Juvenile Court Process 1
Checkpoint: Juvenile Court Process
Juvenile Court Process 2
Juvenile Court Process
The court process for juvenile offenders is similar to the adult process, yet has some significant differences. Juvenile courts handle matters concerning children including neglect, delinquency, and adoption. In addition, juvenile courts handle status offenses such as, runaways and truancy, which is not suitable for adult courts.
Most juvenile offenders are send to juvenile courts by law enforcement officials, but social service agencies, neighbors, school officials, and even parents send offenders as well because of certain circumstances or behaviors that require intervention. Once juveniles are sent to the courts, the prosecution determines if sufficient evidence exists for filing a request for an adjudicatory hearing or a request to transfer the case to an adult court (Meyer & Grant, 2003). All states allow juvenile offenders to be tried as adults under special circumstances. However, many states exclude certain serious offenses from the jurisdiction of juvenile courts no matter the circumstances or age of the wrongdoer.
In cases in which the juvenile court keeps jurisdiction, the case is either handled formally or informally. If the case is handled formally a delinquency petition will be filed. If the case is handled informally the offender will be redirected to other programs and agencies for further court processing. In addition, when disposing of cases, juvenile courts seem to provide more discretion than that of adult courts. However, despite the discretion of the juvenile court proceedings, juveniles are given many of the due process safeguards as the...
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