When the Juvenile Justice System was created, it was geared towards treating poverty stricken juvenile offenders as adults while allowing the wealthier offenders to essentially go free. Decades later, a reform movement saw a need to delineate juvenile offender from adults through their own court system. A shift in how these offenders were treated throughout the juvenile system process began to take shape. There was a push to reduce the risk of a youth offender becoming an adult offender. This push is far different from how the initial juvenile offenders were treated.
In the Beginning
Over 100 years ago, the juvenile court system was created. With the growth in juvenile offenders there was a need for a specialized court system to deal with the specific needs of adolescent offenders. The Progressive movement of the 1890’s began to advocate for political, social, and economic reform. They had concerns for children being affected by economic despair, social disorder, and excesses of industrialization (Neubauer & Fradella, 2011). There was a clouded shadow of self-interest when it came to the Progressives’ concern for the adversity urban inhabitants. The Progressive’s thinking led to the juvenile court movement which reflected social classes. The poor were processed through the court system while the wealthier were handled in an informal fashion.
Children under seven years old were classified as being incapable of criminal intent given their lack of maturity making them exempt from prosecution. Back then children over the age of eight years old were considered adults in the eyes of the law ((Neubauer & Fradella, 2011). When a crime was committed by a child over the age of eight, t...
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...quently on the news, you will hear they are not showing the suspects face because he/she is a juvenile which leads me to secret proceedings. Unlike with adult court cases, juvenile cases are not typically open to the public and it is illegal to share the juvenile offender’s personal information. In the recent years, some states have begun opening delinquency hearing in certain cases to the public (Neubauer & Fradella, 2011).
Since the inception of the Juvenile Justice System, there have been many changes. Most of these changes have been geared towards helping prevent future criminal actions by the juvenile offender. The goals of juvenile courts is to stop a youth from becoming an adult offender by making sure they have the necessary tools to turn their life around before they reach 18 years of age and enter the adult court system.
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