The juvenile justice system is different from the criminal justice system. Talking to a parent with a child who has broken the law means addressing the parent's concerns, discussing options specific to the case, and giving appropriate legal advice. The juvenile justice system, while bearing similarities to the regular criminal justice system intended to deal with adults, is an area that has its own peculiarities and differences. In terms of how an attorney might deal with a case where he or she would be attempting to assist a fifteen year old who had committed multiple crimes, being familiar with the intricacies of juvenile law would be an asset that might serve to help a professional working in the legal field to calm down an upset family member.
[...] I would explain to the upset parent that the juvenile justice system makes some of the finer details with regards to certain things a little bit different, and that one of those differences has to do with where juvenile offenders were kept. Explaining in detail exactly where this mother's teenager would be detained in terms of the actual physical location would be appropriate if the mother was not already aware of the location. The mother should be made aware of where her teenager was and why that was different from where an adult who may have committed the same crimes would be placed. [...]
[...] Depending on the minutia of a case, a juvenile offender is more likely to receive alternative options such as the opportunity to attend a boot camp, mental health treatment, house arrest, probation, or diversion. Young people who do things that are against the law get many chances to learn from their mistakes, decide not to commit further crimes, and begin behaving in a more socially responsible way. Unless a child goes through with an act that is a violation of the law serious enough to warrant being tried as an adult, a parent can expect that her child will be dealt with in a way that would be what some would consider to be far more lenient treatment than what an adult who was suspected of the same crimes might receive. [...]
[...] With regards to the juvenile justice system, a parent shouldn't expect it to be the exact same thing as an adult criminal court, because it is something that is not. The final portion of any discussion notes prepared should cover the details of the options that the mother and her teenager would have as well as any advice an attorney could give. Little details differ from state to state; however, delinquent minors are usually evaluated, given a recommendation in terms of a course of action, and then they eventually move past the court system. [...]
[...] According to Thomas B. Elliot in The Juvenile Court and the Community, “Before the days of juvenile courts children detained for trial were placed in the jails, which are under administrative authority. The evils of detention with adults led to the establishment of detention homes for children, but these were placed instead under control of the juvenile judge”(9). In the case of young offenders, something that no one wants is for a young person to have one youthful mistake follow him or her [...]
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