Countries have developed a broad range of options for addressing juvenile crime. Finland and Germany are among those that largely favor the use of social welfare and educational practices over incarceration. The United States traditionally favors detention of juvenile offenders, with over 50,000 people under the age of 18 currently in U.S. detention centers. However, the use of evidence-based alternative treatments in the United States continues to grow. Researchers worldwide search for better policies and advocate for more effective practices that may rehabilitate juvenile offenders and reduce recidivism. Criminal justice professionals should critically evaluate the juvenile justice practices and policies of other countries that can inform potential changes in their own practice.

Review the Learning Resources and compare the American criminal justice system’s treatment of juvenile offenders to that by other countries. Research juvenile rights or laws in the United States and in one additional country. Consider how the country you selected categorizes and processes juvenile offenders compared to the United States.


Provide a comparison of the American juvenile justice policy to the policy in the country you selected. Explain the similarities and differences between the two policies. Then, based on your comparison, explain which policy you think is most appropriate, and why. Is one country too lenient or too harsh? Why? Be sure to address in your response the social and cultural differences between the two countries.


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