Juvenile vs. Criminal Justice

The juvenile justice system is clearly a different system from the common criminal justice system. Trials for adult criminals take place either in the district or circuit court. On the other hand, the trials for juveniles take place in juvenile courts. The procedures for those under the age of eighteen are not recognized as criminals. In this case, those who represent the offenders are appointed by the court and argue the case in a way that is for the best interest of the child. In cases where children have to be arrested, they are arrested as adult suspects. The reason why these differences are there is because the legal system recognizes the fact that children cannot be handled in the same way as adults.

Just as the court systems for the two are different so are the trials.  Adult perpetrators are tried based on the facts concerning their crimes. On the other hand, juveniles are tried based on psychological and legal factors. In most cases, adult offenders have the right to a jury and attorneys, but most of the states do not provide juveniles with this kind of privilege. This is because juvenile perpetrators are considered very young and incapable of making informed decisions. Their reasons for committing crimes are also very different from those of the adults who are considered to discern between what is right or wrong.

Just as the trial procedure differs, the language used among the two systems is different. In the courts where an adult perpetrator is tried, the verdict is usually either guilty or not guilty, while the verdict for a child offender is either adjudicated delinquent or not delinquent. In most cases, where an adult offender is found guilty, heshe is sentenced to a particular period of time in prison. On the other hand, a child perpetrator who is found delinquent is committed to a specific place set aside for rehabilitation. This is either a training school or reformatory.  

The determination of rehabilitation of a juvenile offender is determined by nature and extent of the crime as well as his criminal history. In situations where the crime is serious or the background search reveals a far-reaching criminal history, the child may be confined for his personal safety and that of the society. However, they are not incarcerated together with the adult criminals except where there is a sight-and-sound- division. The reason why a child is treated or rehabilitated is the belief that it is easier to correct a child and change hisher ways compared to adults. The rehabilitation is part of proper parenting for juvenile offenders. This is based on the belief that upbringing plays a major part in moral values in the children.  

One of the primary objectives of juvenile courts is to provide treatments and rehabilitation for children perpetrators. Children offenders are provided with services of other bodies like social service workers and schools. On the other hand, the justice system for adult offender does not emphasize a lot on rehabilitation. As a fact, it is more of punishment than rehabilitation. Adult perpetrators are punished when found guilty because the system has established that they have committed a crime knowingly and thus needs to pay their debt to the society. This is also done in the hope that they do not commit another crime. Children require understanding and direction and not punishment.

Court cases for juveniles are handled with so much discretion. On the other hand, the court cases for adults are not as discrete. This is done to protect the children. The juvenile system emphasizes not on what crime the child has committed, but the needs of that child. This is because it is generally believed that there is a psychological reason for a child to comment a crime.


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