Separate juvenile systems have been in existence for over a hundred years in the US with the aim of encouraging rehabilitation for and diverting young offenders from destructive punishments of criminal court proceedings. Juvenile systems are used to focus on child adolescent who needs assistance as well as to handle youth who are convicted of criminal offenses. Through the police, correctional involvement, or the court, the juvenile system is used to intervene in delinquent behavior. Although the juvenile system is different in various states, some of the common limitations include but not limited to; overcrowded results from sentencing offenders harshly, high costs of incarceration, research that uncovers limited evidence, lack of recommendations for medical attention and treatment of youth with mental disorders (Kaasa, Joseph, Dezember, & Cauffman, 2018). Moreover, the juvenile practice may also divert from envisioned ways when some laws are foregone such as experiments of alternative models of juvenile justice including restorative justice approaches.
According to Lehmann, Chiricos, & Bales, (2018), a ‘waiver’ can be issued for the transfer of a juvenile case to the adult criminal court through a judge who waivers the protection that a court provides to the youth offender. Additionally, juvenile cases that require or are subject to waivers involve capital crimes or repeat crimes by minors. However, being tried in an adult court can warrant a juvenile more constitutional protection although it has multiple disadvantages such as severe sentences that can include life imprisonment in adult facilities. Consequently, to qualify for a waiver, the offender must have attained the age of 16 years, although in some states minors as young as 13 have been subjected to a waiver petition (Lehmann, Chiricos, & Bales, 2018). Additionally, other states allow children of any age to be tried in adult courts for certain types of crimes.
Kaasa, S. O., Tatar, I. I., Joseph, R., Dezember, A., & Cauffman, E. (2018). The impact of waiver to adult court on youths’ perceptions of procedural justice. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 24(4), 418.
Lehmann, P. S., Chiricos, T., & Bales, W. D. (2018). Juveniles on Trial: Mode of Conviction and the Adult Court Sentencing of Transferred Juveniles. Crime & Delinquency, 64(5), 563-586.