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Juvenile Delinquency

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The juvenile delinquency term has come to imply disgrace in today's society. An underage offender can be labeled a delinquent for breaking any number of laws, ranging from robbery to running away from home. To help better understand the rights that a juvenile is entitled to, the following situations faced by the criminal justice system when dealing with juvenile detainees will be examined. The two main areas of discussion include; juvenile’s rights at time of arrest and additional protections afforded to the juvenile. These areas will be briefly analyzed to give adequate explanation of the issue and whether additional protections serve the purposes of criminal and social justice.

Law enforcement officials have a very important task when dealing with the rights of a juvenile at the time of arrest. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recommend that a script be used by the judges to ensure that the due process rights of the juvenile are maintained (Bartollas and Miller, 2008, P.141). When the custody of a juvenile takes place all procedures must be followed in accordance with the state law. If procedures are not followed at the time of arrest, the case could potentially bring legal actions against law enforcement and juvenile court officials. Law enforcement officials may use discretion upon arrest of those offenders who commit serious crimes and can also ignore many lesser offenses committed by juveniles. As noted by Bartollas and Miller, “After adjudication, a youth is place in juvenile detention or moved out of detention and into probation, residential placement, or the adult system, and then released” (2008, P. 18). Other options exist in determining what to do with the juvenile, but in more serious cases, t...

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...urther actions by the judge. Additional protections afforded to the juvenile emphasize procedures that must be granted in court. Ultimately, the goal of the due process procedures should be geared towards helping the juvenile refrain from the criminal justice system. We can all agree that juvenile delinquents should be punished for their criminal behavior and be held responsible in accordance with the law, but the protection of their legal rights must not be taken from them.

Works Cited

Baker, F (1991). Saving Our Kids. New York: Cornelia and Michael Bessie Books.

Bartollas, C. & Miller, S. (2008). Juvenile justice in America (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.

Seiter, R. P. (2008). Corrections: An Introduction. (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

Worrall, J.L. (2008). Crime Control in America. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
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