Similarities and Differences in Juvenile and Adult Justice Systems

1856 words 8 pages
Similarities and Differences in Juvenile and Adult Justice Systems

When a juvenile is arrested and charged with committing a crime there are many different factors that will come in to play during the course of his arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing, and rehabilitation process. In the past we tried all criminals as adults. There was no distinction made between adult and child. Over the years we have come to realize the need to separate these two groups, as they are two distinctly different populations with very different physical and psychological needs. The separation of adult and juvenile courts finally allowed us to make separate and distinct rules for each population. Now it seems like once again the lines between the two
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Criminal proceedings are usually applied in juvenile court just as they are in a criminal court. There is one exception however, and that is that juveniles are not entitled to a jury by peers as in a criminal court (Siegel 441). "Once the adjudicatory hearing has been completed, the court is normally required to enter a judgment or finding against the child" (Siegel 442). They may either find the child delinquent, adjudging the child to be ward of the court, or suspend the judgment. Disposition is the sentencing step of the juvenile process. Typically juvenile sentences are much shorter than adult sentences and they are aimed at rehabilitation. The aim of the court is what would be in the best interest of the child, while protecting society. Before the juvenile is sentenced the probation department usually completes what is known as a predisposition report. This is used at a tool for focusing on what treatment programs and sentencing options will be best for the offender. Often family members, school official, and statements from the juvenile offenders themselves are used in the predisposition report. Also included are psychological testing reports, intelligence testing reports, and psychiatric evaluations and recommendations. Once the judge has reviewed the predisposition report it is up to him or her to decide the fate of the juvenile. As mentioned

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