Juvenile crimes on the rise are not something society should ignore. But we are seeing more rapidly, courts are trying juveniles as adults. Many argue that it does not benefit the suspect or the society, if they are punished the same way as adults. So in this research I plan to analyze whether it is good or bad to trial juveniles as adults. A child, defined as a person under age 18, can be tried as an adult only if the child was age 14 or older at the time of the offense. Nearly all juvenile cases begin in juvenile court with a felony charge.
The court must conduct hearings and make certain determinations before the child can be transferred to another court for trial. For a juvenile case to be transferred to an adult criminal court, it has to be eligible for a waiver. The judge waives any protection that a juvenile court provides to a minor offender, treating him as an adult that should be punished accordingly. Juvenile cases that are subject to waiver involve more serious crimes, or minors who have been in trouble before.
Most discretionary waiver statutes criteria is similar to those outlined in Kent v. United States (1966) that must be met before the court may consider waiver in a given case: generally a minimum age, a specified type or level of offense, a sufficiently serious record of previous delinquency or some combination of the three. Kent v. United States In 1961, while on probation from an earlier case, Morris Kent, age 16, was charged with rape and robbery. Kent then confessed to the offense as well as to several similar incidents.
Assuming that the District of Columbia juvenile court would consider waiving jurisdiction to the adult system, Kent’s attorney filed a motion requesting a hearing on the issue of jurisdiction hoping that the other court would be more lenient on juveniles. The juvenile court judge did not rule on this motion filed by Kent’s attorney. Instead, he entered a motion stating that the court was waiving jurisdiction after making a “full investigation. ” Kent was found guilty in criminal court on six counts of housebreaking and robbery and sentenced to 30 to 90 years in prison.
Kent’s lawyer wanted to have the criminal indictment dismissed, arguing that the waiver had been invalid. He also appealed the waiver and filed a writ of habeas corpus asking the State to justify Kent’s detention. Appellate courts rejected both the appeals did not order the judge’s “investigation,” and accepted the waiver as valid. In appealing to the U. S. Supreme Court, Kent’s attorney argued that the judge had not made a complete investigation and that Kent was denied constitutional rights because he was a minor.
The supreme court ruled the waiver invalid, stating that Kent was entitled to a hearing that measured up to “the essentials of due process and fair treatment,” that Kent’s counsel should have had access to all records involved in the waiver, and that the judge should have provided a written statement of the reasons for waiver. The Court raised a potential constitutional challenge to parens patriae as the foundation of the juvenile court. Waiver petition procedure If the prosecutor or judge seeks to transfer the case to adult court, the minor is entitled to a hearing and representation by an attorney.
This formal hearing is called the waiver hearing, fitness hearing or certification hearing. The prosecutor must show probable cause that the juvenile actually committed the charged offense. If the prosecutor can establish probable cause, the judge then decides on the minor’s chances at rehabilitation as a juvenile. Juvenile facility its have proven to provide more rehabilitation children than adult facilities. To make this decision, the judge will often hear evidence. The judge also looks at the minor’s background, juvenile court record, and living situations.
If the judge transfers the juvenile case to adult criminal court, the case starts from beginning. It typically starts with the arraignment of formal charges. Some states have “automatic transfer” laws that require juvenile cases to be transferred to adult criminal court if both of the following are true. As of 1997 there were 29 states. The requirements for the automatic transfer are the offender is a certain age or older usually 16. (PBS, 2014) Many have younger and some have no set age requirement. The automatic transfer must involve a serious or violent offense, such as rape or murder.
Juveniles subject to an automatic transfer can still request a transfer hearing in juvenile court. During the hearing, which is called a reverse waiver the juvenile has the ability to convince the judge and plead their case as to why the judge should reverse the automatic transfer and allow the juvenile to be tried in juvenile court. After the adult transfer is ordered, the court will set the bail and if the child is in detention the child will be transferred to the appropriate to a detention facility for adults.
The juvenile court’s authority over that case is then terminated. It is no longer in their jurisdiction. Once tried and if convicted, any sentence of incarceration is to an adult facility. Most likely a state or federal prison. Also any probation if offered is going to be supervised by probation officers who supervise adult offenders. Pre-adjudication programs The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA), mandated the removal of juveniles from adult jails and police lock-ups, requiring a parallel system of juvenile detention centers.
Considering they are still children who needed to be held securely. In such a way, the practice of using juvenile detention centers was rejected and replaced by other programs, which introduced less restrictive measures on the freedom of juvenile offenders and put them into less strict conditions. Due to the extreme caution and overcrowding we had three major pre-adjudication programs emerge. First, shelters are widely-used and involve the community assistance to juvenile offenders’ detention.
In terms of this program, some communities have non-secure, temporary residential facilities intended for children removed from their homes in the initial stages of child protective services investigations or for children who may be picked up by police as status offenders (Reiman, 2006). As for holdover programs, they also aim at securing the position of juveniles. Holdover program requires a room and someone who can provide continuous supervision of a youth for a few hours or overnight pending transportation.
Finally, the home detention is another program that may be applied in terms of the pre-adjudication. In actuality, the home detention serves as an alternative to placement in a secure juvenile detention center for youths who do not appear to require secure confinement but cannot just be released prior to their court hearing without some form of supervision (Siegel, 2003). Advantages and Disadvantages or being transferred to Adult Criminal Courts. Advantages Usually, juveniles and their attorneys fight to keep a case in juvenile court.
But there are also advantages to being tried in adult criminal court. For example, minors have the right to a jury trial in adult court. Juries tend to be more sympathetic to a minor. Thus making it a little easier to convince or plea for lesser charges. In most places the jails are crowded and the courts are more likely to give the juvenile a lighter sentence. Disadvantages of Adult Criminal Court In adult courts juveniles can be eligible for more severe punishments such as life sentences without parole or even the death penalty.
The juvenile will be placed in adult jails with adults while awaiting sentencing, rather than being held in a juvenile detention center. The staff is not geared toward the well being of the child in adult prisons/ jails. Also with adult charges it carries a social stigma. Juvenile records have sealing and can be expunged which makes it unavailable to the general public. But the adult courts its public record. Juvenile Facilities vs. Adult Facility It’s widely known that each correction system uses incarceration to punish offenders. However, rehabilitation is often the key concept of juvenile corrections.
It is what really set the difference between adult corrections and juvenile corrections. For example, American Youth Prevention Forum says that: Services found to be effective in juvenile justice include: smaller, 15-25 bed, programs that reduce violent incidents; low staff/student ratios that lead to higher academic achievement; five hours of academic instruction per day (usually required by law); cognitive restructuring programs that, among other things, help young people understand thinking errors which get them into trouble; and gradual returns to the community from secure facilities hrough day treatment which reduces recidivism, results in higher levels of academic achievement and provides more connections to employers. (PBS Frontline The adult correctional system-it focuses stringently on punishment and offers only slightly of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is not the primary focus of adult facilities. They focus more on punishments. Most youth are denied educational and rehabilitative services that are necessary for their stage in development when in adult facilities.
A survey of adult facilities found that 40% of jails provided no educational services at all, only 11% provided special education services, and a mere Many children are often placed in isolation, which can produce harmful consequences, including death. Youth are frequently locked down 23 hours a day in small cells with no natural light because of their age. These conditions can cause anxiety, paranoia, and adult jails are 36 times more likely to commit suicide than are youth housed in juvenile detention centers Youth who are held in adult facilities are at the greatest risk of sexual victimization.
The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission found that “more than any other group of incarcerated persons, youth incarcerated with adults are at the highest risk for sexual activity before their 25th Birthday Programs for youth Anger Replacement Therapy: ART is a cognitive behavior. This program provides structured learning training, anger control training and moral reasoning training. This program provides the youths with the ability to have the skills to cope with self-control when their anger is aroused.
Each step teaches the youth to reduce their anger and become a productive citizen in society. The anger cycle is taught in steps beginning with Triggers, Cues, Anger Reducers, Reminders and Self Evaluation. Cage Your Rage: This program is designed to help juveniles understand and deal with anger by recording their feelings and actions. It will teach juveniles ways to not only recognize their anger but also control it through making appropriate choices.
With group discussions one will analyze what causes anger, growing up with anger, how emotions develop, relaxation, managing anger, self talk, action controls, etc. Cage Your Rage for Women: Cage Your Rage for Women is an anger management workbook specifically targeted to women. The exercises are intended for women working with their counselors either individually or in a group setting. focus on women’s anger issues suggests that its content can be helpful to all women, not just those in counseling with a trained professional.
Growing Great Girls: This program is a gender responsive life skills curriculum. It focuses on decision-making skills, social resiliency, critical thinking skills, emotional knowledge, self-discovery and practical skills across six domains(physical, sexual, emotional relational, intellectual and spiritual). Los Angeles County Probation also delivers certain interventions and programs on specialty units that help youth and staff members create a treatment community and focus on more intensive treatment interventions:
Camps: The entire facility is a specialty unit in that Camps is designed with a programs approach to address the needs of adolescents and to afford the best possible environment for change and growth. Through normative culture as well as full criminological and mental health programming/services, Camps instills discipline, self-confidence, and individual responsibility in youth so that when they re-enter their communities they will have the opportunity to be productive citizens.
Conclusion The juvenile justice system aims at the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders. The Adult Prison systems aims at punishing prisoners. The underlying rationales of the juvenile court system are that youth are developmentally different from adults and that their behavior changeable. Rehabilitation and treatment, in addition to community protection, are considered to be primary goals to getting youth back on track.
As for the adult justice system, although rehabilitation is not considered a primary goal in the criminal justice system, which operates under the assumption that criminal sanctions should be proportional to the offense. Deterrence is seen as a successful outcome of punishment. With more children being sentenced to adult prisons. It acts and a huge deterrence for children because the fear of getting caught. Thus, differences between juvenile and adult justice system are vital in the success, rehabilitation and recidivism or children.