Legal Guides

The Juvenile Justice System In The US

6 July, 2023


No Comments »

You have widely heard about the term juvenile justice in television series or movies. 

You might have also heard about the term in various cases that involved young individuals being entangled in activities that require correctness. 

In this article, we will be discussing the juvenile justice system within the US. 


What Is The Juvenile Justice System In The US?

The juvenile justice system is an area within criminal law that is applicable to individuals who are not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. 

In many states in the United States, the age of culpability for being involved in criminal acts is 18 years old. This means you will be only held responsible for a criminal act after gaining the age of maturity. 

Juvenile justice laws are generally governed by state laws, which have allowed various states in the nation to have state-specific juvenile codes. 

State Jurisdictions Regarding Juvenile Justice In The US

States in the US are known for the creation of courts for juveniles and provide methods to deal with delinquency among juveniles. 

The states have also upheld the power of courts as an extension of police authority to effectively maintain the safety of children within the United States. The doctrine of ‘parens patriae’ gives states the power to legislate the protection, care, custody, and maintenance of children within state jurisdictions. 

On the other hand, juveniles can be transferred into adult courts when the juvenile court has waived and relinquished its jurisdiction. 

Federal Standards Of Juvenile Justice

‘Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDP)’ is the federal statute that oversees the juvenile justice system within the US. 

The JJDP guides both state and local authorities in the provision of community-based services to juveniles who are in danger of becoming delinquent. 

They are provided with training in fields like services along with providing technical assistance within the fields. 

What Is The Punishment For A Juvenile In The US?

For the purpose of protecting youth rights within the criminal system of the United States, twenty-seven states of the US, along with the District of Columbia, have banned providing life sentences without the possibility of parole to juveniles. 

On the other hand, additional nine states of the US have observed that no juvenile prisoners are serving life sentences without any chance of parole. 

The Supreme Court of the US has upheld the notion that juveniles have different constitutionality than adults in terms of culpability in terms of sentencing. 

Juveniles and adults have different levels of maturity and accountability. Due to this, individuals below the age of 18 are protected by the Eighth Amendment’s restriction of cruel and unusual punishment that limits a child to get a sentence of dying in jail. 

Research on adolescent brains states that juveniles have a different perspective on common sense compared to adults. This means it is quite natural to identify children to be different from adults while being sentenced for their offenses. 

Due to this, courts across the United States have been observed for the capacity to provide age-appropriate sentences to individuals having committed criminal acts. Moreover, it is also considered to be cruel to punish juveniles with life sentences without any chance of parole. 

This also takes away the opportunity of such juveniles to improve their lifestyle after serving jail time for their delinquent behavior, which can be a result of rash young brain functions. 

So, it can be stated that life sentences without the chance of parole would not be provided to juveniles within the United States unless the court seems there is an arousal of a circumstance that requires providing life sentences to juveniles. 

What Age Is Juvenile Justice In the USA?

Within the United States, youth belonging below the age group of 18 are considered to be processed by the juvenile justice system. 

Juvenile Vs Adult Justice Systems: Differences 

The juvenile justice system is similar compared with the adult juvenile system. The process of arrest, detention, petitions, hearings, and probation, among a few, are also followed by juvenile systems. 

The only difference that is followed within juvenile justice systems is the way the juveniles are treated. This is because juveniles are different from adults, which makes them have different needs than adults. 

Another major difference between the two systems is sentencing techniques. The adult justice system follows a more serious sentencing procedure when the defendant is found guilty. 

On the other hand, juvenile justice systems widely avoid the provision of harsh punishments to juvenile offenders. Due to this, the juvenile justice system is much more focused on aspects of the restoration of good behavior among delinquents. 

A successful case of the juvenile justice system is an adolescent learning to behave in a socially accepted manner without having to face the severity of adult prison. It also aims to effectively restore the youth through making good life choices that restrict them from returning to the justice system. 

It has also been observed that, unlike the adult justice system, where offenders are arrested when given a cause for committing a crime, the juvenile justice system includes at-risk youth in the facilities. 

This is done with the aim of having a restorative approach to improving the lives of youth who might require help in improving their lifestyle. 

Final Thoughts!

The juvenile justice system is a restorative system that is aimed at restoring the lives of at-risk youth residing within the United States

This is because it is a common notion that when youth are provided with the right opportunities and privileges, they will eventually lead a constructive life. 

The notion that children are not naturally evil or violent is the primary aim of the juvenile justice system. 

So, we can state that the juvenile system exists in the United States for the purpose of providing good life opportunities to youths.

Read More:

Share This Article

Jyoti Jha is a freelance SEO content writer for tech , health, and education-related content. With 5 years of experience in the industry, I am creating high-quality content that captivates readers and delivers value.

View Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Civil Attorney
Medical Negligence Solicitors