The Juvenile Justice System
Jodia M Murphy
CJ150 Juvenile Delinquency
Professor Thomas Woods
July 31, 2012
Abstract This paper takes a brief look at the history and evolution of the juvenile justice system in the United States. In recent years there has been an increase of juvenile cases being transferred into the adult court system. This paper will also look at that process and the consequences of that trend.
History and Evolution In the early nineteenth century juveniles were treated the same as adults when it came to the legal system. We did not have separate courts or jails for juveniles and they would often receive the same punishments as adults that had committed crimes. “At the beginning of the …show more content…
For the child being charged as an adult it will limit their ability to find employment, putting further financial strain on the economy and increasing their chances of re-offending. Another factor to consider is the child competency to stand trial. “ Two recent studies found that the mental competency of youths under the age of 16 to stand trial is far below that of similarly charged adults, with one study comparing the competency of young juvenile offenders to that of severely mentally impaired adults” (Seigel & Welsh, 2011).
The juvenile justice system has come a long way since the first separate system was founded in 1899. Landmark cases in the 1960’s and 70’s furthered the goal of better treatment for juveniles in the system. “…The U.S. Supreme Court agreed; "There is evidence, in fact, that there may be grounds for concern that the child receives the worst of both worlds: that he gets neither the protections accorded to adults nor the solicitous care and regenerative treatment postulated for children," wrote Justice Abe Fortas in Kent v. United States” ( Frontline, 2001). In 1974 the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act was passed which made several positive changes: * Separation of juvenile from adult offenders * Deinstitutionalization of status offenders * Created the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention * Created grants to help set up programs for juvenile offenders