juvenile court

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Juvenile Justice

A juvenile court is a specialized court that is designed to hear cases involving juvenile offenders, typically those who are under the age of 18.

The primary goal of juvenile court is to provide a rehabilitative and therapeutic approach to justice rather than simply punishing young offenders for their actions.

Juvenile court proceedings are generally less formal and more private than adult criminal court proceedings. Juvenile court judges have broad discretion in deciding how to handle each case and may consider a range of factors, such as the juvenile’s age, criminal history, and family background, when making decisions about sentencing or rehabilitation programs.

In juvenile court, cases are typically heard by a judge rather than a jury. The proceedings are also confidential, which means that the identity of the juvenile offender and details about their case are not made public.

Juvenile court is designed to be a more flexible and individualized system than adult criminal court, focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Juveniles who are accused of committing crimes may be required to participate in counseling or therapy programs, attend school, or perform community service as part of their sentence. The goal is to help young offenders address the underlying issues that may have contributed to their criminal behavior and provide them with the support they need to avoid future involvement in the justice system.

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Last Modified: 03/09/2023


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