Juvenile offenders are not dealt with, by the court system and the laws, in the same manner as adults are. The juvenile laws are therefore mainly constructed with the aim of trying to guide and help the juvenile along with their parents in order to protect the society from juvenile criminal conduct as well as protecting the innocent juveniles’ rights. In addition, the laws aspire to instigate some sense of responsibility in the juvenile for their own actions.
The most fundamental objective of these juvenile courts is to ultimately avoid the incidence where a juvenile may end up with a criminal record in their adult lives (Mays, 1991, p. 14). This however doesn’t imply that the juvenile records are erased; they are always maintained although they are not generally made available for public scrutiny or inspection. Discussion
In general terms, the juvenile justice system argues that the basic reason for separating the juvenile and adult cases is the desire to maintain and protect the minors’ privacy. There are three major typologies of cases that are identified in juvenile issues. These include: • Juvenile delinquency- juvenile delinquents are persons who are under 17 years of age who have committed an act that would otherwise be considered criminal and subject to imprisonment if an adult committed it.
• Abused and neglected children- these are cases in which involved families have children below the age of 18 years and who have not been properly taken care of, are sexually abused, psychologically or physically injured, or who have not been provided with financial or supervision support. • CHINS-Children in Need of Services- this category include those children who are below the age of 18 years who ran away from home, are uncontrollable, or those who adamantly refuse to attend school.
Those children under 16 years and commit minor offenses (violations with no jail sentence) are also included in this category (Albert, 204, p. 23). At this point, it is imperatively important to note that juvenile courts are more informal than the adult courts in the sense that they tend to have more relaxed rules, and the evidence is in many instances heard with the intention of judging the ‘delinquency’ of the juvenile, which is never allowed in an adult’s trial.
On the same note, some states allow a right to jury trial to juveniles while others do not. There is need for all and sundry to understand the underlying necessity of addressing protection and respect of juveniles’ right at all community levels. Moreover, there should be uncompromised strengthening of these persons’ legal consciousness in every legal implementation related to children legal rights.