Juvenile Courts Vs. Adult Courts the Juvenile Essay

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Juvenile Courts vs. Adult Courts

The juvenile justice system is a facet of the United States justice system that focuses exclusively on minors who commit crimes and other delinquencies. The system is utilized in order to focus on the child's best interests as well as society's best interests in terms of the punishments that are given to each offender at the time of their court hearing. The handling of cases within the system is largely undertaken by the states, which develop plans and programs for the rehabilitation of offenders as well as setting in place work on a community level to discourage first-time juvenile delinquency as well as additional issues from prior offenders. An outsider to the field of criminal justice and the workings of the juvenile system to be in alignment with that of the adult court system in nature, but this is not the case despite several commonalities and differences.

Much of the commonality between adults and juveniles in the court system comes in the form of procedure. Procedural safeguards are instilled in each system in order to assure that those individuals who admit their guilt have their rights protected at all times. Facets of the court process such as plea bargaining, the right to hearings, and the appeals process are found in both adult and juvenile courts. Additionally, both juveniles and adults have the right to counsel in their court proceedings who serve in the best interest of their clients. And, while commonality between the two court systems is found through procedure, several differences are also found in this area that set the two apart. For instance, in a juvenile case, a jury is rarely present and the general public is banned from the courtroom. Instead, the judge alone decides whether or not the juvenile has broken the law, and additionally decides what the punishment will be.

While the adult court system has long functioned as an establishment for bringing justice and upholding legal standards during criminal proceedings, the juvenile court system was born from the notion that children and teenagers are essentially different from adults "both in…

Sources Used in Document:


Champion, D.J. (2007). The juvenile justice system: delinquency, processing, and the law, 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Print.

Siegel, L. And Tracy, P. (2007). Juvenile law: a collection of leading U.S. Supreme Court cases. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Print.

Juvenile Courts vs. Adult Courts

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