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Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems - Essay Example

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Juvenile justice system is a legal framework designed to punish, rehabilitate, and correct some of the deviant behaviors among young offenders.Criminal justice system,on the other hand,is a legal structure that punishes or rehabilitates adult offender for committing unlawful acts. …
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Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems
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Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems Task: Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems Introduction Juvenile justice system is alegal framework designed to punish, rehabilitate, and correct some of the deviant behaviors among young offenders. Criminal justice system, on the other hand, is a legal structure that punishes or rehabilitates adult offender for committing unlawful acts. These two systems are similar and dissimilar in a certain capacity. Therefore, this document will point out some of the similarities and differences that exist between the two systems, juvenile justice and criminal justice systems. Dissimilarities Lawmakers have continuously contributed to the existing similarities and differences between the adult criminal justice and the juvenile justice system. One of the differences exists within the purpose of these systems. The adult criminal justice system administers punishment to the offender, while the juvenile justice system insists on rehabilitation of the offender. The constitutional rights stipulate that young people are dependent of their parents thus their behavior can be corrected. Therefore, it considers young offenders as people who can reform, as opposed to adults who face full sentence, equal to the crimes committed. Additionally, the proceedings in an adult criminal court are open to the public, while those of the juvenile court are conducted in closed sessions. Moreover, bails may be given to an offender in a criminal court but not in a juvenile court. The details of the court proceeding in an adult court must be released to the press, while those of the juvenile court remain private and confidential. All adults have a right to jury trial; however, this is not the same in the juvenile justice system since most states do not provide this right to the offender. A young offender may be charged for acts that an adult would not be charged; whereas, adults are charged for acts considered illegitimate by the law. For instance, a young person may be charged in a juvenile court for disobedience, which is a contrary to the adults. The criminal records of young offender are temporary compared to those of an adult, which are permanent (Hess, 2009). Similarities In addition to the dissimilarities, there also exist a number of similarities between these two justice systems. This has prompted a number of states to refer some of the juvenile cases to the adult courts. One of the noted Similarities occurs during the arrest. Offenders, in both cases, must be notified of the rights before being apprehended. In both systems, the offenders may be kept in custody before the judicial ruling, if considered a threat to society. Offenders, in both cases, are entitled to a legal counsel especially in the critical stage of the case. In case the offender pleads guilty to the offenses, the penalty induced on him is reduced or is negotiable in both systems. The evidence presented before the court in both cases should be proved beyond any logical doubt. Decisions made by the judge in both cases are based on social and legal facts. The juveniles and adults can appeal in case they feel that the ruling made was not fair. In both cases, the offenders can be punished by serving the community depending on the magnitude of their offence (Siegel, 2011). During the period of service, they are monitored and report to their supervisor at given times. My opinion I believe there are enough significant dissimilarity between the juvenile justice and the adult criminal justice system. The function of the criminal court is to punish, contrary to juveniles, which rehabilitates. For instance, the adult criminal court cannot provide a harsh sentence to a child for disobedience to the parents. The adult criminal court would term that as not being an offense, as it is against the legal provisions. In that case, the child will correct his or her deviant behavior and will grow with an understanding that disobedience is acceptable in the society. Despite the tremendous similarities in the two systems, it would be unethical to subject a child to the trauma of being judged in public for a minor act. Social needs for a separate juvenile system Though there are so many similarities between the two systems, there exists a need for the juvenile system to be separate from the criminal justice system. The aim of the juvenile system is to cater for the moral development of children. Juveniles are growing individuals and hence every step in correcting them should instill some relevant knowledge to them (Junger-Tas & Decker, 2006). Most offences committed by juveniles are not criminal and thus cannot be effectively handled by a criminal court. Therefore, correcting the offenses committed by a minor can only be done effectively by juvenile justice system. To establish the moral development of a child, correction of mistakes through rehabilitation has to be encouraged. This can only be achieved by ensuring that the juvenile system is separated from the adult criminal justice system. Conclusion In conclusion, it is clear that there exist some considerable similarities and differences between the juvenile and criminal justice systems. However, despite the differences being limited, I still hold my thought that the differences in the two systems are significant thus worth mentioning. Several social aspects such as the nature of juvenile offenses render juvenile justice system significant thus the need for its separate existence. References Hess, M. (2009). Juvenile Justice. United Kingdom, UK: Cengage Learning. Junger-Tas, J., & Decker, H. S. (2006). International handbook of juvenile justice. New York, NY: Springer. Siegel, J. L. (2011). Criminology. United Kingdom, UK: Cengage Learning. Read More
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