Thejuvenile justice system is vital in ensuring rehabilitation of youngindividuals and children that get into aggressive acts because theycannot make accurate decisions. The paper, therefore, focuses on thehistorical development of the courts for children, the prevailingphilosophy of juvenile system as well as the fundamental differencesbetween dependency and delinquency. Furthermore, the essay discussesthe difference between juvenile and adult systems as well as theimportance of confidentiality in the children courts.
JuvenileJustice System: Historical Development
Inthe times that the American had not formulated laws and rules, thecitizens depended on ethical requirements, especially the Bible, tomaintain order in the society as well as accepted code of conducts. The ancient forms of policing in the United States comprised of nightguard volunteers in towns such as New York, Philadelphia, and Boston,but the1938 riot led to the introduction of day guards to supplementtheir night counterparts. In the 20th century, the jurisprudence ofthe United States got distant with the universal laws and principleswhere both the legal theorists and Judges aimed at marginalizing theconcept of intent. In the English common law, there was no place forthe juvenile crime categories, and the young criminals had similartreatments to other offenders including corporal and capitalpunishment (Downes, 2013). Towards the end of the 1800s and at thestart of 1900s, the family courts and individual juveniles decided toseparate the youthful offenders from the adults and the United Statesfounded the first Juvenile Court in 1899 which was based in Chicago,Illinois. Since then, many States have established juvenile courts toaid in the rehabilitation of young individuals using an approach thatis not similar to that of adults with respect to justice. The otherlegal precedents are parens price, parental delinquency laws, dueprocess and exceptions to due process.
JuvenileJustice System: The Predominant Philosophy
Inthe United States, the infants below the age of seven were thought tobe unable to undertake any crime therefore, they got exempted fromprosecution and punishment. However, children of seven years old andabove could go through trials in courts and get sentenced to lifetimeimprisonment if the offense was worth the same. The philosophicalmovement that brought about the formation of the juvenile court inthe United States had its foundation in the 16th century, which wasan educational reform movement. The philosophy was that childrenwere individuals with less than fully developed ethical and reasoningcapability rather than a miniature adult. Another philosophicalconcept was that the juvenile court focused on the offender asopposed to the offense which called for rehabilitation rather thanpunishment (Espelage & Holt, 2013).
TheFundamental Differences between the Juvenile and Adult Justice System
Thejuvenile and adult criminal systems have some disparities which varyin every State, with the following as the distinguishing factors. First, adult systems prosecute individuals for criminal cases whilethe juveniles get prosecuted due to serious delinquent acts. Second,the adult systems give people the right to public trial while in thecase of the minors, there is adjudication hearing which is about thejudges making a ruling after hearing the evidence of the delinquencyof the juvenile. The next difference is the purpose of action ininstances where there is evidence of a crime, for example, in thejuvenile system the goal is to rehabilitate the offender while in theadult system, the intention is to punish the criminal. Lastly, thejuvenile courts are more informal compared to that of adults becausethe decisions of the minors are case by case, therefore, attractslenient evidence (Downes, 2013).
TheDifference between Dependency and Delinquency
Thejuvenile delinquents are people of ages between ten and eighteen inthe United States that have engaged in offenses but should notundergo standard trials similar to the adults. In the aspect ofjuvenile delinquency, the cases commence when files of publicpetition get presented by the prosecutors indicating that thejuvenile violated the law. If the court determines that the minor wasdelinquent, then it has to decide in the best interest of thejuvenile whether they can be under house arrest or minors’detention facility (Espelage & Holt, 2013).
Onthe other hand, juvenile dependency comes up when parents orguardians have neglected the minors or injured them, and the courtshave to make a major decision concerning the necessity to take awaythe child from the problematic home. If there are aspects of abuse orneglect, then the judges and social workers can take the child awayfrom home, or engage in reunification processes making the parentsensure that the home is clean and safe for the juvenile (Espelage &Holt, 2013).
TheImportance of Confidentiality in Juvenile Court and Reason Behind it
Thecriminal proceedings of the juveniles are confidential because thecourt understands that the minors are incapable of making a concretedecision, thus, they should not be denied a chance of getting highereducation or employment opportunities because of the felonies theycommit. Instead of being exposed for the crimes they did, thejuvenile courts aim to offer justice in a confidential manner thatwill permit the development and growth of children. Furthermore,confidentiality among the juveniles promotes their integrity as wellas reputation because it ensures that the media cannot access theirrecords (Le Blanc & Frechette, 2013).
Thephilosophical movement that brought about the formation of thejuvenile court in the United States had its foundation in the 16thcentury which was an educational reform movement. The philosophy wasthat children were individuals with less than fully developed ethicaland reasoning capability rather than a miniature adult. It is,therefore, necessary for every government to employ rehabilitationrole on criminals rather than punishing them.
Downes,D. (2013). TheDelinquent Solution (Routledge Revivals): A Study in Subcultural Theory.Abingdon-on-Thames, UK: Routledge.
Espelage,D. L., & Holt, M. K. (2013). Suicidal ideation and schoolbullying experiences after controlling for depression anddelinquency. Journalof Adolescent Health, 53(1), S27-S31.
LeBlanc, M., & Frechette, M. (2013). Malecriminal activity from childhood through youth: Multilevel anddevelopmental perspectives.Berlin, Germany: Springer.