top-rated free essay

Differences Between Juvenile & Adult Justice System

By cgoin3 Dec 10, 2010 796 Words
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 are three types of waivers used in determining whether a juvenile will be tried as an adult. First there is a Legislative Waiver which states; by law, the juvenile’s case must be held in the adult criminal court, based on the offense committed under WIC 602(b)(A) through (G) and the minimum age to be tried as an adult is fourteen years. Some of the offenses that fall under WIC 60(b)(A)-(G) include: murder, rape, forcible sex offenses, forcible lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of fourteen, and forcible penetration with an object. The second type of waiver is the Direct File Waiver (formerly known as a Prosecutorial Waiver). The Direct File Waiver allows for the prosecutor to file a criminal claim against a juvenile ‘directly’ in adult criminal court, eliminating the need for a fitness hearing. But, judges may transfer a juvenile to an appropriate juvenile court if the judge deems it to be fair and just. The third type of waiver is the Judicial Waiver. The Judicial Waiver states that in order for a juvenile to be transferred to the adult criminal court, it requires the juvenile to be found “unfit” for the juvenile system in a fitness hearing. The minimum age of the minor is fourteen years of age. In an effort to fight against juveniles from committing serious crimes, the voters of California in March of 2000 passed Proposition 21 (Gang Violence and the Juvenile Crime Prevention Act). Proposition 21 increased a variety of criminal penalties for crimes committed by juveniles and incorporated many juvenile offenses into the adult criminal system. There is increased punishment for gang related felonies, death penalty for gang-related murder, indeterminate life sentences for home-invasion robbery, carjacking, drive-by shootings, and many other crimes. This Proposition also requires adult trial for juveniles fourteen or older charged with murder or specified sex offenses. Informal probation for juveniles committing felonies was also eliminated and registration was required for gang related offenses.

Legislation like that of Proposition 21 shifts the focus of juvenile justice from rehabilitation to punishment as the number of waivers continues to increase nationwide. The juvenile justice system traditionally individualized its decisions due to its rehabilitative nature and perception that juveniles do not have fully developed concepts of what is right and wrong. Also, Proposition 21 shifts the discretionary power from judges to prosecutors. As with most problems in our society, juvenile justice could be more effective as a whole.

References
Cruz, J. (2002). Juvenile Waivers and the Effects of Proposition 21. Law and Society Review. Retrieved March 3, from www.lawso.ucsb.edu/rreview/issues/2001-2002. Unknown. (2000). California Proposition 21. Retrieved on March 6, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_21_(2000) Unknown. (2005). The Juvenile Justice System. Retrieved on March 3, 2009 from www.csustan.edu/socialwork

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Similarities and Differences in Juvenile and Adult Justice Systems

    ...Similarities and Differences in Juvenile and Adult Justice Systems When a juvenile is arrested and charged with committing a crime there are many different factors that will come in to play during the course of his arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing, and rehabilitation process. In the past we tried all criminals as adults. There was no...

    Read More
  • Similarities and Differences Between the Juvenile Justice and Adult Criminal System

    ...Running Head: JUVENILE V. CRIMINAL 1 Juvenile Justice System V. Criminal Justice System Ronda Cauchon CJ150-01 Professor Abreu Kaplan University October 9, 2012 JUVENILE V CRIMINAL ...

    Read More
  • Juvenile Justice System: Should They Be Tried as Adults?

    ...do you think juveniles should be charged as adults? I believe juveniles should not be tried as an adult. My primary reason is because they have the ability to be rehabilitated. Second, there are many dangers associated with juveniles in prison. Lastly, the harsh sentencing laws make it easier to try juveniles as adults. The J...

    Read More
  • The Juvenile Justice System of the U.S

    ...The juvenile justice system was founded on the concept of rehabilitation through individualized justice Early in U.S. history, children who broke the law were treated the same as adult criminals Throughout the late 18th century, "infants" below the age of reason (traditionally age 7) were presumed to be incapable of criminal intent and were, the...

    Read More
  • Juvenile Justice System

    ...The Juvenile Justice System has become a major factor when it comes to dealing with juvenile offenders. The Juvenile Justice System was not always around and has not stayed the same. Many different rules and regulations have changed just like the Criminal Justice System; the Juvenile Justice System is made up of three categories: [Juvenile] Poli...

    Read More
  • Analysis of Juvenile Justice System

    ...Current Juvenile Justice System Part A- With the advent of adolescence, the criminal justice system in this country had to address the needs of the juvenile population and recognize that juveniles need to be treated differently than adults. Juvenile crime cannot only be understood in terms of rational behavior, but also ...

    Read More
  • Adult and Juvenile Justice System

    ...many similarities and differences between the adult and juvenile justice systems. Siegel and Welsh, (2008 p. 272), states that, “the components of the adult and the juvenile criminal processes are similar, but the juvenile system has a separate organizational structure.” There are more differences than there are similarities, but only beca...

    Read More
  • Children or Adults: an Examination of the Juvenile Justice System

    ...Children or Adults: An Examination of the Juvenile Justice System CHILDREN OR ADULTS 2 Abstract This research paper will discuss whether or not juveniles that commit violent crimes should be tried as an adult. Through research the author will establish an argument that children who commit the crimes of an adult should be punished ...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.