Essay on Juvenile Justice And The Criminal Justice System

Essay on Juvenile Justice And The Criminal Justice System

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Juvenile Justice
John Reitan
The University of Memphis

When our thoughts turn to the criminal justice system it is only a natural instinct to assume everyone associated with policing, courts, and corrections will have to deal with juveniles sometime in their career. Young people in today’s society can be so easily influenced by social situations, peer pressure, and family members. The courts in the United States are faced with difficult decisions on a daily basis. Sentencing juveniles to adult facilities for their crimes is becoming a common trend in the justice system today; however it is not a deterrent whatsoever. “The current policies of juvenile bind over to adult criminal court and severe sentencing have been unsuccessful in the decrease of juvenile crime and recidivism.” (Miner-Romanoff, 2014). Many aspects of waiving juveniles into adult court are universally controversial, but a few need to be addressed; and they include: an explanation for circumstances when a waiver is necessary, waiver petition procedure, finally legal implications of sentencing juveniles to adult facilities. Three questions to ask are: what is a juvenile? What is a waiver? And when is a waiver into adult court necessary? A rough definition of a juvenile is any person(s) who is young; that is, under the age of eighteen. There is a major difference between a juvenile and a delinquent. “A delinquent child is one who has committed an act that if committed by an adult would be criminal.” (Clear, Cole, Reisig, 2013). In many situations, a waiver into adult court is necessary for the juvenile’s offense. By definition, a waiver is when a judge sets aside any protections the courts may provide for the young offender. For sentencing purposes, “In...

... middle of paper ... court and incarcerated. In conclusion, as I previously stated, many aspects of waiving juveniles into adult court are universally controversial including: an explanation when a waiver is necessary, waiver petition procedure, and legal implications of sentencing juveniles to adult facilities. All three of these components are equally weighted when a juvenile’s future now rests in the hands of the adult courts. When carefully considered, the legislative side of the criminal justice system can factor in a large quantity of evidence and mitigating circumstances against a juvenile, and impose a sentence within the parameters of the law. In my opinion, it is impossible to completely prevent juveniles from offending the law; however, it is possible for young people to receive assistance and guidance at an early age in hopes of deterring future delinquent behavior.

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