Child or Adult?

It is interesting to note that juvenile as well as criminal justice systems are aimed at protection the community and society from defendants and offenders and presuppose application of proper punishment to them. However, the above-mentioned systems vary in their goals in almost all states and have divergences and similarities. Actually, the juvenile justice system is more oriented on offenders’ psychological aspects as the crucial goal of the system in question is to rehabilitate and protect minors from committing new delinquencies. For instance, “the court can send a youth to a certain facility or program until it is determined he is rehabilitated” (Krisberg, 2004). It should be emphasized that parents or guardians of minor lawbreakers are usually obliged to make full restitution to the injured party that is – to the victims. In comparison with the juvenile justice system the criminal one does not focus on rehabilitation but deterrence. Moreover, unlike juvenile system criminal one presupposes open hearings and “an easy access to criminal records”, while the juvenile system has got several limitations as minor offenders are regarded to be successfully rehabilitated in the future (Falk, 2010). In the criminal system the accused are always put on trial in contrast to juvenile delinquents who face a hearing that embraces both the assessment of offenders’ social life and legal factors. As for the similarities of juvenile and criminal justice systems they are as follows: the juvenile justice system of some states provides juvenile offenders with the right to a jury trial. According to the criminal justice system “all defendants have a constitutional right to a jury trial” (Cole & Smith, 2007). In the juvenile and criminal justice systems parole focuses on surveillance. As for the case of thirteen-year old Cristian Fernandez who is accused of murdering his two-year old brother and a rape of his five-year old brother the juvenile justice system should be applied to. In my opinion all juvenile offenders should be given a second chance and judged according to the juvenile justice system as they are minors.

References

Cole, G.F., & Smith, C.E. (2007). Criminal Justice in America. Cengage Learning.

Falk, G. (2010). The American Criminal Justice System: How It Works, How It Doesn’t, and How to Fix It. ABC-CLIO.

Krisberg, B. (2004). Juvenile Justice: Redeeming Our Children. …
Posted by: Tomiko Melius

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