Juvenile Justice System Essay

Length: 8 pages Sources: 5 Subject: Business - Law Type: Essay Paper: #16368465 Related Topics: Juvenile Death Penalty, Juvenile Probation, Juvenile Detention, Preamble
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Juvenile Justice System. Please shed light 1) Juveniles adult Juvenile Courts & 2) a revolving door juveniles. Please explain Juvenile justice system. APA format work cited page. Use book class, Juvenile Justice, An Introduction, 8th edition John T.

The present research focuses on the way in which the juvenile court system impacts children below the age of maturity, which according to the judicial system is 18 years of age that are being tried as adults rather than as juveniles. There are several perspectives to take into account in discussing the issue. In this sense, the research reviews the general notions about the juvenile judicial system, what its authority is and purpose as well as its raison d'etre. Secondly, there is a wide belief that children trialed as adults is not necessarily a good practice to follow or encourage particularly due to the fact that this does not allow for a rehabilitation of the child and falls more on the path of punishment. Most often, studies have pointed out, this approach opens the way to a recidivating pattern which impacts negatively the future of the child. The research further elaborates on this. Finally, it is important to take into account the measures that have been taken especially by nonprofit organizations militating against children being trialed as adults by the judicial system.

The juvenile court system is based on the premise that children, up to different stages of their development, are either not subject to criminal trial or are considered juveniles and should face different sanctions for offenses committed. More precisely, "Juvenile Court is a special court or division of a trial court which deals with under-age defendants who violate any federal, state or municipal law, and any child who is abused, neglected or dependent. Juveniles over which it has jurisdiction are generally under the age of 18, but juvenile court does not have jurisdiction in cases in which minors are charged as adults" (U.S. Legal, 2014). There are several issues to be taken into account as part of this definition. Firstly, it must be pointed out that this section of the judicial system deals only with under-age defendants. This is particularly because the legal age under U.S. law which limits trial as an adult is standard to 18 years. Secondly however, in cases of criminal acts, the juvenile court can relinquish its authority and advise the trial of an defendant as an adult (Legal Information Institute, 2014). This aspect causes numerous problems throughout the country and in the case logs of the courts.

Another aspect that needs to be pointed out is the fact that there is no standard approach across the states in the U.S. In terms of the case logs of the juvenile courts. This is to say that juvenile courts are under the jurisdiction of the state However, in order to ensure that a minimum type of unity is provided across states, a juvenile code is enacted at the level of each state. Even so, there is a certain authority that the federal legislature has over the juvenile court system. More precisely, "The federal role in the field has largely been that of funder and standard setter (…) The doctrine of parens patriae authorizes the state to legislate for the protection, care, custody, and maintenance of children within its jurisdiction" legislature (Legal Information Institute, 2014).

The main federal act that governs the existence of the juvenile court system is the 1972 "Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act" which sets the standards for what juvenile delinquency is and how state laws must be aligned to federal concepts on juvenile delinquency and its repercussions. In the preamble of the act of 1972 as well as in the next re-enactments, it is considered that the levels of juvenile delinquency have fluctuated in different times in recent decades, but most importantly, that it is crucial that juveniles are not accused and trialed as adults without strong motivated decision.

Unlike criminal courts where the American judicial system bases its ruling on a jury and a full argued trial, in juvenile courts, the matters and procedures are relatively different. In most cases, cases are argued before a judge who eventually sets the ruling. This approach is seen as being useful particularly because of the nature of the court itself. As mentioned above, the rational of the juvenile court system is not necessarily one that would dictate a punishment for a juvenile, but rather one that would acknowledge the underage nature of the defendant and propose rehabilitation measures while...


This approach dates back to the early beginnings of differentiating between juveniles and adults. In this sense, back in the 18th century, such distinctions were made according to psychological factors. More precisely, "Children under the age of seven were as a rule classified as infants who could not be guilty of a felony (a felony is a serious crime such as burglary, kidnapping, or murder). Children over the age of 14 were liable to suffer as adults if found guilty of a crime" (American Bar, n.d). Nowadays, these notions have changed and infants under the age of 7 are not put on trial, regardless of crime whereas parents are held responsible. This is due to the fact that according to the law, parents are responsible for the acts of their under-age children. After the age of 14, children can be placed on trial, yet the judicial system has established the juvenile courts in this respect.

In terms of the procedures that are being followed in juvenile courts, these include a deep contact between the judge and the legal guardian / parent of the defendant. This approach is due in part to the fact that the juvenile is not fully liable in front of the law and in part because of the purpose of the juvenile court ruling, which is that of rehabilitation. In this sense, "The procedure in juvenile court is not always adversarial (although the minor is entitled to legal representation by a lawyer). It can be an attempt to involve parents or social workers and probation officers in the process to achieve positive results and save the minor from involvement in future crimes" (Law.com, 2014). This practice comes to point out that the most important goal of a juvenile court is that of re-education of the defendant.

Despite the fact that in theory, the juvenile court has the best interest of the defendant in play, the court can, at its discretion yet motivating its decision thoroughly, defer the case of a juvenile to a regular court and trial the defendant as an adult. These cases include however a serious crime being committed or previous conviction in a juvenile court. According to statistics provided by the Department of Justice, "One-fifth of juveniles 16 years of age who had been arrested were first arrested before attaining 12 years of age. Juveniles who are known to the juvenile justice system before attaining 13 years of age are responsible for a disproportionate share of serious crimes and violence." (Government Printing Office, 2014) This assessment comes to point out that a large number of juveniles that are trialed as children, often come back again in front of the court system and if the acts they are accused become recurrent, courts may decide to give the case to a criminal adult court to sentence.

The main issue related to trialing and sentencing in an adult court is the punishment that can be provided. Unlike juvenile courts, in circuit courts, prison is taken into account and is a rather common punishment for criminal acts. In juvenile courts, this is not the case as sentencing is done with the aim of rehabilitation of the defendant inside the society. As per the U.S. Federal Court, there is no intention of depriving children of the possibility of a future as, calculations made, would eventually cost the state. More precisely, "According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, allowing 1 youth to leave school for a life of crime and of drug abuse costs society $1,700,000 to $2,300,000 annually.' (Government Printing Office, 2014) Therefore, it can be said that trialing juveniles as adults would not be a practice to follow, even if from a financial perspective, as this would imply a lack of consideration for the rehabilitation of the defendant and, as statistics point out, a high chance of re-engaging in criminal activities.

Although there would be no rational for trialing juveniles as adults, except for serious and recurring crimes, this is indeed a practice that has been used. There are numerous cases in which juveniles were eventually tried as adults. However, in most cases these include murders and serious crimes being committed. An extreme situation is provided by several states in the U.S. In which the death penalty is being applied to juveniles and executions are conducted. One such state is Texas, in which the death penalty for juveniles is not out of the ordinary…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works cited:

American Bar Association (n.d.) "History of the Juvenile Justice" in ABA Section of Public Education, retrieved from http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/publiced/features/DYJpart1.authcheckdam.pdf

Bower, B. (2007) "Violent Justice: Adult system fails young offenders" in Science News, 18th April.

Dept. Of State (2006) "Juvenile Offenders and Victims" in OJJDP Report, retrieved from http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/nr2006/downloads/NR2006.pdf

Government Printing Office (2014) "U.S. Code" in Code of Federal Regulations, retrieved from http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/5601
Juvenile Justice Reform Committee (2011) "Juvenile Life Without Parole: Review of Sentences" in American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, retrieved from http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Policy_Statements/2011/Juvenile_Life_Without_Parole_Review_of_Sentences.aspx
Law.com (2014) "Juvenile court," retrieved from http://dictionary.law.com/Default.aspx?selected=1090
Legal Information Institute. (2014) "Juvenile Justice: an Overview" in Cornell University law School, retrieved from http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/juvenile_justice
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (2014) "Vision and Mission," retrieved from http://www.ojjdp.gov/about/missionstatement.html
The Prevent Delinquency Project. (2014) "G.I.M.M.I.E. - Gang Education/Prevention Program," retrieved from http://www.preventdelinquency.org/gimmie.php
US Legal. (2014) "Juvenile Court Law & Legal Definition," retrieved from http://definitions.uslegal.com/j/juvenile-court/

Cite this Document:

"Juvenile Justice System" (2014, May 08) Retrieved May 27, 2022, from

"Juvenile Justice System" 08 May 2014. Web.27 May. 2022. <

"Juvenile Justice System", 08 May 2014, Accessed.27 May. 2022,

Related Documents
Juvenile Justice System Currently Faces a Number
Words: 1198 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 71207309

Juvenile Justice System currently faces a number of challenges in dealing with delinquency. Many of those problems are underlying problems such as mental health issues, child abuse, child neglect, lack of funding, and the disconnection between professions dealing with children, all of which contribute to delinquency. The high incidence of child abuse and child neglect, in particularly, have been directly linked to delinquency and must be sufficiently addressed. In the

Juvenile Justice System Do You
Words: 2287 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 58538462

In principle, the United States should follow international treaties only if it is a signatory to that specific treaty. However, the Supreme Court of the United States cannot ignore international standards completely either. There are several reasons for this. The world is becoming more and more globalized. Large numbers of immigrants have flocked to the United States in the last several decades and likewise American military and the FBI increasingly

Juvenile Justice System
Words: 870 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 31045414

Juvenile Justice System - Contemporary Juvenile Justice System and Juvenile Detention Alternatives" by William W. Patton (2012) The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution extended the protections afforded by the Bill of Rights to all American citizens, including juveniles. Today, juveniles in the United States, though, are considered special cases that require a different adjudicative approach than that provided adult offenders, but it has not always been this way. In

Juvenile Justice System Ireland the Objective of
Words: 1351 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 23434587

Juvenile Justice System Ireland The objective of this work is to examine the juvenile justice system in Ireland and then to compare it with the juvenile justice system of the United States. Additionally, the strengths and weaknesses of the juvenile justice system in Ireland will be examined as well as what improvements might could be made to the system, what the U.S. could learn from Ireland, and what aspects of each

Juvenile Justice System Is More Than a
Words: 677 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Criminal Justice Paper #: 77291784

Juvenile justice system is more than a century old, there are still significant controversies involved in terms of public policy and specific penalties. This is especially the case with severe crimes that, in adult courts, would result in life without parole or the death penalty. In the juvenile system, public policy has at best been somewhat confused regarding the best way to penalize youthful persons who engage in severe criminal

Juvenile Delinquency and the Juvenile Justice System
Words: 1855 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Children Paper #: 85282456

Juvenile Delinquency and the Juvenile Justice System Juveniles are represented either in the legal system through the juvenile family court designed for children many years ago or by the criminal court system meant for adults. The criminal court system is opted for children suspected of committing serious crimes although transfer is possible from juvenile justice system into adult court system. This legal system has been the source of problems for all