Study & Research Juvenile Crime

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BECAUSE JUVENILES ARE not treated the same as adults by American society, the justice system treats them differently as well. When dealing with juveniles, the American justice system functions much like a parent, a concept known as parens patriae. Just as parents are supposed to act in the best interests of their children, the justice system is supposed to consider the best interests of young people who commit crimes.

The concept of the court acting as a parent is the cornerstone of American juvenile justice. Parens patriae allows the juvenile court tremendous flexibility, or discretionary power, in its dealings with juveniles. In most juvenile cases, punishment is based on the court's idea of what will help the juvenile most rather than on the severity of the crime. The court can even decide that a juvenile who has committed a criminal offense should not be confined to a juvenile...

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This section contains 919 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Juvenile Crime Encyclopedia Article
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Juvenile Crime from Lucent. ©2002-2006 by Lucent Books, an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.