A juvenile is an individual aged between 10 and 17 inclusive. Children under the age of 10 are not regarded as criminal as they are not mature enough to be responsible for any actions. On the other hand, an adult is a complete grown up being accountable for all his deeds.
The justice system is being designed in order to keep the law in check, to impose a penalty on guilty, give rights and options to the victim and to control criminality and corruption. This system creates a line between the guilty and innocent, the good and the evil in a manner that is fair to both. There is no sole system applicable to everyone; it differs depending upon state, city and government laws, etc. Likewise, the process and practices varies in the area of age. As we can comprehend that a minor should not be given a severe punishment, the justice system too have realized and worked towards this matter. Historically, young and adults both were accused of misconduct in the same way irrespective of age which was actually backfiring, making them worse. Over years with the development of child rights and also establishment of a first juvenile court in 1899 in Illinois, state understood the differences. Child are less blameworthy, immature, inexperience, get the influence of peer pressure and also they have the ability to change. Therefore, the system is divided into separate courts for “juvenile” and “adult” in order to conduct verdict differently for a particular crime. (Jlc.org, n.d.).
Differences between juvenile and adult justice system
The difference in both the justice system as how relaxed and how strict it is for a particular crime are as follows.
The first difference gets apparent in a verbiage form. Acts such as robbery, burglary, theft, etc. committed by a juvenile is called delinquency whereas for an adult it’s called crime. Only if the delinquent occurs really serious, it is considered as a crime and handled in the manner of the adult system. Similarly, after committing a crime, an adult is been arrested whereas juvenile is taken into custody. The word arrest is not used for juvenile though in both cases it was a exact same event. Furthermore, in a trail if the crime gets confirmed adults are found guilty but for the juvenile term used is adjudicated.
Law violators whether young or adult must be held answerable. But for juvenile rehabilitation is a prime objective however for adult it is not. Also for prevention of juvenile from further wrongdoing educational approaches are taken to mold the behavior but for an adult it is generalized by crime watchers. (Goldstein, 2007).
Juvenile offender privacy is of high concern. Restrictions are kept in order to access to juvenile delinquency reports and background. Court proceedings are also kept confidential because of the belief that youth can be rehabilitated and accepted back by the public. Adult’s crime, however, have a public access; they are less secure in terms of privacy.
The prosecution approach is different in both cases. Once a cause is identified both societal and legal dynamics are investigated for juvenile. Also, their background and history is considered while for an adult court action rest on legal evidence.
A juvenile have no such option for a bond. Bond are conditions to ensure the accused appearance at court hearings. An adult may apply for it. The juvenile is usually imprisoned for the protection of his own or community.
Adults have a right of selection of jury if their case extend to the trail. For juvenile, there is no such right and their court proceeding is called quasi-civil which means it is not criminal proceedings.
Lastly, in a verdict if an adult is found guilty he is sentenced whereas juvenile is disposed of for his adjudication. The aim behind disposition is to send him to rehabilitation to transform him. (Pbs.org, 1999).
Similarities between juvenile and adult system
Apart from the differences, few basic things are share in common by both of the systems are as follows
An individual in both the systems have a right to get Miranda warnings; these warnings are given to the suspects by a police officer. These warnings are then used in court proceeding to match the admitted crime by the person.
For both the system, protection of the society and taking a decision in the best interest of the community is the main goal. At the key stages of a court proceeding, both systems have the right to counsel, to defy and interrogate witnesses and also to challenge self-incrimination. (Clarke, 2015).
The court decision may not be odd in any case. It should be influenced by the current violation. If not satisfied by the decision made by the court, discretionary decision or plea negotiations rights are available in both systems. Also, the alternative to appeal to higher courts is available.
After released, the behavior of an individual is monitored, if it is not yet appropriate, then the person would be re-detained. (Siegel, 2011).
All in all, adults, and juvenile system differs in a variety of factors. The unique policy of juvenile specially aims to make juvenile acceptable in society. However, the youth of today commits severe crimes thinking they won’t be harshly punished therefore strategies should be developed in order to respond to stern offending behaviors. (Richards, 2011)
Australian Government-Australian Institute of Criminilogy,. (2011). Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice. Australia: Kelly Richards. Retrieved from http://www.aic.gov.au/media_library/publications/tandi_pdf/tandi409.pdf
Clarke, P. (2015). Juvenile vs. Adult Criminal System | LegalMatch Law Library. Legalmatch.com. Retrieved from http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/juvenile-vs-adult-criminal-system.html
Jlc.org,. Youth in the Justice System: An Overview | Juvenile Law Center. Retrieved from http://www.jlc.org/news-room/media-resources/youth-justice-system-overview
Pbs.org,. (1999). Stats - Juvenile Vs Adult Justice | Juvenile Justice | FRONTLINE | PBS. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/juvenile/stats/juvvsadult.html
Siegel, L. (2011). Criminilogy (book) (5th ed.).