When it comes to influencing the procedural requirements of the juvenile justice system, there are several major cases that have been of significant influence. In order to understand the ramifications of such cases, it helps to have a clear understanding of the procedural requirements of this system from the outset. This is a much different system than the adult process that most people know at least a little bit about.
The first major procedural difference is that law enforcement detains juveniles instead of arresting them (Reichel, 2002). Following this step, a petition is create that stipulates the fact that the juvenile court has authority of the juvenile and the related offense, after which a court appearance is set and a notice is sent to the family of the detained individual (Reichel, 2002). This is also the document that is utilized in the paperwork associated with the charges in question. Adjudications happens in the court room, as it does with adults, so this is not a major systematic difference.
One of the major procedural differences in the juvenile justice system that is different from that of the adult system is the fact that the records of the juvenile are sealed, due to age. Adult records are open to anyone seeking them within the confines of the Freedom of Information Act (Reichel, 2002). The idea behind sealing the records of a juvenile stems from the desire to not allow a foolish mistake made in youth to follow that individual into adulthood, particularly should the incident in question be a one-time issue. Moreover, juveniles generally have the option to expunge those records once they enter adulthood officially, though this is a much more c...
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... and rehabilitation for some of the country’s youngest criminal offenders. More often than not, there are mitigating circumstances surrounding the reasons that some of these youth commit the crimes that they do. Their brains are not fully developed enough yet to truly understand the long-term consequences of their actions much in the way that adults do – or should, for that matter. With this in mind, the country’s highest court has taken steps to ensure that juveniles in the justice system are handled in such a way that speaks to the fact that their age plays a role in the crimes they may commit, so it should also play a role in their detainment. Instead of meting out punishment that will likely ensure that their criminal acts continue well into adulthood, the court system has put a set of procedures in place that deal with detainees like the youth that they are.
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