Juvenile Court Process

Juvenile Court Process

Differences Between Juvenile & Adult Systems

The juvenile court system differs from the adult system significantly beginning at the point of arrest in which juvenile offenders must be processed during initial detainment. While similar to the adult system in which fingerprints and photos are taken, juvenile defenders must be separated from adult offenders and moved from an adult facility within six hours of being detained (Bernard, Bernard, & Kurlychek, 2010).

After processing, juvenile cases are reviewed by a juvenile probation department which typically decides how cases should be handled such as arbitration or whether the case needs to be presented to a court (Bernard, Bernard, & Kurlychek, 2010). Arbitration is commonly used in cases of less severity and normal punitive measures might include restitution, curfew, or rehabilitation. In more serious cases, a criminal court will sentence heavy fines or juvenile incarceration.

The juvenile court process, even in serious matters, is more lenient than adult judicial proceedings as the juvenile court is designed to be less adversarial. Leniency is a cornerstone of this system because juveniles are considered to be inexperienced and lack knowledge and therefore corrective or rehabilitative efforts are favored (Bernard, Bernard, & Kurlychek, 2010). The system is not absolute and, in many instances, can be arbitrarily sidestepped in severe cases which is a controversial area of justice due to many kids being tried as adults when media or society is outraged by an offence.


Bernard, T., Bernard, T., & Kurlychek, M. C. (2010). The cycle of juvenile justice. New York, Ny: Oxford UP.

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Triola Vincent. Mon, Feb 01, 2021. Juvenile Court Process Retrieved from

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