The adult and juvenile justice systems do share a lot of things, but at
the same time differ in some things. For examples, both systems have the
right to an attorney, right to cross-examine witnesses, right to the
notice of charges, and the prosecution require to provide adequate proof
that is beyond a reasonable doubt prior to conviction of a person.
However, despite these similarities, the systems also compare in terms
of philosophy, goal and focus. The juvenile justice system deals with
minors, who are usually deemed not old enough for consideration of
criminal acts. The chief goal of the juvenile justice system is
rehabilitation of the minors in order to make them change their behavior
(Del & Trulson, 2005). On the other hand, the adult justice system has a
goal of punishing the adults in order to make them change their criminal
acts. Although the juvenile system has a goal of rehabilitating the
minors, the minors may be punished where the delinquent acts are
considered remarkably serious.
The juvenile system works under the philosophy of protecting and guiding
minors so as to help them correct their behavior and grow into happy,
desirable and useful citizens in this case, the court acts like a
parent (Del & Trulson, 2005). The philosophy is not different to the
adult system since the adult system has the philosophy of rewarding good
behavior as it makes an adult become a useful and responsible citizen.
The juvenile justice system focuses on treating the minors as
individuals that are in need of assistance therefore, guidance and
training are crucial to the system. However, the adult justice system
focuses on the act that brought an individual before the court (Siegel &
Del, C. R. V., & Trulson, C. R. (2005). Juvenile justice: System,
process, and the law. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Siegel, L. J., & Senna, J. J. (2009). Essentials of criminal justice.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
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