Juvenile Court Essay

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The first juvenile court was established in Illinois in 1899. In the late 18th century children as young as seven could stand trial in criminal court and could be sentenced to prison or death. The perception of children was later changed and they were viewed as persons with undeveloped moral and cognitive capacities. This allowed the state of Illinois to intervene in the lives of children providing protection and care or supervision. The mission to help children in trouble was clearly stated in the laws that established juvenile courts. This led to the procedural changes between the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The similarities of the juvenile court system and the adult court system are the right to an attorney, the right to…show more content…
Recent national trends in juvenile law have introduced two other mechanisms by which youth may be transferred to criminal court for trial: (a) statutory exclusion and (b) prosecutorial direct file. At the present time, more than half of these states provide a statutory exclusion. In states in which statutory exclusion is an option, age, and crime type (serious offenses such as murder or assault) are automatically outside the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Therefore, the charge is filed directly in criminal court without any input from juvenile court judges (Salekin, 2001). A certification process is also used to certify a juvenile for the prosecution in an adult criminal court. There are several juveniles who contest their transfers to criminal courts and wish to remain in the juvenile justice system. Several important implications exist for youths, depending on the nature of their offenses, their prior records, and the potential penalties the respective courts may impose (Snyder, 2003). The right circumstances for a juvenile case transferred to a criminal court may have advantages they would not otherwise receive in a juvenile court. There are both positive and negative implications of waivers for juveniles. One positive implication in juvenile court proceedings is considered civil and not criminal allowing the juvenile to avoid a criminal record. There are some court judges who show compassion for the juvenile sentencing them to
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