilitating responsibility placed on them (Cullen & Gendreau, 2000). This, according to Cullen and Gendreau (2000), puts on them the mandate to engage in development of programs which help the youth to change from the poor behaviors and actions they may have been committing. Arnold (2008) also contributes to this discussion of the training responsibility. According to Arnold (2008), these managers have the role of training the behaviors of the juveniles. The view of Arnold (2008) is that this responsibility is done for the objective of increasing the awareness of the child on the negative behaviors.
Children are a category identified as still continuing on the education subsystem. When they are taken into the juvenile justice, the belief is that they should not be hampered in their learning (Smith, 2005). The schools or the education must be there for them to proceed (Smith, 2005). But such education or schools cannot be similar to the ones for the children who are free of crimes thus in the normal education arena. So, these schools are seen as schools for special education (Smith, 2005). Within the juvenile justice, the managers have a responsibility to use such special schools and other areas of education in introducing the child to knowledge and skills which would help him or her to be a better and helpful person in society. Within the system, the process of education is to occur (Smith, 2005). The roles of the educators contracted for the system is to teach the child on the ideas that others are learning in the mainstream (Smith, 2005). According to Smith (2005), these managers are implementers of correctional strategies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) as well as anger management skills which engage the youths in training by them either directly or through the modules they develop for implementation.
The role relating to therapy provision through teaching is also discussed by Ulegtekin and Acar (2011). As Ulegtekin and Acar (2011) hold, it is the mandate of the managers to avail lessons to the children which aim to engage them in new ways of thinking through the problems they may experience. In the view of Ulegtekin and Acar (2011), the managers here are responsible for introducing the young offenders to the available options for conflict resolution through the programs they develop and present to these children as lessons (Ulegtekin & Acar, 2011). In the contribution by Arnold (2008), it is held that these managers have a role of guidance and counseling. This role, according to Arnold (2008), engages managers to directly teach children on what they should do in becoming responsible citizens.
Supervising is another responsibility and role that the managers take on. As Smith (2005) holds, the idea of supervising engages a number of actions needed from the managers. First includes their awareness of the programs operating in the communities and levels of administration. This supervision, according to Smith (2005), also relates to them identifying the objectives being achieved and the changes which can be made on these programs targeting the children and communities. Rickard (2008) continues the discussion on supervision. According to Rickard (2008), the managers in the system have a role to play in visiting the communities to see for themselves on the reality of the recovery of the children who are the offenders. According to Rickard (2008), an active role here means that the managers are aware of the children who are benefiting from the justice system as well as those who are not yet on the healing trend.
The supervising role, according to Gatti, Tremblay and Vitaro (2009), also refers to actions intended to capture the ineffectiveness of the system players. Those, whose actions are supervised, are identified by Gatti, Tremblay and Vitaro (2009) as to include the police. Here, Gatti, Tremblay and Vitaro (2009) hold that the key role of the manager is to ensure that there is a level of impartiality in the way this category behaves when they are conducting their tasks such as arresting the children they deem offenders. The view of Gatti, Tremblay and Vitaro (2009) is that the other structures who are trusted to implement the beliefs of the system are to be supervised using the same ideas. As highlighted in Gatti, Tremblay and Vitaro (2009), a key measurement for the administrator’s supervision is on how the intended programs being implemented by these players are able to reach all the children irrespective of their locations, class, and such factors of differences.
Conclusion and Recommendations
The above discussion identifies a number of roles and responsibilities as they relate to the managers in the system of justice for juveniles. In the discussion, some of the roles and responsibilities elucidated include the decision-making, facilitating, coordinating, teaching, training, advocating, caring, and supervising. In the discussion, the decision-making role is identified as related to the cases of children. Here, it is stated that the managers are directly engaged in the process of coming-up with a decision which is beneficial for the child as well as society. Such a consideration in the decision is said in the paper to be important taking note of the beliefs in the system, which include helping the child to become better. As identified in the paper, there are many levels on which the decision are reached. According to the paper, the decision being made at the court level engages considerations which go beyond the setting to include the consideration of the background of the child who is at the centre of the case. The view of the discussion is that collectively; these managers have the responsibility to help the child not only by the idea of placement type, but also by the programs which can be used as training or teaching for them to change and become the respectable citizens they are intended to.
In discussing the facilitating role, it is identified that there are a number of activities and programs within the communities which need to be started and for which it is the responsibility of the management to give a helping hand to. This facilitation is identified in the discussion to promote the achievement of the justice objectives for these juveniles. The coordinating role is also discussed in the paper. As the paper holds, this role is a responsibility placed on the shoulders of the managers because of the existing programs which need to be linked in their work to ensure the intended benefits will reach the child. As the paper holds, there are usually many programs independent from the organization as well as those from the system, which may easily operate in a disintegrated manner if they are not well connected in what they do. According to the paper, the role of the managers here is to ensure that they are linked with each other and thus use the resources possessed by the other to reach the common objective of helping in juvenile justice.
A mediating role is also discussed as another of the roles which are played by these managers. As is postulated in the discussion, this role relates to how such managers come in to help to change the abusive or poor home and community environments with view to using the new status to help the child become a better person as is intended in the system of justice. Besides mediation, advocacy is also discussed above as another role. The paper has identified this as relating to the responsibility of the manager to bride the requirements on juvenile offenders’ treatment with reality in the families, courts, and communities where these young offenders are living or are coming from. The paper has also identified caring as one of the roles taken on by the management in the system. According to the paper, this role is administered according to what is held in the parenting role belief in the system which is also called parens patriae. The paper has also discussed the training role of the mangers. This is identified in the paper as the responsibility that they have to develop programs to be implemented.
From the above discussion, a number of recommendations can be made here. One important recommendation relates to the structure of the system and how it relates to the performance of the duties of the managers. This is the recommendation that the system be reorganizaed to increase the connectivity thus coordination of the roles. It is identified that the management at various levels may come up with independent decisions relating to the children who have offended. The paper identifies this independency to be high. One negative impact of this could be in separating the different decisions relating to the issues of the child. Such a state makes it that the child does not benefit from all the levels of management intended to benefit him or her. The child suffers from the decrease association because operating independently may mean different decisions and intentions that are reached by the different levels. The overall meaning of this is that they pull to opposite directions. Increase in their cooperation means that they will be able to effectively deal with the challenges of the system and the issues around the child better as the collaboration becomes a strength.
The preposition to this end is that the structure of the decision making in system be changed to encourage sharing, collaboration, and concurrency on the issues affecting the children who are in the system. This means that every decision moves through all levels before it is implemented. Another solution here is the recommendation that the management should be framed to have collective centers of administration. This will generally limit the operations of the juveniles system as uncoordinated system, where each county has its own qualities and characteristics that differ. This Recommendation emanates from the discussion which identifies the system as potentially conflicting because of operating from different locations.
Another recommendation which can be made to this end is that the managers increase their presence in the neighborhoods and communities. This paper identifies the managers as needed to play roles where they are need to be active participants in the community processes relating to juvenile justice. It is seen that they are to be there to facilitate, coordinate, train, mediate and do so many roles as pertains their responsibility in the system. One proposal to address to this issue is that the management at the federal level should be restructured to have them take these positions at the decentralized levels. They have to be taking these offices in the counties and such areas where decentralization is the key. This recommendation means that the federal administration inof juvenile justice is abolished, and the county one is taken on as the structural framing of the system. Basically, this is the position which makes the working of the system more effective as managers will deal with the cases in the communities thus ensure things such as probation are taking place in a grounded manner.
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