American Juvenile Justice System

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The American criminal justice system is comprised of criminal courts, correctional facilities, and law enforcement officials. Each of these components also make up the juvenile justice system but the operations of each differs with juveniles than with adults who are suspected of committing criminal acts. A juvenile offender is an individual under a certain age who is suspected of having committed a crime or a status offense. A status offense is an offense that if committed by an adult, would be legal or acceptable. Examples of status offenses are truancy, under aged consumption of alcoholic beverages, and running away from home. Law enforcement officials use their discretion when determining how to pursue status offenses involving juveniles, but when it comes to more serious offenses, they must ensure the safety of society, while also maintaining compliance with the United States Constitution. In this way they are able to stand firm on the fact that they have not violated the rights of the offender.
Young people under the age of 18 account for approximately 16 percent of all arrests in the United States (Kendall, 2010). Law enforcement officials and judicial officers differ in the way that they investigate and process cases involving juveniles and adults. Juveniles who are suspected of criminal activity are processed by the juvenile justice system and their cases are held in a separate court from adult criminal cases. Juvenile cases are processed under the basic assumption that young offenders can be rehabilitated and reformed. Recidivism is acceptable more with the youthful offender and society often allows them more chances to improve their criminal behavior outside of the correctional institution.
The Fourth Am...

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...n offer America the opportunity to take a giant step forward in our fight to control adolescent crime. Unfortunately, most citizens in our nation - and most policymakers as well - remain unaware of the potential for progress. Funding for replication of model programs and for policy reforms based on research-proven, principles are moving at a snail’s pace.

Works Cited

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/missouris-juvenile-justice-system/story?id=8511600

Hansen, Mark. Untrue Confessions. http://www.truthinjustice.org/untrueconfession.htm

Kendall, D. (2010). Social Problems in a Diverse Society (5th ed.). Allyn & Bacon
Mendel, Richard A. Less Hype, More Help: Reducing Juvenile Crime, What Works-and What Doesn’t. Washington DC: American Youth Policy Forum, 2000.

Schmalleger, F. (2009). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century (10thed.).

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