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The Juvenile Justice Process

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Essay title: The Juvenile Justice Process

The Juvenile Justice Process

Most children enter the juvenile justice system by getting into trouble with law enforcement. When a juvenile child commits a serious crime the officer must arrest the juvenile and take them to headquarters. For the less serious offenses, the officer may give the juvenile a warning, call their parents to get them, or take them home to their house. There are many steps to the juvenile justice process before a juvenile is found guilty of something.

The first step of the juvenile justice process is the police investigation. The juvenile first commits a crime where the police have the authority to investigate the action the juvenile committed and then decide whether the juvenile should be released. The decision the officer makes is usually based on his discretion and what he feels should happen at the moment. The officer will take into consideration the seriousness of the crime, the juvenile’s past actions if any, and whether the juvenile may be lying or not. Juveniles in custody have the same constitutional rights as adults do when they are placed into custody. Juveniles are protected by the 4th and 14th amendments which include search and seizure.

The police investigation part of this process is self explanatory. The officer will use his or her discretion in order to make the right decision. Sometimes police officers take it too far by doing something they should not do. Juveniles are usually the cause for the officer’s decision making because they will do or say something stupid. At this point you cannot blame the officer’s actions unless it is extensive and not necessary.

After police investigation, the next step in the process is detention. If the police decide to file a petition, the juvenile has to go to juvenile court. The first decision that is made is whether the juvenile should remain at home or placed in a detention facility. Sometimes the juvenile is required to remain in the detention facility until their case is heard by the court. If the juvenile is not detained, they will be released to a parent or guardian. Usually the juvenile is returned to their home to wait for the court’s action unless the court feels that the child will not return to the court or the juvenile is a threat to society.

The courts should go back to the old ways and keep the juvenile at the detention facility until their case is heard. Juveniles these days are unpredictable. The juveniles that seem to be good or behave well are more then capable of not showing back at the court for their case. Juveniles seem to make stupid decisions that end up getting them in more trouble then they are already in.

The next step is the pretrial procedures. The juveniles are informed of their rights and are told that their plea is voluntary and are made sure that they understand what they are being charged with. At this point, the juvenile may be detained and eligible for bail. They may also set up a plea bargain at any point and reduce the charge for the juvenile. If the juvenile denies the charges, the court has to set up an adjudicatory hearing. If the crime the juvenile committed is serious, they may be sent to an adult court. Juveniles are more difficult to send to adult court because it depends on many factors such as their prior history, availability of treatment services, or the likelihood that the youth will be rehabilitated in the courts.

The next step in the process is the adjudication process.

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