less than 1 minute read

Juvenile Justice: Juvenile Court

A Remade Juvenile Court

Every jurisdiction in the United States continues to operate a separate juvenile court system, but many youth are ineligible for juvenile court and those that remain experience a juvenile court process that is far more criminalized. Juvenile court procedures are more complex and evidence-driven. Cases are more likely to be formally charged by prosecutors instead of being handled informally by probation workers. Juvenile court dispositions are increasingly governed by offense severity rather than by youth troubles. Defense attorneys are under pressure to defend juvenile clients more vigorously since adjudication may lead to more severe sanctions. Probation officers, prosecutors, and judges openly embrace the goals of retribution and incapacitation. In short, the similarities of the juvenile and adult justice systems are becoming greater than the differences between them. The primary challenge for lawmakers during the twenty-first century may be to decide whether to continue maintaining the separate juvenile court at all.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal LawJuvenile Justice: Juvenile Court - Origins, Expansion, Retrenchment, Structure, Personnel, Process, Caseload, Juvenile Rights, Continuing Controversies