Criminal Justice Essays on Juvenile Courts

Juvenile Courts

The criminal justice system ensures that cases are heard and determined with utmost precision in adherence to the laws. In the system, are the courts that ensure that offenders receive punishment for evil committed, and suspects given fair treatment. In these courts, there is strict adherence to laws with every party yearning for fair treatment and justice irrespective to the nature of crime committed.

In many cases however, courts tend to be separated for the effective administration of cases, hearing and sentencing of offenders. This leads to the creation of juvenile courts, which are generally courts that handle offence involving the young ones (Whitehead & Lab, 2015), under 18 years. The courts ensure that justice in regard to delinquency rendered. They are administered at the county level, with the main role being to prevent future recurrence of crime. The courts approach is relatively different compared to the conventional courts, in that they discourage punitive judgments by focusing on rehabilitation.

The role of a justice in such a court is to understand the nature and magnitude of crime. In most cases, a preference in terms of the offender to pardon in relation to the offense based on the frequency, severity and the applicability of the laws in the given state. In this, there would be the need to analyze the crime to help in fair administration of judgment. In such a situation, certain criminal offences can be analyzed much depth to help to ensure that all aggrieved parties are fairly treated.

In cases where leniency is to be applied, the young need to understand that repeated instances of leniency would also erode the justice system and encourage recurrence of criminal acts, and that leniency should not always be considered where crime involves young ones. This is because laws are administered to protect society from criminal acts and to ensure that moral and ethical principles governing societies are preserved. In this, there is the need to maintain legal precepts in the juvenile court system, through fair treatment in a manner that is not discriminative and harsher to the young ones. However, in cases involving repetition of crime, there is the need to give harsh judgments, to prevent recurrence of criminal acts. These criminal acts can also be controlled through harsh judgments compared to lenient judgments. In such, examples of harsh and lenient judgments would be based on the following crimes.

Lenient Judgment


This is an act that is punishable under law, especially if it endangers the victim involved or has caused permanent injury. Fighting, although may be handled at the community level, can also be heard and determined in a juvenile court. In this, a judgment in relation to fighting can be lenient, mostly if the perpetrator is a first time offender or it is accidental. The juvenile court justice may therefore administer a lenient punishment and also direct a correctional approach as a measure to reduce acts of fighting. The judgment can be based on the fact that fighting can occur under normal circumstances, common with young people living in a community. Therefore, delivering lenient judgment would therefore be a fair treatment in a juvenile court setup.

Harsh judgment:

Harsh judgment can be delivered where crime committed is serious and endangers the life of the offended party. The judgment would be delivered without leniency to deter acts such as rape and murder that seem dangerous to a young one.


Rape involving juveniles is a serious crime that needs to be handled carefully. This crime should therefore attract harsh judgment due to its effect in the society. It erodes the moral fabric and emotionally interferes with the afflicted one. This calls for proper application of harsh judgment. This could be long term detention in a juvenile detention facility during which the offender is rehabilitated, and in most cases in confinements different from the home setup. Individuals convicted of rape, their age notwithstanding, are usually incarcerated for long period of time.


Murder calls for harsh judgment given the emotional aspect on the aggrieved party. Murder should result to detention to help reduce recurrence of such acts in the community. It is a serious crime that calls for thorough observation throughout while in a detention facility. However, certain criminal acts may also call for a discretionary decision. This is a decision involving the justice perception and application of law in an appropriate manner. This can be in acts that seem accidental in which there is low probability of recurrence. In such cases, a discretionary judgment would be administered based on certain factors considered in the case. In addition to this, the age of the offender can also be a consideration in a judgment that involves young ones.


Juvenile crimes need consideration in as much as fair justice is critical. This is because they involve young ones where harsh penalties would seem inappropriate. However, in their administration, there is need to observe fair treatment, in order to protect the interests of all while ensuring that law is observed. Juvenile justices should therefore consider such factors in their course of duty.




Whitehead, J. T. & Lab, S. P. (2015). Juvenile justice: An introduction.