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Read more about the principle of Voluntary service. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory. Read more about the principle of Unity. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide. Read more about the principle of Universality. Learn more about how the IFRC promotes principles and values. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

The seven Fundamental Principles. Humanity The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Impartiality It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions.

The first part of that programme is devoted to the indirect activities of the Red Cross in favour of peace. It takes note of the fact that the work of protection and assistance being carried out every day by the Red Cross, wherever man suffers from the acts of his fellow beings, contributes to peace.

This part contains nothing new. The second part deals with direct action: This extension of the mandate of the Red Cross did not receive the approval of all the participants, some of whom considered that in taking this path the institution would be departing from its proper role and venturing into the political field. The Council of Delegates recognized that it was essential for their comments to be attached to the programme and taken into account in its interpretation.

This indeed is the key to the problem. We shall never go astray when we refer, as a criterion, to this primordial charter. In doing so, the various organisms of the Red Cross can see, as each case arises, what they can undertake, pursuant to the programme, without violating the doctrine of the movement [11 ]. From knowing war at close hand, the Red Cross understands better than anyone that war is inhuman, that it is just as contrary to charity as it is to justice, in that it does not necessarily lead to the victory of the righteous.

There are few causes that are closer to its hea rt than the cause of peace. The Red Cross cannot for all that depart from its principles, and in particular the principle of neutrality, which fixes the limits for its interventions in this field. The essential mission of the Red Cross remains that of protecting human beings in the event of conflict and of relieving their suffering. For the Red Cross, there is no just war and no unjust war — there are only victims in need of help.

It cannot carry out its task except by virtue of its apolitical character, which it must safeguard above all else. At the same time, it is through the faithful execution of its traditional mandate that it gains the moral force and credibility without which its appeals in favour of peace would have no weight. In the field of prevention of war, as in every other field, the Red Cross must refrain from taking sides between countries.

This reserve with regard to controversies alien to it is profoundly wise and must be maintained. Indeed, even though peace is dear to all peoples, they are seldom agreed on the way to bring peace into being or to maintain it — even on the character peace should have [12 ]. To take a position on any of the questions presented by the manner of organizing the world, whether we like it or not, means that one is putting oneself on the level of politics.

To seek to exert a direct effect in this sphere nearly always implies a descent into the arena of nations and parties. To exert its influence in this way, for example, it would be necessary for the Red Cross to take a position on such matters as military budgets, the manufacture and sale of arms, and, in general, that it would either support or attack numerous political actions. By involving itself in this way in impassioned struggles for which it is not equipped or prepared, it would find itself on an icy slope upon which it could find no footing, leading it to rapid destruction.

On the other hand, other institutions which have been created to defend peace and bring about a better organization of the world do not have the same limitations and can act more freely. It is apparent, in the crusade against war, that everyone should fight with the means at his disposal, in terms of his own essential nature and inescapable destiny. The means available to the Red Cross to eliminate war are limited.

They may even seem to be ridiculous, when we can see all around us the great powers making enormous deliveries of arms to their allies of the moment, and in so doing driving them inevitably into new conflicts. But, in the general framework of this effort for peace, the Red Cross nonetheless constitutes an important moral element. It is the symbol of peace, present in the midst of combat. Every one of its acts thus becomes a pacifying gesture. To act as intermediary between enemies, to promote humanitarian law, means the creation of a climate of appeasement and reconciliation.

By asserting solidarity among men in the face of suffering and by providing assistance, the Red Cross tends to level the inequalities among them and attenuate their frustrations and resentments. It contributes to bringing together individuals and perhaps eventually whole peoples. It is just this which the Proclamation demands of the Red Cross. It is also the mandate confirmed by the Twenty-third International Conference in in its resolution on the mission of the Red Cross, which stated, that. The wellspring of the principle of humanity is in the essence of social morality which can be summed up in a single sentence, Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.

This fundamental precept can be found, in almost identical form, in all the great religions, Brahminism, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Islam, Judaism and Taoism. It is also the golden rule of the positivists, who do not commit themselves to any religion but only to the data of experience, in the name of reason alone. It is indeed not at all necessary to resort to affective or transcendental concepts to recognize the advantage for men to work together to improve their lot. The idea of mutual assistance originates first of all in the very instinct for preservation.

It contributes to the survival of the species; it offers more in the way of rewards than it does of burdens. Through objective consideration of the evidence, basing ourselves on the consent of the majority, we also arrive at the concept of solidarity as an ideal for the organization of the community.

In other words, humanity impels each of us to act for the well-being of our fellow men. It is the whole pattern of action which, at a given time, seems to be useful, just and reasonable. The inclination to do good is what we call goodness. Goodness is a complex motive, in which we can recognize a number of related virtues or sentiments, such as benevolence, generosity, devotion, pity, toleration.

To be good is also to be sensitive, charitable, helpful and useful. If w e wish to sum up all of this and express it in practical terms, using other language, we may say that a good man, moved by good intentions, is touched by the suffering of others and tries to relieve it; with respect and affection for his fellow being, he protects and assists him, and devotes himself to him.

With a tranquil mind, he endures evil; he does not yield to hatred against another, but joyfully forgives him. Modern humanitarianism is born of this social morality and attempts to organize relations between individuals on the basis of a compromise between their interests, recognizing that charity and justice constitute a far from negligible element in their true interest. Humanitarianism works toward the establishment of a social order which should be as advantageous as possible for the largest possible number of people.

It takes man both as its objective and as its means, without deifying man. Humanitarianism is not a religion in opposition to other religions, a moral philosophy opposed to other moral philosophies. It does however coincide with the precepts of many religions and moral codes. How does humanitarianism differ from charity, which, as we have seen, is one of its major sources of inspiration?

Charity is primarily the mainspring of immediate action by an individual in the presence of a stricken victim. Humanitarianism extends its merciful action to the whole of humanity. It is in permanent revolt against misery and rejects fatalism. It brings together people of good will and creates the necessary institutions. Humanitarianism takes thought and requires a degree of rational discipline. Does humanitarianism find its inspiration in justice or in charity?

Justice, generally speaking, consists in ren dering to each person his due. It has different aspects which must not be confused with one another. First of all there is legal justice, which accords to each person what is rightfully his. This is the kind of justice sanctioned by law and administered by the courts.

But, in moral terms, there is also an ideal justice, known also as equity. If we consider legal justice, we see at once that it differs profoundly from charity. It has been symbolized as a blindfolded woman holding scales. This symbol might also, of course, serve to represent charity, in one sense. Like justice, charity knows man only as a human being, and does not need to know his name. Like justice, charity holds the scales even between men. Like justice, charity gives for a valid reason. The analogy stops here however, for while justice rewards each person according to his rights, charity gives to each according to his suffering.

To judge means to separate the good from the bad, the just from the unjust; to measure the degrees of individual responsibility. Charity on the other hand has nothing whatever to do with this kind of justice. It refuses to weigh the merits or faults of this or that individual. It goes much farther. Going beyond and above the opposition between good and evil, it attains, in full serenity, the level of wisdom.

Then it becomes the very image of mercy, of goodness without limit, as exemplified by the expression of Lao Tse, With a good man, I am good; with an evil man, I am also good. But, as we said, justice has many levels. From its origins in primitive vengeance, it has passed through different stages of law and of civilization, of time and place, to reach a point far beyond simple legal justice and attain a very high level.

On this level, it takes on the qualities of understanding and forbearance; it is not so much concerned with reckoning the responsibility of men, their virt ues and faults, but tends rather to become equalitarian and in so doing to offer everyone the same chance to seek a place in the sun. It is more interested in providing people with what they need than it is with punishing them. It is no longer merely a matter of applying the established standards of distribution, but indeed of correcting the inequalities of fate.

Such a conception is an ideal, and it is commonly not understood; most of the time it cannot be put into practice by society, which must maintain a degree of social order. At this higher level, one might say that justice joins hands with charity, and in. Thus we can see that charity and justice, far from standing in opposition to one another, finally come together and support one another, at a higher level.

The Red Cross appeals to justice in its highest form, when charity takes precedence over the laws of men. To conclude, the Red Cross movement gathers under its flag all those who wish to serve, even though the deeper reasons for their commitment may differ greatly. As Max Huber wrote, The most varied points of view in philosophy, religion and human experience enable man to understand the idea of the Red Cross, the moral principle it embodies and the action it demands [1 ].

In , at the time of a grave international crisis, the ICRC was asked to verify whether ships en route to Cuba were carrying nuclear missiles. The ICRC had agreed to do so and had organized a team of qualified observers.

01-01-1979

The ICRC had naturally made its participation subject to acceptance by all the three parties directly concerned and had received formal assurances in this respect from the General Secretariat of the United Nations. Later on however, at a Red Cross Conference, the Cuban representative stated that his government had not been consulted. The last meeting of the Council of Delegate set up a Commission to oversee the application of the Belgrade programme and propose suitable measures to achieve its objectives.

Nevertheless, in recent exchanges of views within the International Red Cross, it was emphasized that peace is inseparable fr om justice and that there can be no true peace in which the human person is not respected. Preface to The Good Samaritan. The fundamental idea of non-discrimination among men is expressed in the first sentence of the Proclamation. It had been expressed as follows in The Red Cross is ready to come to the help of each individual, equally and without any form of discrimination. At the outset, we shall relate an actual event. At the end of the Second World War, a column of soldiers reconquering their own country came to a small town.

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The commander of the unit approached the woman in charge of the hospital and told her that he had a number of wounded men to leave at the hospital. She told him that the hospital was already full of enemy wounded. For a moment, the officer was nonplussed, and then he realized the truth — that enemies who had been wounded were no longer enemies — and ordered his unit to move on.

This is the principle of non-discrimination, illustrated in this instance in a simple manner with respect to nationality.

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We shall revert to this example later on. To define non-discrimination, we shall first have to say what discrimination is. T he relatively new and usually pejorative use of the term refers to a distinction or segregation which one makes to the detriment of certain other persons, for the sole reason that they belong to some specific category. Non-discrimination among men is the greatest of Red Cross principles, after that of humanity, to which it is in any event related.

The principle of humanity has its starting point in human suffering. It is this suffering which inspires the charitable action and determines the form it takes. The solicitude of the Red Cross cannot submit to limitations; it extends to all beings whom we recognize as our fellow-men because of the common nature we share with them [2 ]. In its relations with those in need of assistance, whoever they may be, the Red Cross will show an equal readiness to be of service. At the very beginning, after the battle of Solferino. Henry Dunant made this appeal with its ultimate connotation: From its inception, the Red Cross has insisted upon this imperative element of humanity.

If it were to be false to this ideal, it would disappear. From onwards, non-discrimination found expression in the Geneva Conventions and, later on, in legislation on human rights. It is also a principle of long standing in the field of medical morality and ethics. We shall nevertheless seek it in vain in the Hippocratic oath, as proclaimed by that great physician of antiquity. This is an aspect of great progress made in modern thought. Today, as Louis Pasteur wrote, We do not ask a suffering man what country he comes from or what his religion is, but say simply that he is in pain, that he is one of our own and that we will give him relief.

After the sorrowful experiences of the Second World War, it was considered necessary to condemn specifically all the other forms of arbitrary discrimination along with that of nationality. Accordingly, the Proclamation forbids discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. One might also have forbidden distinctions based on any other similar criteria as was done in the Geneva Conventions, since it is obvious that the enumeration given above is not limitative but refers only to the most flagrant examples.

In what fields is the Red Cross called upon to fight against discrimination? In all the fields of concern to it and first of all so far as its material action is concerned, in the giving of care and distribution of relief. Then — and this is above all the mission of the ICRC — when it demands that authorities accord the same humane treatment to all victims. Lastly — and we refer here to the National Societies, as will be discussed further with regard to the principle of unity — membership must be available to everyone who wishes to become a member.

In this latter case, we are referring to an organic principle and are no longer in the domain of objectives, but in that of means. We have said that this requirement is absolute. However, in exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to make a choice; for instance, when a doctor or nurse, for want of medicines in sufficient quantities, is only in a position to cure a certain number of patients in his care. This is frequently a tragedy for the Red Cross, comparable to that of a raft which will sink if any more castaways cling to it. Can one, in all conscience, use an oar and rap the knuckles of human beings, children perhaps, whose misfortune it is to have not arrived first?

I know of several cases where doctors have only treated the sick, wounded or starving who still had a chance of survival, leaving those for whom there was no longer any hope to die. All this represents a matter of conscience, as it is called, because the decision must be left to the individual responsible, who will reach it after deep reflection and carefully weighing the pros and cons.

In such extreme cases as those mentioned above, the doctor or Red Cross worker must make choices on the basis of the social and human attitudes prevailing in the community to which he belongs. He may, for example, give priority to those who have family responsibilities rather than to those who do not; to the young instead of to the old; to women instead of men.

It may also be left to chance. If he allows himself to be guided by personal reasons, so long as they are exempt from self-interest, who has the right to reproach him? Who, after all, can claim to hold the scales of perfect justice? Those who want to go more deeply into this question will have to ask themselves why and how it ever came about, in this world of ours, that recognition should have been given to this principle of non-discrimination, or, if you prefer, to the principle of equality of rights among men. All things which are equal in some of their aspects are at the same time unequal in other aspects, even if this is for no other reason than that they are in different places.

What is true for objects is true as well for men: In the field of rights. Under the present heading, we shall examine the problem of equality. If we have been brought to the point of recognizing the equality of rights among men, this is primarily for reasons of practicality. We certainly know very well that in this world men are not equal. It is obvious indeed that men differ in their physical, intellectual and moral qualities. By applying equality of treatment to them, we would be following a mathematical rule, but not a rule of equity and even less one of humanity.

Equality in treatment would be right only if it involved identical people, under exactly comparable circumstances, something that never happens. The ideal thing would be to give to each individual not the same thing but that which is appropriate to him personally because of his nature and particular situation. Such a manner of distribution is not impossible when we are concerned with a small number of persons, but it is not practical in terms of the whole community. For one thing, the individual cases, which are inevitably complex, are then so numerous that we would soon be totally lost.

In addition, we would be committing ourselves to subjective evaluation, with all its great risks of partiality and error. When the state concerns itself with establishing the abstract rights of its citizens, differentiation among them in this respect is simply impossible. This is why society has taken as a fundamental postulate the equality of rights between men. In the final analysis, this idea is the most convenient one for regulating relations between indi viduals. It does not seriously harm anyone and although it does not attain the highest level of justice, it does nevertheless provide a certain degree of justice.

It is certainly not without value because, as one thinker has expressed it, This has made it possible for the world of masters and the world of servants to come together and constitute a single and undivided humanity [3 ]. The principle of proportionality, which we might also speak of as the principle of equity, is expressed in the second sentence, under this heading in the Proclamation: This phrasing is not perfect.

It would have been clearer if it read, It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals in proportion to the degree of their suffering and to give priority according to the degree of urgency. This principle was formulated in a more technical and precise manner in The help available shall be apportioned according to the relative importance of individual needs and in their order of urgency [4 ].

This idea also found its place in the Geneva Conventions. Thus, women are to be treated with the particular respect due to them. In like manner, it is normal to give special attention to children and old people. It is also understood that better conditions with regard to quarters or to c lothing should be provided for captives accustomed to a tropical climate. Along with quantitative inequality in treatment, the Conventions also provide for inequality in terms of time. We find, for example, that only urgent medical reasons will authorize priority in the order of treatment to be administered.

Accordingly, when medical personnel have to deal with a massive influx of wounded, they will begin by treating those for whom a delay would be fatal, or at least injurious, dealing afterwards with those whose condition does not require immediate intervention. In the same way, Red Cross representatives responsible for distribution of food or medicine will meet the most urgent needs first.

The condition of all the men in the hospital was no doubt serious because, otherwise, a more flexible solution could have been found, giving priority to the most seriously wounded of both sides — those for whom immediate hospitalization or a surgical operation was necessary — and sending those with slight wounds of both nationalities, and who could be transported without risk, to the next town. The principles of humanity and non-discrimination call for giving complete and immediate relief to all men.

In real life, unfortunately, resources are generally insufficient to relieve all suffering at once. Accordingly, there must be some standard to apply in distribution. There is such a standard: For the Red Cross, there are proper and even obligatory distinctions that may be made — specifically, those which are based upon degrees of need. Proportionality is one of the essential principles of Red Cross action, even though it took a long time to arrive at it. It would be unjust to offer the same assistance to those with differing degrees of need. This after all is just common sense.

Let us take a simple example. After a picnic, you have two pieces of bread left. You meet two travellers, one of whom has just eaten and is not hungry, while the other has had nothing to eat all day long. What do you do — give one piece of bread to each of them? Of course not, you obviously give both pieces of bread to the one whose stomach is empty, to the one who is suffering. The principle of proportionality, though it would seem self-evident, is nevertheless difficult to apply fully in real life, where it encounters numerous obstacles.

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Let us take some real examples from the Red Cross world. During the Second World War, the ICRC transported and distributed in prisoner-of-war camps of certain countries vast quantities of relief packages it received from the countries of origin of the prisoners. It accepted this task since it was a good thing for at least part of the victims to receive assistance. There were also however many prisoners who received nothing at all, because their countries were powerless to act.

The ICRC then tried to arrange for some of the packages addressed to the more fortunate prisoners to be delivered to those in greatest need. The donors sometimes agreed to this, but doing so was nevertheless exceptional and affected only a small proportion of the total shipments. We should also note that the National Red Cross Societies, during the same conflict, sent packages almost exclusively to their own countrymen detained by the enemy.

They seldom thought of providing relief to prisoners of enemy nationality interned on their own territory, even though this would have been easier to do in material terms. It would indeed have conformed very well with the spirit of the Red Cross to have given help to captives of enemy nationality. The National Societies know very well how difficult it is to collect money for the benefit of victims outside their own frontiers. Furthermore, when the National Society is able to purchase relief commodities, they are told they must favour local merchants, on the argument that money coming from the country should be spent in the country even if the products cost twice as much as they would elsewhere.

Another problem results from the fact that when neutrals help the people of a country at war they want to do so on the basis of this or that feeling of personal affinity, whether of a sentimental or practical nature. So it is that people of a given profession are ready to help others of the same profession; young people to help other young people; a political party those who sympathize with it; the followers of a religion, people of the same faith. This is only human. As in the case of assistance within a family, each one takes care of those who depend upon him, or those for whom he feels responsibilities, leaving it to others to act in the same way with regard to other groups.

In like manner, help is given more readily and more generously to inhabitants of nearby regions if, for example, they are victims of a disaster. This results from the fact that man is naturally inclined to be moved only by the kind of suffering he can see and tou ch, for this is what arouses his pity and his sense of solidarity. Without the magnifying glass of imagination, charity tends to be short-sighted. This is like a law in physics: Consequently, in a poor continent, there are only the poor to help those who are still more poor; in a rich region, there are only the rich to help those who are less rich [6 ].

As an example let us consider the magnificent display of solidarity which followed the catastrophe in Frejus, a little town in the south of France virtually destroyed by the collapse of a dam. The sum received was enormous, some millions of francs, for the two or three thousand victims for whom new homes were built. Very good, but at the same time an ICRC delegate returned from the Far East with a report on the misery suffered by hundreds of thousands of displaced persons.

An appeal was launched on their behalf at the same time as the appeal for the Frejus victims — but only a ridiculously small amount was collected. Even if everyone were to concern himself with helping his neighbour, there are unhappily people who have no true neighbours, people with whom no one is concerned. That is one of the things the Red Cross exists for! It acts to restore the balance, seeking donations for those who otherwise receive nothing.

It is the Red Cross which says to those in misery: It is therefore important for the public to give its confidence to the Red Cross and support it regularly, without specifying a particular allocation of its donations, allowing it to make distributions based upon needs alone, which it is in a position to know and compare. We must therefore pr ovide more and better information, as indicated in the very early days of the Red Cross by Madame de Gasparin, a great humanitarian figure, who wrote: In the past, news moved at a very deliberate rate; what happened at the other end of the world reached us only a year later.

If blood had been spilled, the earth had long since absorbed it; if tears had been shed, the sun had had time to dry them. Pain which did not cry out within earshot left our hearts unmoved. Gustave Moynier, one of the founders of the Red Cross, had this to say, In our time, we find out every day what is happening everywhere in the world The description, provided by the daily newspapers We have to regard this as a great improvement for the distressed, first of all because it means that we shall all know more quickly and better about the suffering of people — and secondly because help can reach them more quickly.

Above all, it means that the more fortunate people, those who are well off and have full stomachs, can no longer avoid knowing about those in distress — for these will haunt them and bring such shame upon them that it will be unendurable, to such a point that they will finally have to open their wallets in order to be able to sleep in peace.

Other circumstances may lead to establish some nuances in the principle of proportionality. Let us take an example from everyday life. Let us suppose you come out of your apartment and find two beggars outside the door. If you are in a hurry, you give each of them the same amount. But, if you have time to stop and look at the two men you can see that one of them is old, and you decide that he should have more. But, even though the other one is young, he has only one arm. If you have more time, time enough to listen to them, you discover that the older man is a refugee, that he is all alone in the world — but that the younger one has children to care for.

We could multiply to infinity the number of reasons for favouring one or the other. To give equally to each of them is a good deed, though falling short of a more attentive, more appropriate assistance. Making distinctions in relieving suffering is a hard thing to do, calling for a great deal of effort, time and, let us say it, a great deal of love. While an individual making an effort to be fair will enter into the details of individual cases — so long as there are not too many of them — it is impossible for an institution to do this in rendering collective assistance, especially when it is an international operation, for it simply does not have the time nor the personnel that would be needed to do so.

If we have only a single dose of serum for two sick people, we do not divide it between them, for neither would be cured. However painful, we would have to make a choice, to give to one or the other. In the same way, speaking more generally, it is not always either possible or desirable to divide relief supplies endlessly. To be effective, relief m ust often be given completely, and over a period of time. It is better then to carry out a charitable action fully, for a limited group of people, than to spread limited resources over a great number of places, none of which will receive enough.

Here we touch upon a truth referred to in the introduction, the fact that the principles have a theoretical character. In practice, we cannot always take them literally. But, although their value may be relative, it is nevertheless very great, for it shows the ideal that we must continue to approach. Under the previous heading, we raised the philosophical problem of equality and inequality among men by discussing their equality.

We shall now take up the other aspect, that of inequality. Ever since the end of the 18th century, it has been recognized that the wealth of the world should not serve to benefit only a handful of privileged people. It came to be recognized as well that suffering, poverty, disease and ignorance need not be the inevitable lot of the great mass of individuals. This gave rise to the demand for everyone to have a share in the common heritage, a place in the sun, his share of happiness.

Impartiality

It was also understood that an effort to create complete equality among men would be nonsensical, in view of the multitude of differences between them; that it would be absurd to think that everyone could have everything and live in an earthly paradise. The quest was therefore undertaken for a reasonable compromise, one which would offer everyone a minimum of benefits, to the extent that what each one demanded for himself he would be prepared to recognize as the right of others.

It is in these terms that we refer to equality of treatment or the vital minimum of human requirements. Yet men have funda mentally different needs, either because of their own individual natures or because the events of their lives have broken up the equality among them. Philosophically however, the PYD framework resembles the progressive era ideals that informed the creation of the first juvenile court. As Butts, Mayer and Ruther describe, "The concepts underlying PYD resemble those that led to the founding of the american juvenile justice system more than a century ago.

They believed an improved social environmental would encourage youth to embrace pro-social norms. Integration of PYD into the juvenile justice system is informed by social learning theory and social control theory. Taken together, these theories suggest that "youth are less attracted to criminal behavior when they are involved with others, learning useful skills, being rewarded for using those skills, enjoying strong relationships and forming attachments, and earning the respect of their communities".

Youth courts are programs in which youth sentence their peers for minor delinquent and status offenses and other problem behaviors.

The program philosophy is to hold youth responsible for problem behavior, educate youth about the legal and judicial systems, and empower youth to be active in solving problems in their community. Youth courts function to determine fair and restorative sentences or dispositions for the youth respondent. Youth court programs can be administered by juvenile courts, juvenile probation departments, law enforcement, private nonprofit organizations, and schools. Youth court programs operate under four primary models: Under the adult judge model, an adult volunteer serves as the judge while youth volunteers serve as prosecuting and defense attorneys, jurors, clerks, and bailiffs.

Under the youth judge model, youth volunteers fill all roles, including judge. Under a peer jury model, youth jurors question the respondents and make sentencing determinations. Under a youth tribunal model, youth serve as prosecuting and defense attorneys, and present their cases to a panel of youth judges, who then make a sentencing determination. To date, there are no comprehensive national guidelines for youth courts, but rather, courts operate under and are tailored to their local jurisdictions.

To date, there are more than youth courts in the United States. East Palo Alto and Boston have both implemented youth courts.

The East Palo Alto youth court is based on restorative justice principles. Eligible youth must admit the facts of the case, after which youth attorneys explain the facts of the case to a youth jury. It is based on a restorative justice framework. Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, and the involved community, rather than punishing the offender.

Victims and offenders both take an active role in the process, with the latter being encouraged to take responsibility for their actions. Doing so is an attempt by offenders to repair the harm they've done and also provides help for the offender in order to prevent future offenses. Programs that promote dialogue between victim and offender demonstrate the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability. Many advocates argue that the juvenile system should extend to include youth older than 18 the age that most systems use as a cut-off.

Research in neurobiology and developmental psychology show that young adults' brains do not finish developing until their mids, well beyond the age of criminal responsibility in most states. New York and North Carolina remain the only states to prosecute all youth as adults when they turn 16 years of age. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It has been suggested that Juvenile court United States be merged into this article.

Discuss Proposed since October Childhood, youth, and social work in transformation: The politics of childhood: University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice. New York University Press. Harvard Journal on Legislation. The Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved 21 January Retrieved 21 January — via Newspapers.

Mothers of All Children: Burfeind, Dawn Jeglum Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: The new Jim Crow: