How to Explain the Juvenile Court Process to a Juvenile

Help a juvenile understand the juvenile court process.
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If a minor breaks the law and police arrest him, the minor then enters the state's juvenile justice system. The juvenile justice system -- police, detention, court and corrections -- work cooperatively with the common goal of rehabilitating the juvenile to discourage him from committing future illegal acts. Because the juvenile system can be confusing, help the juvenile by explaining the court process thoroughly.
Difficulty: Moderate


  1. 1
    Explain to the minor that the arrest was the first step of the juvenile system. At the time of the arrest, the police decide whether to confine the minor in juvenile detention or release him to a guardian. If released to a guardian, the minor will receive a hearing date notice in the mail. If detained, the minor will stay in a detention center until a detention hearing.
  2. 2
    Tell the juvenile about a detention hearing, if he is detained in a detention center. In this situation, a detention hearing must occur within 24 to 48 hours of the detention in order for a judge to hear the facts and decide whether the juvenile needs continued detention.
  3. 3
    Explain that an initial hearing will follow, in which the juvenile and his guardians will learn the formal charges. The judge will explain the juvenile's rights and will release him to a guardian's custody unless detention is necessary.
  4. 4
    Advise the juvenile that the period leading up to the hearing is when attorneys for the state and the defense perform discovery. This means that the attorneys learn about the incident, they read all available reports and statements written and compiled by the police and they formulate their cases. The attorney for the state prepares to prosecute the juvenile and the attorney for the juvenile prepares a defense.
  5. 5
    Explain the evidentiary hearing. This is the equivalent of an adult trial, except juvenile court does not have jury trials. The judge will listen to testimony, prosecution and defense and will then pronounce a sentence. Sentence may involve probation, community service, fines and detention, depending on the severity of the crime.

Read more: How to Explain the Juvenile Court Process to a Juvenile | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_7870256_explain-juvenile-court-process-juvenile.html#ixzz1Cnn2OqE9

What Happens in Juvenile Court?

The juvenile court system is designed to hold youthful offenders accountable.
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The juvenile court system is in place to keep youthful offenders accountable and to ensure the safety of communities. Jurisdiction processes for juveniles vary from state to state, but the outcomes of such cases are often similar. Judges preside over most juvenile hearings.


  1. A juvenile may be placed on either informal or formal probation. Informal probation consists of attending school or counseling, obeying curfews and other laws and listening to parents. Formal probation means the juvenile must report to a probation officer who monitors his activities, sets up treatment, such as substance abuse counseling, vocational classes or anger management, and reports to the court. The juvenile may also be required to pay fines or complete community service.
  2. Release

  3. The judge may opt to release the juvenile, usually to the custody of her parents, with no further sanctions. Usually, this is for minor infractions, such as curfew violation.
  4. Adult Court

  5. The juvenile case may be transferred to adult court depending on the severity of the crime and the age of the offender. For example, Florida permits transfer of 14-year-old children to adult court, and anyone charged with a capital offense may also be tried as an adult, regardless of age.
  6. Detention

  7. The judge can sentence the juvenile to a detention facility or to a residential treatment facility for an unspecified length of time.

Read more: What Happens in Juvenile Court? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/facts_7615633_happens-juvenile-court.html#ixzz1CnnBWscP

Juvenile Justice & Criminal Waivers

The idea of juvenile justice is relatively new, as are the idea of juvenile waivers.
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While it might be considered common practice to treat juveniles and adults differently as regards crime these days, this is a relatively new, legal development. The first juvenile court in America was founded in the year 1899, and for most of history before that juveniles were treated the same as adults. Adult waivers are what are issued to push juveniles into an adult court, essentially duplicating the spirit of how things used to be.


  1. A juvenile justice waiver is a document that's issued when a juvenile is taken out of the juvenile justice system and put into the adult court system. This is what happens when you hear that a juvenile offender will be tried as an adult.
  2. Crimes

  3. Juvenile justice waivers aren't issued for just any sort of crime committed by a juvenile offender. The crime that the juvenile committed should be egregious, according to Findlaw.com, such as murder, rape, or serial commission of crimes deemed by the court to be heinous in nature.
  4. Age

  5. Even with these criminal waivers there are still age limits that a juvenile must meet before he can be remanded to a higher court. In many states this limit is 17 or 18 years old, but some states go as low as 14 years old according to Findlaw.com. The nature of age and crime is an area of hot dispute, especially when people have to decide whether a 12 or 13 year old offender had the same malice and capability to truly understand what she was doing as a 27 or 30 year old offender would.
  6. Rights

  7. Juvenile offenders have more rights and protections than adult offenders do. This is part of the reason that juvenile justice waivers are given in many cases. If the crime is bad enough that the juvenile should be tried as an adult, then doing so strips away many protections that juveniles have regarding search and seizure, admission of guilt, and the required presence of the juvenile's parents as well as a lawyer.
  8. Exclusion

  9. There are 28 states in the U.S. (as of 1997) where certain crimes are not allowed to be tried at a juvenile court level. While a hearing may still take place for a juvenile waiver to go to the higher court, crimes like first degree murder may not be tried in some juvenile courts at all. Once again these crimes tend to be the more egregious variety of criminal offenses.

Read more: Juvenile Justice & Criminal Waivers | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6684937_juvenile-justice-criminal-waivers.html#ixzz1CnnI3QHD

Juvenile Detention Center Information

Juveniles in trouble.
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A juvenile detention center is a residential facility that is the result of a youth being found guilty of an offense and can also happen after an arrest or during court proceedings. Some cases can result in the case being transferred to criminal court, although this is in only a few cases.

    Average Age of Juveniles in Detention Centers

  1. The juvenile offender population comprises 85 percent mails and 15 percent females, according to the office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The average age for first-time delinquency is 15.2 years of age and they usually entered the system before age 14. The average age for violent juvenile offenders is 15.8 years of age
  2. Nonviolent Offenses

  3. Sixty-four percent of the juvenile population in detention centers is there for nonviolent offenses. The males made up a majority of this population at 86.1 percent and the female offenders, 13.9 percent, according to OJJDP.
  4. Violent Offenses

  5. Thirty-six percent of the juvenile population in detention centers is there for violent offenses. The males constituted 87.5 percent of these offenders and female offenders 12.5 percent, according to OJJDP. Most facilities contain a mix of violent and nonviolent offenders.
  6. Detained vs. Committed

  7. Detained offenders are those that awaiting adjudication, disposition or placement elsewhere. Committed offenders are those who have been held by court orders. Some of these offenders are not held by juvenile but, criminal courts. Thirty-four percent of committed and less than 4 percent of detained offenders remain in placement six months after admission. On average offenders stay 147 days after admission, according to OJJDP.
  8. Disadvantages to Arrangement

  9. The juvenile justice system takes on a very big task when admitting youth into a residential facility. It has to provide mental health care, substance abuse, education, dental health, medical health and other miscellaneous factors. Also, this situation breaks up families, routines, regular education and interrupts the normal life of the youth.

Read more: Juvenile Detention Center Information | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6130379_juvenile-detention-center-information.html#ixzz1CnnetmZT

Juvenile Justice Projects

  1. Many states have created juvenile justice projects to help their legislature reform the justice system. This includes improving conditions in detention centers, continuing to provide education to detained youths, counseling youths and parents and shifting the focus of juvenile justice from punishment to rehabilitation.
  2. Louisiana's Project

  3. Louisiana's juvenile justice project is focused on giving the state's youth the opportunity to thrive and become an important member of the community. The project achieves its mission by putting education first. The project, through Schools First, has improved school districts' discipline policies, reducing the incidents of suspension and expulsion and creating in-school suspension programs that allow students requiring discipline to still complete daily class work during the period of suspension, instead of being forced to stay home. The juvenile justice project is also believes that detaining youth offenders in prison damages the youth, and instead is attempting to find alternatives to incarceration. The project's mission is to find community-based programs that provide treatment and rehabilitation for youth offenders.
  4. Minnesota's Project

  5. Minnesota's PACER Center is an advocate for children with disabilities and has created a juvenile justice project that focuses on children with disabilities. Many children in detention facilities have a disability or mental health issue. PACER's juvenile justice center is committed to protecting the rights and needs of those children by educating police officers and courts about disabilities and mental health issues. Education is also an important part of the project, and PACER works to make sure that even children in correctional facilities are still provided with an education.
  6. California's Los Angeles Project

  7. This juvenile justice project was by the Learning Rights Law Center and UCLA. The program was created because Los Angeles County has the highest rate of youth incarceration and the county is now committed to creating community-based alternatives to incarceration. The project is seeking alternatives to the punishment aspect of incarceration and focuses on rehabilitating youth offenders and prevention by counseling at-risk youths.
  8. New York's Project

  9. The Correctional Association started New York's juvenile justice project in 1997. Two of the newest missions for the project are ending the use of excessive force on youths in detention facilities and ending violence perpetrated against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth in those facilities. Like other juvenile justice projects, the Correctional Association is also focused on finding alternatives for detention and incarceration. Punishment is often not enough to deter repeat offenders; it is rehabilitation and community programs that help youth offenders and at-risk youths become successful members of society.

Read more: Juvenile Justice Projects | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6021160_juvenile-justice-projects.html#ixzz1CnnqDBcM

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