Juvenile and Adult Courts: A Comparative Analysis
Youth in the Justice System: An Overview
For over a century, states have believed that the juvenile justice system was a vehicle to protect the public by providing a system that responds to children who are maturing into adulthood. States recognize that children who commit crimes are different from adults: as a class, they are less blameworthy, and they have a greater capacity for change. To respond to these differences, states have established a separate court system for juveniles, and they have created a separate, youth-based service delivery system that is different than that provided to adults.
The juvenile justice system has grown and changed substantially since 1899, when the nation’s first juvenile court was established in Illinois. Originally, the court process was informal—often nothing more than a conversation between the youth and the judge—and the defendant lacked legal representation. To replace confinement in jails with adults, the early juvenile courts created a probation system and???