Juvenile Justice System

Topics: Crime, Criminology, Criminal law Pages: 7 (1328 words) Published: April 7, 2015


Juvenile Justice System
Carlos M. Lino Rios
University of Phoenix
CJA/204 - INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE
March 18, 2013
David Kurylowicz, MBA

Juvenile Justice System
There is a rationale in society that juveniles are still in development state and their Behavior can be malleable. This means that bad or erratic behavior can be change with appropriate treatment, rehabilitation, and influence by an active community. A juvenile is defined by the law as any person under the age of eighteen. Juvenile delinquency is consider an illegal act or offense committed by an underage person that if the person were an adult it would have been considered a crime. Because of this distinction set in place to protect minors; there are juvenile courts and facilities specifically created to manage these juvenile delinquents. The focus of the juvenile court not on the offense itself, but rather it focuses on the offender and on the possible alternatives to assist in the rehabilitation rather than mere punishment. The main goal is to reduce the recidivism rate in juveniles allowing them to re-integrate into society (Juvenile Justice. 2013). Offenses can fluctuate from status offenses, to property crimes, and violent crimes. Status offenses are consider minor offense that under the law of a jurisdiction would not be consider a crime if committed by an adult; such as running away, being ungovernable or incorrigible, violating curfew laws, or possessing alcohol or tobacco (American Bar Association. n.d.). The Finkelhor (2000) website defines property crime as the illegal taking or damaging of property, including cash, and personal belongings. Examples include burglary, theft, robbery, and vandalism. In many instances, the offender acts furtively, and the victim is often not present when the crime occurs. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines violent crime as a behavior by persons, against persons or property that intentionally threatens, attempts, or inflicts physical harm. Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault (The Uniform Crime Reports. 2010). The differences between juvenile court and criminal court are well demarked. According to the Juvenile Justice (2013) website, a juvenile offender is judged "delinquent" rather than "guilty." Sentencing varies and ranges from restorative justice programs, to community service, detention at a juvenile facility, and in some instances adult prison. Punishment is based on the juveniles’ severity of the violation, the criminal record of the offender, and the person’s personal history. Punishment can be applied until it is determined that the juvenile is rehabilitated, or when the juvenile reaches the age of 18. Sometimes, parents would also be found liable for the offense committed by their son or daughter and become responsible for financial restitution of the victim. Juveniles are protected by the law and many limitations are generally placed on public access to juvenile records and trials because of the belief that juvenile offenders can be rehabilitated. Their privacy is of absolute concern to avoid stigmatization (Juvenile Justice. 2013). Offenders of criminal law will have generally their criminal records available for public record and open access to their trial. The justice system follows a psychological approach when dealing with juveniles. The juvenile justice system examines the social history of the person to understand better their needs and mental state and apply an appropriate program to rehabilitate the person. Juvenile offenders face hearings by a judge, rather than a trial by a jury. Adult defendants in the criminal justice system are put on trial by jury, which is based largely on legal facts and evidence, and seek punishment rather than rehabilitation (Juvenile Justice. 2013). Juveniles can be placed on preventative detention by law enforcement for their...


References: Does Treating Kids Like Adults Makes a Difference? (2013). Retrieved from
http://www.pbs.org wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/juvenile/stats/kidslikeadults.html
Finkelhor, D. (2000). Juvenile Victims of Property Crimes. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/184740.pdf
Juveniles as Offenders
Juvenile Justice. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/juvenile/stats/juvvsadult.html
Juvenile Justice History
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