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Juvenile Justice System And The Juvenile Court System

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The juvenile justice system varies from the adult justice system in many ways. For more than a century, the states have believed that the juvenile justice system was a means to ensuring public safety, by establishing and implementing a system that responds to children as they are maturing into adulthood. Today’s youths, however, are increasingly committing more serious crimes that in turn are raising the public’s criticism concerning the modern juvenile justice system. There are those who are in support of keeping every juvenile I juvenile court system and then there are the others who argue if juveniles were held to stricter standards they would not become repeat offender in the system and eventual end up in the adult corrections system.…show more content…
The Department of Justice confirms juveniles are entitled to Fifth Amendment protection under the Constitution, against self-incrimination in juvenile proceedings. This is despite the nature of the crime whether it is of criminal or non-criminal nature of those proceedings. (In re Gault, 1967) Substance, not form, controls in determining the relevance of the Fifth Amendment to proceedings not labeled criminal. Therefor since a juvenile defendant 's liberty is at stake, the Fifth Amendment would apply. The next question that then arises is does the juvenile have the mental capacity to understand their Fifth Amendment rights, that was explained to them when the officer first read them their Miranda Admonishment. Under California law, prosecutors who allege that a minor under the age of 14 has committed a criminal act, the courts must establish that the child can distinguish between right and wrong. The minor must also know what it means to break the law or commit a crime. (In re Gladys R., 1970)

Juveniles are not necessarily given every right afforded to adult criminal defendants. Let’s take a look at the right to “a trial by jury”. Juveniles do not have the right to a jury trial instead a Judge decides the juvenile cases. (McKeiver v. Pennsylvania, 1971) Taking into account that this is a worst case scenario, a minor adjudicated in juvenile court can face being sentenced to the
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