The Juvenile Court system is managed under the theory of rehabilitation rather than punishment in which also acts as parens patriae. Parens patriae is when a parent is reluctant or incapable to control a child, the state has the power to step in and act in the child’s and society’s best interest (Meyer & Grant, 2003). All juvenile courts have a judge of some type and have limited jurisdictions in which the judge is only allowed to hear certain cases. In addition, limited jurisdiction in juvenile courts depends on the age of the child, and the crime charged.
In all states youths may be tried in an adult court instead of a juvenile court, depending on the condition by statutory exclusion, judicial wavier or concurrent jurisdictions (Meyer & Grant, 2003). A juvenile’s right changes by individual state legislations and policies (CJi, 2012). Juvenile’s do not have all features of the due process granted to the adults for the reason that the professionals are more concerned with balancing juvenile rehabilitation among protecting society. Juveniles brought into the juvenile justice system are processed through intake, adjudication, disposition and post-adjudications.
The process of intake is to help determine the appropriate place for the youth such as a diversion program or informal dismissal if either does not fit then by petition the youth is sent to juvenile court. The adjudication process is less formal than the adult trials in addition the juveniles have fewer rights than the adults in the judicial process (CJi, 2012). Next, the disposition process is when sentencing is determined according to the youth’s social, educational, and other needs. Last the post-adjudication process which ensures the sentencing is followed after the disposition.
I believe the juvenile process should differ from the adult process but more and more juveniles are processed as an adult and never get the chance to try a diversion program to help try and rehabilitate the youth. I know juveniles court cases are confidential, but I never hear anything on the programs that is offered for juveniles. I believe more options to rehabilitate a youth that has a non violent charge should be available. Sending juveniles to the adult court just as well is adding more people to the overcrowding some jails and prisons do have.