Comparing Juvenile and Adult Courts The Juvenile and Adult courts follow the same general module of Intake, the case goes before a judge, and then a final decision is made the judge or someone of authority. However, the Adult courts must follow specific processes that provide due process to all Adults: the right to an attorney, a judge or jury, a fair and speedy trail. The Adult court is bound by the adversarial method of the offender is innocent until found guilty and then is punished. The Juvenile court maintains most of their due processes through the right to an attorney, the prepotency against self-attribution, and the right to notice of the allegations. Additionally, the Juvenile court system has the same set up but within its structure, the variables are more flexible as the purpose of this court is not to punish but to rehabilitate. And because the goal of the Juvenile court is to build and develop the juvenile offender, it may take away for the Juvenile’s right to a due process. The Juvenile court leans away from these rights when delinquent acts are committed because full proof evidence is not required before a petition is filed. Under the Juvenile court, they stray away from using specific words that are used to incriminate an offender in the Adult courts. For example, petition is used in lieu of a complaint, the word act is considered instead of crime. Therefore, Juveniles are not arraigned for perpetrating crimes but offensive acts. Juvenile offenders have “adjudication hearings instead of trials” (Schamallager, 2009). And they do not have a right jury trial. Everything is considered by a sole judge or a by an officer of the court. Juvenile courts are more informal that adult courts. Judges resolve the case’s disposition, for example, whether the juvenile is responsible or not, and what the verdict must be. The sentencing is usually individualized toward the juvenile. This is where the Juvenile courts flexibility is beneficial. There are more options under this informal procedure to provide to the Juvenile.
Options provided for the Juvenile may include bot not limited to government provided services, attending specified schools within the area and counseling to assist with mentoring including restrictions (curfew) and non-association of certain people. It can even extend to special day treatment programs, or even such things as education in the prevention of substance abuse, anger management including social and team developing skills. It is the same as the Adult