Juvenile Rehabilitation: Adult Prison vs. Juvenile Incarceration

1702 Words Oct 10th, 2010 7 Pages
Juvenile Rehabilitation: Adult Prisons vs. Juvenile Incarceration
Maureen Fries-Labra
English 122
Anna Hopson
December 14, 2009

Juvenile Rehabilitation: Adult Prisons vs. Juvenile Incarceration The criminal justice system has a branch for juvenile offenders. Established in the early twentieth century; it is the responsibility of this division to decide the fates of youthful offenders. This is administered by family court with support of social workers and family. With the increased number of youthful, violent offenders, many are being processed and sentenced as adults. Important issues such as culpability, severity of the crime, accountability, constitutional rights of the offenders and victims, and probability of rehabilitation,
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The juvenile court refers to the respondant to attend a detention hearing. The juvenile than is scheduled to appear for a fact finding hearing based on a petition. There is one judge, an adjudication is than handed down of deliquent or involved. If the criteria is not met for either outcome the proceedings can be dropped. The biggest difference between the adult vs. juvenile court is what happens after the sentencing. After witnessing the juvenile proceeding for the convicted murderer of her churches’ choir member, Terry Mahoney(2007) had this to say:
“The proceeding was no less solemn, no less tragic by reason of being in juvenile court. Clarence was sent to a secure facility that very much resembled a prison. His family was destroyed. Pauline’s family was destroyed. The only slight glimmer of hope was that Clarence might, while incarcerated, grow up and become a law-abiding adult and that we would mot collectively make him worse than when he went in.”
The proceeding in an adult trial would lend Clarence to a sentence in prison with adult inmates. Upholding constitutional rights in the prosecution of a minor further to complicate the issue. It is considered unconstitutional to try a child as an adult. They are considered immature and lacking in the cognitive functioning of an adult. This conflicts with th rights of the victims and their families. Laws have been changed to make exceptions for violent offenders, however; the criteria for making such decisions is

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