Definition Essay: Juvenile Delinquent
English Composition 1
September 5th 2010
This paper is a definition essay that defines the term juvenile delinquent. Juvenile delinquent is a person under the legal age that breaks the law. This essay will give the reader in depth information about the term juvenile delinquent.
Juvenile delinquency is a term that basically means a person under the age of legality that commits that act of breaking the law. In many courts the punishment for committing a crime whilst under the age of 18 doesn’t seem like a big deal. Juvenile delinquency doesn’t seem that bad.
Back in the good old days when America was still a little baby, juveniles were treated the same as everyone else. You commit the crime, you do the time. This went on till the early 1900’s when juveniles were giving their own system. Some people in this era believed that when someone committed a crime it was because of the environment or forces around them rather than their own personal choice. This means that people were not really morally responsible for crimes people committed. The system was all about reforming the juvenile rather than punishing them for the crime that he/she committed. Therefore, the wrongdoer was rehabilitated rather than being punished.
The courts, when dealing with a juvenile delinquent, would ask themselves, “What is in the best interest of the child”. A juvenile needed to be adjudicated delinquent. Prosecutors would file a petition for delinquency; an official reviews it and then schedules a hearing. Being under legal age, he/she has no right to a jury trial. If the court finds that the petition is in the right manner then the court will judge the juvenile delinquent. After this was finished the juvenile would then be assessed and given their rehabilitation measures.
This system was all grand until the 1970’s, when juveniles started gaining in...