Differences Between Juvenile & Adult Justice System

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History of Criminal Justice System:
Differences between Juvenile and Adult Systems

Criminal Justice Systems, CJA302, Module IV – Case Assignment Dr. Gregory Herbert
March 8, 2009
History of Criminal Justice System:
Differences between Juvenile and Adult Systems
When we talk about a juvenile being considered an adult for the purpose of administering justice, there are a multitude of factors that need and should be taken into consideration. First, is the age of the juvenile. Secondly, it depends on the type of crime or crimes that the juvenile has committed. Next, is the extent to which the juvenile will benefit from services through the juvenile court system versus the adult court system. Then, the system will examine the degree of criminal sophistication exhibited by the minor. Also, in some instances, a fitness hearing must be held to determine if the minor is “a fit and proper subject to be dealt with under the juvenile court system”.

The District Attorney’s office has 48 hours to decide whether or not to request a fitness hearing. After a fitness hearing is requested, the juvenile (defendant) will usually waive their rights to a speedy trial so both counsels can prepare their arguments for the fitness hearing. All entities will refer to California Welfare and Institutions Code 707 and use the following criteria to determine the juvenile’s fitness. Beginning with the juvenile’s degree of criminal sophistication, whether the juvenile can be rehabilitated prior to the expiration of the juvenile court’s jurisdiction, previous delinquent history, success of previous attempts by the juvenile court to rehabilitate the juvenile, along with the circumstances and gravity of the offense alleged in the petition to have been committed by the juvenile.

There are waiver laws that provide a waiver of juvenile court jurisdiction under certain circumstances, allowing for the transfer of a juvenile’s case from the juvenile system to the criminal court system. There...
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