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Juveniles in the Criminal Justice System Essay

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Juveniles in the Criminal Justice System

CJS 200
April 8, 2012
Tom Hopkins

Juveniles in the Criminal Justice System
      Most all juveniles who are locked up have a sad story to tell. They have been left behind by parents who abandoned them, are incarcerated, suffer from addiction, or have died from AIDS or other diseases. Many will go to family members who feel obligated, want them for monetary benefits, or to use them for their own personal gain. Love for these children has never been a factor in many cases. With this in mind, we can easily see why these children will end up in the juvenile system.
      Upon entering into the juvenile court system, there is a big difference in terminology and procedure. In a juvenile case, the offenders usually do not get a jury. The judge alone decides whether the law has been broken and what the punishment will be. Bail is generally not allowed for minors. To get out of custody before adjudication, the minor will have to prove that he/she is neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. The courtroom is usually closed to the general public, including the media, in a juvenile case.
      For smaller offenses, the consequences for minors may be worse than for adults. Minors tend to be placed on probation for longer periods than adults. The conditions of their probation are usually more numerous with additions such as curfews, getting adequate grades, and behaving respectfully to parents. Minors who are found delinquent in serious cases and incarcerated may be better of since their sentences will typically end in their early twenties, whereas an adult might get life in prison.
      Sometimes, minors are tried in adult court; typically in cases involving very serious crimes such as rape or murder. This usually happens to somewhat older minors, aged 13 to 17.
      There has been speculation that the leniency found within the juvenile courts is not always the best option for all cases. In the juvenile courts,...

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