A Juvenile may be referred to a young one who can’t be tried as an adult in the court of law. The age at which one is referred to an adult however differs with states but the maximum age mostly ranges form 15 to 18 years (Aaron, 2006). When a Juvenile is taken to the court with an offense, the focus is on what can be done to rehabilitate him and not punishment. The juvenile is also said to have committed a delinquent act and not a criminal offence. At other times a juvenile may be tried in adult court depending on the crime convicted. The juveniles are always excluded from punishments since it’s believed that they are not always responsible for their behavior. This has seemed to favor the young people and defend them and more so offer rehabilitation to their offences.
The focus for a long time has been on the legal and moral principles over the differences between the juveniles and adults. This paper will examine the economic and social costs in opposition and in support of a different system for juveniles. After arrest, a juvenile’s referrals such as the parents are often invited. After this the juvenile goes through the process of intake which screens cases depending on the proof. The personnel who deals with the juvenile decide what to do with the case of which it may be referred to the juvenile court (Lawrence, 2003). If young offenders were to be moved in a court for prosecution, they would not receive much punishment as it would be in the Juvenile system. This could be a social benefit or cost. If the young offenders would be put in the juvenile system, court cases would be more due to early intervention and reduced likelihood of pleas in the juvenile system. Even if the youth were to be sentenced in the adult system, it is not certain whether they will be sent to adult corrections or not. If the young offenders could be moved to criminal justices, many states would even end up with more segregation.
According to Aaron (2006), the juvenile court is to some extend very important and young offenders should be treated in their own separate court because most of their actions might be to a larger extend be moved by their age bracket. For example it is at the young stage when one has high chances of peer pressure due to the changes undertaking in his life with adolescence at its peak. Even if the juvenile courts were to be halted, they could still continue attending to cases of abused or neglected children or even curfew violations and the courts would continue to operate as youth divisions. The juvenile system is guided by rehabilitation and delinquency treatment but the adult system is on punitive measures. If juveniles committed more crimes than the adults there would be an economic implication. This means that more crimes would result and people would incur costs in the event of ensuring security. For example they could hire security guards.
Research has shown that juveniles who are prosecuted as adults tend to reoffend more than those treated as juveniles. Prosecuting young offenders as adults does not have any reduced effects on the crimes committed by the juvenile and is likely to be worse and not change his habits. The assumptions that trying juveniles as adults reduces the arte of crimes should be done away with since the reverse is often the case. The young offenders need not to be shown how wrong they are but corrected on how better they could do and given a chance to do it without force. This is a good strategy and the juveniles should be corrected slowly and not merely punished (Lawrence, 2003).
In conclusion, the age at which the juvenile is considered varies from nation to the other. The juveniles are treated separately from the adults and they are never held responsible over their actions. Treating a juvenile as an adult would worsen the situation and increase the costs as research has shown. Maintaining a separate court for the juveniles is equally important and could result in rehabilitating the juveniles and thus reduced costs. It’s therefore recommended that there be a separate court for the young offenders for this is cost effective.