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

In the criminal justice context, a juvenile refers to a person who is under the age of majority, which is typically 18 years old in most jurisdictions.

Juveniles are treated differently than adults in the criminal justice system, as they are subject to a separate system of laws and procedures designed specifically for young offenders.

Juvenile justice systems aim to rehabilitate and reform young offenders rather than solely punishing them. This is based on the belief that young people who commit crimes often do so because of a lack of maturity or life experience and that they can be rehabilitated and guided toward a more productive and law-abiding future.

Juveniles who are accused of committing crimes may be processed through a separate court system known as the juvenile court, which is designed to focus on rehabilitation and provide a more individualized approach to justice. In some cases, juveniles may be tried as adults if they are accused of particularly serious offenses, such as murder or rape.

Overall, the treatment of juveniles in the criminal justice system reflects a focus on rehabilitation and the potential for young offenders to reform and turn their lives around rather than simply punishing them for their actions.

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Last Modified: 03/09/2023


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