Essay on Adult Justice System vs. Juvenile Justice System

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Adult Justice System vs. Juvenile Justice System


CJ150: Juvenile Delinquency
Josh Skaggs

There are many similarities and differences between the adult and juvenile justice systems. Although juvenile crimes have increased in violence and intensity in the last decade, there is still enough difference between the two legal proceedings, and the behaviors themselves, to keep the systems separated. There is room for changes in each structure. However, we cannot treat/punish juvenile offenders the way we do adult offenders, and vice versa. This much we know. So we have to find a way to merge between the two. And, let’s face it; our juveniles are more important to us in the justice system. They are the group at they
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A true loving parent would probably never give up on their child, so I can see the argument from both sides.

In many cases a juvenile will be released back to a parent/guardian to await trial or juvenile court proceedings. This takes the place of the adult bail system. Due to the fact that the juvenile court system is much more informal than the adult, the admissibility of evidence is considerably more lenient. The juvenile courts procedures and evidence rules make it easier to win convictions in juvenile court as opposed to an adult courtroom. In fact, many prosecutors push to try more juvenile cases in juvenile court, regardless of seriousness of crime, due to this fact. It makes their jobs easier, and they feel they have a better shot without having to go up against a jury. This is not fair because some serious juvenile crimes deserve to be prosecuted in the adult justice system, leading to an adult sentence. The main mission of the two court systems differ in that the juvenile justice system aims to rehabilitate, whereas the adult justice system intends to inflict punishment. These objectives continue to differentiate between the two. The juvenile justice system will use diversionary programs to send juveniles through scores of therapies, counseling, interventions, and treatments in hopes to reform them from their criminal behavior. This goal is derived from the “parens patriae” position the courts holds to act as legal guardian for a