Introduction The “Juvenile and Adult Courts: A Comparative Analysis” paper will compare juvenile courts with adult courts. This paper will present an overview of the juvenile justice system, a point-by-point comparison between juvenile and adult courts. The adjudication process by which a juvenile is transferred to the adult court system. This paper will also discuss the implications of the following for youthful offenders: The trend of increasing the use of waivers, and the trend of remanding juveniles to adult court for processing. The last topic addressed in this paper will be the societal implications of abolishing juvenile court.
Overview of the Juvenile Justice System For over a century, states have believed that the juvenile justice system was a vehicle to protect the public by providing a system that responds to children who are maturing into adulthood. States recognize that children who commit crimes are different from adults: as a class, they are less blameworthy, and they have a greater capacity for change. To respond to these differences, states have established a separate court system for juveniles, and they have created a separate, youth-based service delivery system that is different than that provided to adults.
The juvenile justice system has grown and changed substantially since 1899, when the nation’s first juvenile court was established in Illinois (James Halpin, 2010, pg30). Originally, the court process was informal—often nothing more than a conversation between the youth and the judge—and the defendant lacked legal representation. To replace confinement in jails with adults, the early juvenile courts created a probation system and used a separate service-delivery system to provide minors with supervision, guidance, and education.
Soon every state and the District of Columbia had followed Illinois’s lead and established a juvenile court. In 1967, in a landmark ruling in the case of In re Gault, the U. S. Supreme Court determined that the Constitution requires that youth in the juvenile system have many of the same rights guaranteed to adults accused of crimes, including the right to an attorney and the right to confront witnesses against them (James Halpin, 2010, pgs41-42). Later, the Supreme Court gave youth constitutional rights to have trials that require proof beyond a reasonable doubt; and gave youth a constitutional right against double jeopardy.
(Although some states by statute or court ruling give youth a right to a jury trial, the U. S. Supreme Court held in 1971 that they have no constitutional right to a jury trial. ) Juvenile and Adult Courts play-by-play Comparison In the juvenile justice system one of the most controversial topics is determining if juveniles should be prosecuted as adults or juveniles by the age they committed the crime. The seriousness of the crime would bring to question the actual determination whether the juvenile should be held accountable for their action as an adult or a juvenile.
The criminal justice system has taken past and present experience with juveniles into consideration to determine what type of sentencing each should be given at what age (Shanna Lindguist, 2010 p3). The justice system needs to modify the prosecution law to better suit the need of each juvenile offender by providing a justified sentencing. A learning theory and social control theory has been created to understand why juveniles commit crimes, learn how to help them, and determine if there is any rehabilitation programs that can be used. The Adjudication Process
There are rising issues of adjudication process of juveniles getting transferred to the adult court system. The largest problem with transferring juveniles into adult court system is the stricter rules put into place, plus the inability of using the rehabilitation programs that are mandatory in the juvenile court system. The juveniles who are placed in the adult court system they have a higher recidivism rate than those who are placed in the juvenile court system. If a plea agreement is not reached, the case may go to an Adjudication Hearing (also called Fact-finding.
All parties to the case, including the prosecution witnesses and defense witnesses, will be subpoenaed (summoned) to testify before a Judge. Witnesses may be excluded from the courtroom until they are finished testifying (Clallam County, 2011). The argument for this rule is to ensure that a witness is not influenced by the testimony of another witness. If you are a victim, you have the right to be present throughout the hearing. Since there are no jury trials in juvenile court, the Judge will determine whether or not the juvenile is innocent or guilty of committing a delinquent act after hearing the facts of the case.
At the Adjudication Hearing, the prosecution and the defense may make opening statements to the Judge to explain the case. The Juvenile Prosecutor then presents the case against the juvenile respondent. It is the responsibility of the State to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that a delinquent act was committed and the juvenile respondent is guilty of committing the act (Clallam County, 2012). To meet this burden of proof, the Juvenile Prosecutor presents evidence and calls witnesses to testify. Witnesses are required to testify under oath and may be cross-examined by the juvenile’s defense attorney.
After the prosecutor presents the case against the juvenile respondent, the defense has an opportunity to present its evidence. On advice of counsel, the juvenile may or may not testify. As is the case with prosecution witnesses, defense witnesses are subject to cross-examination by the prosecutor (Clallam County, 2012). The implications of the following for youthful offenders With the progression throughout society, there has various controversy within the youth offenders that have not been tried and punished to the same extent as the adults.
A vast with population has American view to the public of juveniles and their crime to have a serious problem that would support various punishment for the violent crimes and the substantial portion that believe for less harsh type of treatment with the first time offenders. “The main challenge is that the traditional belief has come to minors who are committing heinous crimes and be held accountable” (Study Mode, 2011, pg36). The various speculations of why youth behavior is the way that it is; has some effects that will include that type of crime that they have intent to even commit a crime or the type of crime that they commit.
The trend of increasing the use of waivers There have numerous of states that have considered to modify the existing transfer and the waiver upon the legislation and their respective jurisdictions. Upon the up to date; most transfer and waiver if not all; laws have originally to enact during the era that has remain an unchanged. As well as District of Columbia, that has determines of how the juvenile offenders has handle respective types of jurisdictions (Study Mode, 2011, pg60-62).
When the 51 distinct system of justice has been classified with one of the several categories that were specific to decision making; the system they have used is the judicial waiver and presumptive waiver. There are so many types of waiver that should fit the type of crime of the juvenile and once the juvenile is an adult; they will be considered always an adults with blended sentencing. While the law have primarily classified which are upon the responsibility for each determining of the location or even the jurisdiction with the trial.
Various states has judges that have decides to the court and even most appropriate trial; when it comes to others, many prosecuting who are attorneys has a large discretion and authority. The trend of remanding juveniles to adult court for processing If the offenders are youth and they have transferred to the court system for adults; this is alters that has legal process which can have minor tried. There is versus in juvenile system than the adults courts. It is based on a cooperative which is a method that aim of helping the offender and understanding the different impact that reach for their actions (Study Mode, 2011, pg.35-34).
The designed for it to correct and even guide the youth in a better direction has become a responsible and to realize that their potential is valuable to the member of each community. Conclusion There are many significant differences between the juvenile and adult courts. There has been speculation that the leniency found within the juvenile courts is not always the best option for all cases. In the juvenile courts, rehabilitation of the individual is the primary focus. Within the adult court due process and retribution are considered more important than the individual themselves.
One of the main differences in the juvenile and adult courts is the terminology which is used. For juveniles who are brought into court, the terminology refers to the situation as an “act of delinquency”. In the adult court the term “crime” is used. Another difference is the way in which the juvenile offender’s background is taken into consideration. For instance, the juvenile’s academic record and family background are taken into consideration for the case (Brick by Brick). This is not true in the case of the adult.
Adults do not receive this special consideration when they are in front of the judge. The problem with the idea of abolishing the juvenile court system is that it would be a long drawn out process. This would severely impede justice from being served in a timely manner. If society decides as whole to transition all of the juvenile cases to the adult or “criminal” court, there needs to be an intricate replacement plan in place. There would be complete chaos in the judicial system if there were no replacement plan intact. This would include having a unified system.
The former juvenile judges would need to step into deal with the now criminal cases. The enormous transition to abolish all juvenile cases would create a large influx of adult correctional needs. The need for more probation and parole officers, and correctional facilities would become an emergent need. The truth of the matter is that juveniles are currently best served under their own court system. Reference http://www. jlc. org http://www. studymode. com Shanna Lindquist: the adjudication of juveniles into adult court system. www. cwla. org/programs/juvenilejustice/jjtransfer. pdf.