It will also provide statistical facts showing why waiver can be a very debatable topic within the juvenile criminal justice system. In its totality it will discuss the arguments for and against waiver. The age of the offender determines whether they meet the requirements for a judicial waiver offense. With that said not every state offers all three of the methods a juvenile can qualify for a waiver. In the process of judicial waiver offense the judge takes the final decision on waiving a case.
According to Mack (1909) the focus of the juvenile justice system has shifted from “how can we help the child”, “why did the child commit the crime” to “was the crime committed”. According to Griffin (2008) in some cases juveniles may be required to be “transferred” to adult court. The prerequisites for transfer to adult court are the duty to protect the public from violent youths, serious crime, and the lack of rehabilitation chance from the juvenile court. According to Flesch (2004) many jurisdictions handle the issue of serious juvenile crime by charging juveniles as adults. Charging a juvenile as an adult is done by a method which is called waiver to adult court.
A transition from the classic objective of reform brought by juvenile justice system to a more tough policy that focus more on public safety and on idea of punishment to juvenile offenders came to effect. The trend is to be more amenable to the “get-tough” principle, allowing a juvenile to be prosecuted and tried as an adult in criminal court. The most basic reason for allowing this shift is for public safety and deterrent of crimes involving juveniles. The arguments provide that there is a need to incapacitate these juveniles for some period of time in order for them to realize the seriousness of the offense that they committed and the adult criminal court system is the closest way of achieving this goal. The advocates of the transfer of the juveniles to adult court believe that since the same crime was committed, the same act was done, thus, there is a need to impose the same harsh punishment.
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).
Contesting childhood in the us justice system: The transfer of juveniles to adult criminal court. Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research, 12(4), 461-478. Scott, E. , & Steinberg, L. (2008). Adolescent development and the regulation of youth crime. Future of Children, 18(2), 15-33.
OJJDP: Juvenile offenders and victims, 1999 National Report. (n.d), National Report. Retrieved November 19, 2013, from http://www.ncjrs.gov/html/ojjdp/nationalreport99 Onwediwe, I. (2004). “Theoretical Perspectives on Juvenile Delinquency: Root Causes and Control.” ProQuest Criminal Justice, 66, 153-156.
Released on February 25, 2014. Adapted from Puzzanchera, C. (2013). Juvenile Arrests 2011. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Tarolla, S. M., Wagner, E. F., Rabinowitz, J., & Tubman, J. G. (2002) Understanding and treating juvenile offenders: A review of current knowledge and future directions.
The alternative to determinate sentencing is blended sentencing, which allows judges to issue delinquent offenders both juvenile and adult dispositions. Depending on the behavior of the delinquent while serving out their juvenile sentence, a fail-safe postadjudication stage occurs to determine whether or not their adult sentence should be suspended or invoked (Belshaw et al, 2011). I personally do support utilizing the determinate sentencing for these offenders and believe that it would fail the criminal justice system not to utilize them. This is considered a heinous crime and they should not be shown leniency. At the age of 12-14, the juveniles know that murder is wrong, and the fact that this young man had to lose his life at the age of 19 over an IPOD is atrocious.
Time to Reverse the School-to-Prison Pipeline. (Cover story). Policy & Practice (19426828), 66(1), 22-27. Mulder, E., Brand, E., Bullens, R., & Van Marle, H. (2010). A classification of risk factors in serious juvenile offenders and the relation between patterns of risk factors and recidivism.
Ritter (2010) claims that persons under the age of seven years may not be capable of forming guilt mind. The decision whether children aged between 7 and 14 years has the ability of forming a guilty mind is done by the judges. If the judge believes that the child had a capability of forming a criminal intent he can send him to the juvenile court. In juvenile courts, judges have an obligation of determining the fate of the juvenile offender: circumstances under which the juveniles are detained; when they are to be released; and how long their sentence is to take. In most of the states, children aged 14 years and above are believed to be having a capability of forming criminal intent.