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Juvenille Courts Essay, Research Paper

The Juvenile Court system was a system set up to deal with minors who find themselves in

trouble. In trouble with their parents, or the law. This system has its benefits and its


The first juvenile court in the United States was established in 1899, in Illinois.

This set a trend that would grow across the entire United States { Forer, 198 }.

In 1974 The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act was put into effect. It had

many regulations to follow, such as, making prevention of juvenile crime a national

priority. It also assisted state, local, individual, and private organizations to have more

sensible, less costly, and more preductive systems. It also prevents juvenile halls from

turning into nurseries for crime. Separation of minors and adults in the facilities is also

part of the act. States who do not corporate with the standards of the act do not receive

funding from the government, the states who do follow will receive government aid

{ Hyde, 42 }.

The three areas that juvenile courts deal with are criminal acts of minors, minors

neglected or mistreated by parents, or minors in need of supervision in order to stay out of

trouble. A minor can be brought to a juvenile court for other charges that are not

criminal. Such as running away, disobedience, mischief, annoying behavior, or a claim for

dependency {Forer, 114 }. The juvenile courts do not handle any civil matters. The

courts have their flaws in dealing with minors.

There are no set standards for the rights of an accused minor. Lately the laws

dealing with this have become better. But may rights are not being given. The rights that

have been noted as being violated are as follows. Minors can be arrested with out a

warrant, no bail provided, no jury trial, few appellate rights, arrested for crimes that if an

adult had commited are not crimes, a juvenile petition and adult petition differ greatly, and

not all courts have rules of procedure. These are just a few examples of how minors are

stripped of their basic rights.

Recently however these violations have been looked over and are starting to

change. They have the rights to hear the charges brought against them, remain silent, have

an attorney, one local phone call for assistance, speedy trail, confront and question the

people pressing charges against the minor, and the minor’s parents will be notified as

quickly as possible { Dolan, 100-101 }. In addition, rules of evidence and constitutional

protections given to adults are observed in most juvenile courts today. The reason that

minors are usually restrained from having a jury trial is to keep the public from branding

the minor a criminal.

The court system still has to work out more rights violations. Females are treated

differently in the juvenile court system. Parents tend to tolerate misbehavior in a boy, but

are more strict with girls. A result of these actions show an increasing number of females

entering the juvenile court system at a growing, and alarming rate. Once in the court

system they are handed down unfair punishments, and are kept in the detention halls for a

longer period of time than males. They receive different and harsher punishments for the

same non violent crimes committed by boys. Females are also put a probation for a longer

period of time then the boys are. The courts need to treat males and females as equals

under the law.

The juvenile court system was set up to set minors on the right path in life.

However not a lot of rehabilitation is going on while the minors are kept in the detention

halls and other facilities. They are just getting tougher day by day. The court system has

to work on rehabilitating the youth of America that ends up in trouble with the law. The

people of the nation want to ” fix ” the children to become better people. The courts

desperately need to look at what goes on inside the detention homes. They have to make

sure the minors are getting better and are doing OK. If our nation set up this juvenile

court system to save kids from a life full of crime they need to start to look at how the

system is being run now. We have to stop violating their rights because we can, and get

away with it. They have rights to and are entitled to them all. The system is a good

system to have, but some problems need to be worked out, for it to run to the benefit of

the minor, which is why it was put into place to begin with.

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