By Lauren BaldwinContributing Author. In most states, when children are accused of criminal acts, the case most often is addressed in a juvenile court and not in the regular adult criminal court system. All states, however, have provisions that allow or require the courts to treat juveniles in certain cases as adults.
Juvenile courts should be abolished. Supporters of getting rid of juvenile courts center their arguments on the need to punish juvenile criminals and a concern for juveniles' rights. The juvenile court is founded on false premises because its purpose is to shield youths from the consequences of their own actions.
Renata Sago. The booking and release center at the Orange County Jail in Florida, where juveniles who are charged as adults await trials in criminal court. Orange County, Fla.
Trial as an adult is a situation in which a juvenile offender is tried as if they were an adult. Where specific protections exist for juvenile offenders such as suppression of an offender's name or picture or a closed courtroom where the proceedings are not made publicthese protections may be waived. These courts also arose from a growing belief that instead of being "miniature adults", children and adolescents possess moral and cognitive capabilities that are not quite fully developed. After a dramatic increase in violent juvenile offenses in the s,  a greater number of juveniles were transferred from juvenile court to criminal court for their crimes.
The traditional rule is that anyone under the age of 18 is a juvenile and will be tried in the juvenile court system. However, in certain circumstances, almost every state now allows for youths below the age of 18 to be tried as adults. The rules vary from state to state.
The United States is the only country in the world where the justice system will sentence children to death behind bars for the crimes that they commit. Although the conduct is usually deemed to be violent, which makes the individual a threat to the general population, there is no way out of the system if you are a juvenile tried as an adult and then sentenced to life in prison. Cyntoia Brown is one story of about 10, who was sentenced as a juvenile for killing a man when she was just 16 years old.
Despite the establishment of a separate juvenile justice system over a century ago, youth are routinely charged and prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. While crime has steadily decreased since that time, these laws continue to subject youth to criminal conviction and sentencing. While these differences do not excuse youth from responsibility for their actions, the U.
Skip to content. In June, a year-old boy was arrested after he threw a rock at police during a political rally in New Mexico. Prosecutors stated that the boy, who was charged with two felonies, would be tried as an adult. We want to guide him and lead him in the right direction.
The court can order that:. The center will find out what education and treatment your child needs. Then your child will go a correctional facility or youth camp.
More than 1, children ages 15 and under have faced adult court sentences in California, including life in prison, since Children under 16 can be given adult sentences that take no account of their youth and vulnerability. They are denied rehabilitation in the juvenile system and miss out on treatment, education, and counseling that have been proven to reduce re-offending by young people. But trying children in the adult system has proven to do more harm than good and increases rates of violence among youth moved into that system.