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The Juvenile Justice System

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Presentation on theme: "The Juvenile Justice System"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Juvenile Justice System
March 10, 2014

2 Definition of a Juvenile
Juveniles are citizens age 17 and under As citizens, juveniles must follow the same laws that all other citizens follow Juveniles have special status under the law, and they have laws designed especially for them For example, juveniles must attend school, cannot possess alcohol, and cannot possess tobacco

3 Delinquent vs. Status Offense
A delinquent act is one that would be considered a crime if committed by an adult Burglary and car theft are examples A status offense refers to an act that would not be considered a crime if committed by an adult (this is called being unruly) Being repeatedly absent from school is an example

4 Taken into Custody When a juvenile commits a delinquent act or status offense and they are captured by police, they are taken into custody Juveniles have the same basic legal rights that adults have if they are arrested for a crime One major difference is there is no jury in a juvenile trial; only a judge listens to the evidence

5 Rights of Juveniles If a juvenile is taken into custody and charged with a crime: They have the right to remain silent so they don’t incriminate themselves They have the right to an attorney They have the right to a fair trial They have the right to confront and question witnesses They have the right to have their parents present in all hearings

6 The Juvenile Court System
Every county in Georgia has a juvenile court The courts have 3 main purposes To help protect the well-being of children To make sure any child received care, guidance, and control while under the jurisdiction of the court To provide care for children who have been removed from their homes

7 Juvenile Court Jurisdiction
Juvenile courts have jurisdiction over the following: Juveniles who commit traffic offenses Delinquent juveniles Unruly juveniles Juveniles under the supervision or probation of the court Deprived juveniles (neglected or abused by parents or guardians, or those who have no parents or guardians) Cases involving children who need mental health services

8 Steps in the Juvenile Justice Process
There are many steps in the juvenile justice process Within each step are several options that must be considered Above all, the court system must make sure that due process is followed for the juvenile

9 Step 1: Intake When a juvenile is taken into custody, the first step is intake The juvenile is turned over to an intake officer It is the intake officer’s job to investigate the case and decide if there is enough evidence against the juvenile If there is not enough evidence, the intake officer must release the juvenile

10 Step 1, part 2: Intake and Evidence
If there is enough evidence, the intake officer has two choices First, the juvenile may be released into the custody of their parents Second, the juvenile may be detained Most juveniles are not detained in Georgia

11 Step 2: Detention If a juvenile is detained, they are housed in one of the state’s Regional Youth Detention Centers (RYDC) In special circumstances, a juvenile who is charged with an adult crime may be placed in an adult jail and tried by an adult court

12 Step 2, part 2: Probable Cause
If a juvenile is detained, a probable cause hearing must be held within 72 hours At the hearing, the judge has 3 options: Dismiss the case Have an informal adjustment Have a formal hearing

13 Step 2, part 3: Informal Adjustment
An informal adjustment is usually held for first-time offenders In an informal adjustment, the juvenile must admit the wrongdoing The juvenile is then under the supervision of the court for 90 days While under court supervision, the juvenile may be required to attend school regularly, attend counseling sessions, be required to pay for damages, or complete community service requirements

14 Step 3: Formal Hearing A formal hearing is held if the juvenile is a repeat offender or the crime is serious First, the complaining witness files a petition outlining the wrongdoing Once the petition is filed a date is set for the formal hearing A summons is issued which requires the juvenile, the parents, and any others involved in the case to attend the hearing

15 Step 3, part 2: Adjudicatory Hearing
An adjudicatory hearing is somewhat like an adult trial The judge hears the case against the juvenile and hears the juvenile’s defense After listening to all evidence, the judge decides if the juvenile is guilty If found not guilty, the juvenile is released If found guilty, the court schedules a second hearing

16 Step 3, part 3: Dispositional Hearing
In a dispositional hearing, the judge determines punishment for the offense At this hearing, both the prosecutor and the defense can call witnesses and present evidence that can possibly influence the judge

17 Step 4: Sentencing In sentencing, the judge may select from a number of options Release the juvenile to the custody of the parents with no court supervision Place the juvenile on probation Place the juvenile in a youth development center for up to 90 days Commit the juvenile to the Department of Juvenile Justice Send the juvenile to a special program, such as boot camp Assign other punishments (such as fines) and special conditions of probation (attend school regularly, community service, etc.)

18 Step 5: Appeal and Extension
The juvenile has a right to appeal their case If an appeal is won, then the juvenile is released with no punishment If lost, then the sentence is carried out The court also has the right to extend custody or supervision of the juvenile for up to five years if the juvenile is believed to not be reformed

19 Can a juvenile be tried as an adult?
In 1994, the General Assembly passed an amendment to the Georgia Juvenile Code that permits youths ages 13 to 17 who are charged with certain violent crimes to be treated as though they were adults These include murder, armed robbery, and voluntary manslaughter (an intentional killing with no prior intent)

20 How to treat a juvenile offender as an adult
The intake officer will make the decision to transfer the juvenile to the adult court system based on the nature of the crime and the evidence A judge will then grant a waiver releasing the juvenile to the adult court The process is then the same as for an adult (due process) If convicted (found guilty), that person will be housed in an RYDC until they turn 18, then transferred to an “adults-only” area of the building to serve out the rest of their sentence

21 Questions: 1) What is a juvenile? 2) Define delinquent act.
3) Define status offense. 4) What are examples of delinquent acts and status offenses? 5) What does it mean when a juvenile is taken into custody? 6) Who hears the evidence in a juvenile’s case? 7) What are the rights of juveniles who are taken into custody? 8) What are the 3 main purposes of juvenile courts? 9) What do juvenile courts have jurisdiction over? 10) Describe Step 1 in the juvenile justice process 11) What is the intake officer’s job? 12) What 2 choices does the intake officer have if he believes there is enough evidence? 13) Where is a juvenile kept if they are detained? 14) What 3 options does the judge have at the probable cause hearing? 15) What happens at an informal adjustment? 16) Why might a formal hearing be held? 17) What is a summons? 18) Describe the process at an adjudicatory hearing

22 Questions: 19) What happens at a dispositional hearing?
20) What are the sentencing options for a juvenile judge? 21) What can happen after sentencing? 22) At what age could a juvenile potentially be tried as an adult for committing certain violent crimes? 23) What are some examples of crimes that could result in a juvenile being tried as an adult? 24) What process will a juvenile go through if they are tried as an adult? 25) What is the punishment for a juvenile is who convicted of an adult crime?

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