Juvenile Justice System

Good Essays
This paper describes the various legislations and movements that were established in 19th century to address the issue of juvenile justice system. It outlines the challenges faced by the legislation and movements and their implications in addressing the issues of the juvenile justice system.

Late eighteenth and early nineteenth century was the beginning of creating a difference in the way delinquents were handled. Historically, an offender who was above seven years of age was imprisoned together with the adults. Though an offender who was between seven and fourteen years of age was presumed as one who is not able to form the required criminal intent it gave the prosecutor room to prove otherwise. A house referred to as the New York House of Refuge was established by reformers in 1824, and it was meant to curb the problem of sending a child offender to an adult jail. In 1899 a juvenile court was established in Cook County, Illinois and another one in April 1905 in Birmingham (Shore). There was an educational reform movement that advocated for reform in juvenile justice. The movement was referred to as the Society for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency. The main issue that legislation and movements sought to address was the separation of delinquents from the adult offenders. In a case of an adult offender the court looks at the act committed. However, with the emergence of juvenile courts the focus is on the delinquent who is viewed as a child, and who needs to be helped. In the spirit of ensuring that trials against children were handled in a speedy and in a confidential manner, children below fourteen years were tried immediately before two magistrates (19th Century Bedford Gaol).

These early ref...

... middle of paper ...

... been recognized as criminal proceedings. The double jeopardy clause in the Fifth Amendment prohibits the state from trying an offender as juvenile and later as an adult for the same crime.

Works Cited

Einstein law, (2008). Retrieved from:

Hill, D.E., (2008). Juvenile Justice. Retrieved from:

Shore, H. The Idea of Juvenile Crime in 19th-Century England. Retrieved from:

Stier, K., (2009). Getting the Juvenile-Justice System to Grow Up. Retrieved from:,8599,1887182,00.html

19th Century Bedford Gaol. Retrieved from:
Get Access