Discrimination in Juvenile Justice System
There has been an increasingly cases of discrimination of girls in the justice systems not in US but also across the world. The international Penal system overlooks the needs of juveniles in prisons, detention and rehabilitation centers. There has been a widespread practice advanced to these juvenile of detaining them in the midst of adults who makes the susceptible to violence. In addition, the particular needs of these juvenile including health care, pre-trail detention, employment and education opportunities have also been overlooked greatly. Girls have also been discriminated by laid down policies especially those governing heterosexism and homophobia, besides the negative attitude of administrators and staff serving these girls (Alpern 2009).
These discrimination measures not only adversely affect the girl psychologically but also retard her physical and emotional growth as well. Women as observed are vital in the development and growth of every society, failure to curb the high rising levels of girl discrimination in juvenile justice systems will result to stagnant growth economically, socially and politically. Hence the development agenda is greatly hampered by this discrimination. Failure to address these discriminations also encourages future violation of fundamental and generally accepted human rights especially for women. This trend of discrimination if not rectified may result to social disorder where family breakdown and divorce will consequently increase resulting to civil conflicts and gender war (Mary 2002).
Such juvenile discrimination has mostly been observed especially in developed countries not underscoring the practice in developing countries. For instance, the US juvenile justice system has provided for such discrimination because women are not considered the same way as men in the justice system (Ruth, et al. 2009). Due to the nature of girls inform of sex, the Florida court refused to hear a case against a Lesbian juvenile on grounds that it had important and urgent matters dealing with male offenders. This clearly indicates even the preferences that are accorded to girls in the courts. In order to prevent all the consequences of juvenile discrimination, policies and laws should be enforced to ensure equality in handling all juvenile offenders be it male or females. In addition, all the stakeholders; police, prison staffs and rehabilitation officers should be trained on the importance of promoting equality and fair treatment among all their clients.