Juveniles Tried In An Adult Court

1651 words - 7 pages

Today, the court system in this country is divided into two groups when comparing juveniles and adults. One is the Adult Criminal Justice System, and the other is the Juvenile Justice System. The terminology can be very different between the two systems. For instance; if an adult is arrested, they will be subject to a bail hearing. If a juvenile is arrested they must go through a detention hearing. Adults have trials which can be decided by a judge or jury. Juveniles go through a fact finding hearing and don’t receive verdicts because they are adjudicated. “They are not found guilty, but delinquent or involved” (Komiscruk). Another difference between the two is that juvenile court rooms are usually closed to the public, which includes the media. Their records are often confidential, protecting children from carrying the burdens of their delinquent activity into adulthood. Also, their records are supposed to be sealed. But what happens when a juvenile’s criminal case is transferred to an adult court? Are the guidelines or rules different from any other adult offender? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the sentencing guidelines?

For many years, states have believed that the juvenile justice system came about to protect the public by providing a system that helps children who are maturing into adulthood. States understand that children who commit crimes are different from adults. They believe that children are less blameworthy, and have a greater capacity for change. To make up for these differences, states have created a separate court system for juveniles, and they have created a separate, youth based system that is different than that provided to adults.
The first juvenile justice system was established in Illinois in 1899. Since then the system has grown and changed substantially. In the beginning the process was very informal. Often it would only be a conversation between the youth and the judge. The minor did not have legal representation at that time either. The early juvenile courts created a probation system and used a separate service delivery system to provide minors with supervision, guidance, and education. By 1967, the U.S Supreme Court determined that the Constitution require that all youths in the juvenile system have many of the same rights guaranteed to adults accused of crimes. This also included having the right to an attorney and the right to confront witnesses against them.
Today, the juvenile system primary goals are crime reduction and rehabilitation. The juvenile officials must assess whether youthful offenders are likely to commit crimes in the future and whether they can benefit from interventions. If these kids cannot benefit, then they will most like end up a delinquent. In most states delinquency is defined as the commission of a criminal act by a child who was under the age of 18 at that time (Virginia Rules). Most states allow youth to remain under the supervision of the...

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