Juvenile Justice System
Describe the Juvenile Justice System
The juvenile justice system is not just one department or building in a government facilities part of town. The juvenile justice system (JJS) is a "network of agencies that deal with juveniles whose conduct has brought them in conflict with the law" (3rd judicial district). In fact the JJS is composed of these components: police, prosecutor, detention, court, probation, and juvenile corrections facilities.
When police arrest a juvenile after determining that a law has been broken, they actually have options (based on the juvenile's age and the crime); to return the adolescent to his parents; to refer him to the prosecutor's office; or to detain him in a juvenile detention center (3rd judicial district). In the event the juvenile committed a minor offense, the person could be handled informally through the probation department; but if the person had repeated previous offenses, he likely would be referred to the court by the prosecutor's office.
In the case of a repeat offender, or if the offense was serious, the juvenile would be locked up in a detention facility (often a temporary lock up) where he will wait for a hearing in the court. After sentencing by a judge, the juvenile could be sent back to the detention facility and "…parents may be ordered to pay detention costs" (3rd judicial district). Meanwhile an arraignment is scheduled (to inform the...
Following the arraignment there is normally an evidentiary hearing (like a trial only there is no jury) at which time testimony is taken and the judge determines the truth of the charges against the juvenile; next, the judge sentences the juvenile (based on what services may be needed for the juvenile or whether he should be placed in detention with the department of corrections) (3rd judicial district).
Explain the Role of Probation and Aftercare
Attorney Chris Morales explains that probation is an alternative to incarceration; he says that it is actually a "figurative leash" that the criminal justice system places on a defendant (who may have served time or is on probation in lieu of jail time). The typical conditions placed on the defendant include: a) obeying all laws; b) strictly following court orders; c) making sure to report regularly to the probation officer (PO); d) reporting changes in address or employment; e) eschewing the "excessive use" of alcohol and not using drugs; f) not traveling outside the jurisdiction without permission from the PO; and g) avoiding contact with people the PO has identified (gang friends; an ex-wife he attacked) (Morales, 2012).
The PO can check in on a probationer with or without notice, and can subject the probationer to drug tests and random searches. On what criteria does the judge assign probation? There are several factors, Morales notes: was the crime violent, is the defendant a threat to the community, is the defendant willing to make restitution to the victim, and was the victim partially at fault? (Morales, p. 2). Aftercare is time the offender is still under the jurisdiction of the court following incarceration, and is being supervised…
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