A Case of Juvenile Justice

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Charlie – A Case in Juvenile Justice
Melissa Thomas
CJ420 – Juvenile Justice
Prof. Amy Ng
December 4, 2012

Abstract
Children are gifts from above and need guidance and love. If either one is absent then they are at risk of becoming juvenile offenders or career criminals. The juvenile justice system has many players that facilitate the tools for a juvenile to use an offense as a learning experience. The juvenile encounters three important individuals; the juvenile police officer, probation officer and the judge. These three people dictate what happens to the youthful offender depending on his behavior during the juvenile justice process.

“One good teacher in a lifetime may sometimes change a delinquent into a solid citizen.” Philip Wylie

Who influences a juvenile delinquent to reform himself? How does the juvenile justice system operate? Any juvenile offender can be reformed and avoid recidivism if the right people are involved. If there is one weak link then the entire system breaks down. A 10 year old boy, Charlie, has been charged with several counts of shoplifting from a convenience store. The total value of the items stolen was a little over $100. He was caught by a juvenile police officer and made to appear in court for his first time. What should a first time offender expect to experience?

Although Texas doesn’t have juvenile police officers except for those that work for the school districts the officers are trained to handle almost any situation. Juvenile police officers are trained to make decisions based on the individual incidents. The officer is the first authority figure an offender encounters related to the juvenile justice system. The officer decides whether or not the case should be brought before the judge. “This discretion, one should be concerned with how police make decisions involving juveniles as it is an important decision, one that may formally classify juveniles (correctly or incorrectly) as delinquents...
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