A juvenile delinquent can be defined as a person who is below a specific age and commits criminal offences. In some state, a juvenile is a person who is below 16 years while in other states the age limit is not specified but the maximum age is 20 years although it can go until the youth reaches 21. The department of Juvenile Justice is not only responsible for executing agency but also for administering most of the delinquency services including, but not limited to; secure detention and commitment programs responsible for ensuring children fairness in the legal justice as well as in other social systems. This paper gives an overview of the juvenile courts and how they are used to rehabilitate young law breakers.
Juveniles’ courts have come to the understanding that children rights are rarely respected and have, therefore, decided to launch new programs and approaches in handling complaints related to children. Those who happen to be imprisoned before the maximum age (20 years) are normally given a lot of attention and care before they are transferred to the adults’ court at the age of 21. Juvenile court intake officers are responsible for receiving, screening and examining all complaints relating to delinquent children (Juvenile Justice System, 2002).These intake officers are either employed by the court or are just officers under probation.
All victims of juvenile lawbreakers are given certain rights. They are allowed to submit a statement in a delinquency hearing if the offense in question meets a given decisive factor. The judge or a district attorney may decide to use the victim’s statement to give his jurisdiction over the matter. If it is proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the victim was actually hurt by the offender’s acts, the juvenile is required by law to pay compensation to the victim. Further, the offenders are warned against a repeat of the same felony if and when they are set free. This shows the juvenile justice system is not only concerned with the lives of the young offenders but that of the entire society.
A juvenile is liable for detention if the administrators feel there is need to protect the person in question, his property or that of other youths, if the youth escapes, or if there is no adequate supervision for the youth, the youth is not provided with proper care or when the court offer its jurisdiction regarding the youth’s detention (Juvenile delinquent, 2007). Regardless of the reason for detention, the hearings must be heard within 72 hours. Secure detention is normally used as a form of approval for probation infringements.
Juveniles can not be put into placements before they are committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). It is only the DJJ that has the power and ability to set free a juvenile. Youths are required to stay at the DJJ for a period of two years but can be released earlier if there is need to do so. However, the court can adjust the time the juvenile is expected to stay at the DJJ for a further two years while still under observation (Juvenile Justice System, 2002). If no improvements are shown, this period can be adjusted for another one year but it can not be extended further if the juvenile reaches 21 years.
For a long time, juveniles have been treated as adults although this has changed in the recent past. The criminal justice state has now realized the need to protect the young adults and have made certain distinctions in terms of age and the ability to commit an offense. The Department of Juvenile Justice is a place where juveniles get exposed to the world and are able to learn and appreciate who they are.
Juvenile Delinquent. (2007). In The Penguin English Dictionary. Web.
Juvenile Justice System. (2002). In World of Criminal Justice, Gale. Web.