Essay on Juvenile Crime

Submitted By iwebber86
Words: 1136
Pages: 5

Juvenile Crime
Foundations of the Criminal Justice System
Week 9

The United States of America has criminal justice system that is created by the people and works for the people. The court systems have some differences in each state. There may even be some variances between local and state laws. However, the system’s objective is to work towards a balance. The functions of the justice system are law enforcement, the courts, and the corrections system. The system is into further details. There is juvenile courts and adult court system. A separation of systems is a key to ensuring the justice system works in favor of both parties. The juvenile justice system is to try and prevent or curve the crime in children under 18years of age to avoid children becoming adult criminals. It is can vary from state to state when a child can be considered an adult for a crime. The constitutional rights of the individuals will vary from juvenile and adult court system. The juvenile court allows the judge to make the decisions for case. In adult court systems it is based on the jury and the judge to make those calls. It can also depend heavily on past criminal history. The juvenile justice system and adult system have many differences. Some of the differences begin in terminology. An adult gets a bail hearing, while a minor will get a detention hearing. The adult is referred to as a defendant and a minor is considered a respondent. In the adult court there jury reaches a verdict while in juvenile court the judge reaches and adjudication. The modern era has begun to pave a way in reforming or discouraging juveniles from committing crimes. Not long ago children received little to any preferential treatment different from an adult. They were punished the same and housed together in jails and prisons. In 1870, an expanding recognition of children’s needs led Massachusetts to enact legislation that required separate hearings for juveniles. (Schamallager, 2011) The first juvenile justice court was established in the year of 1899 in Cook, Illinois. It wasn’t until 1938 that the Juvenile Court act was passed and federal government required states to function under the same laws and system as the state of Illinois. The idea that rehabilitation was an option was well received and spread among other states. The juvenile justice system is more clear and concise about the purpose they serve in the criminal justice system. The system has more uniformity compared to the adult justice system. The juvenile justice system has terminology that continues to try and separate the children from adults. For instance the term delinquency is used to describe them. Delinquency describes actions or conduct represented by a juvenile that would be considered criminal and violates the law. If they were an adult they would be referred to as criminals. Children under the juvenile justice system may receive a status offense. This term means that they commit an act or conduct that is only considered offensive as a juvenile. If they were an adult this would not be a crime. Some examples of status offenses are; running away from home, truancy, or vagrancy. In the end the court or state can become the higher parent and remove children from the homes of their parents or guardians. “About 1.6 million juveniles (under 18) are arrested annually in America. The juvenile justice system in the last few years has seen its ups and downs. Violent crime by juveniles is decreasing. Younger juveniles account for a substantial proportion of juvenile arrests and the juvenile court caseload. Female delinquency has grown substantially, increasing 76% in the last ten years. The number of juveniles held in public facilities has increased sharply. Minority juveniles are greatly overrepresented in the custody population. Crowding is a serious problem in juvenile facilities.” (Schamallager, 2011) There is no single reason or cause that