Should there continue to be a juvenile justice system separate from that for adults?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The United States maintains a separate criminal justice system for juvenile offenders because it is near-universally recognized that children who commit minor offenses should not be subjected to the far harsher components of the adult criminal justice system.  While there is no question that certain particularly heinous crimes, for example, murder and rape, committed by 16 or 17 year olds warrant consideration for handling through the adult system, it is inconceivable to many Americans that a 12 year old who commits burglary would be subjected to that same adult process.

It was in recognition of the vital distinctions between juveniles and adults that Congress passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974.  This Act provided incentives to individual states to...

(The entire section contains 363 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team