Both adults and juveniles may be liable for crimes committed as stipulated by the laws of any given state. Generally, there exist similarities in relation to the operation of these courts which include: legal representation, witness cross-examination, self-incrimination rights, and charge notices (Clarke, 2015). For example, an adult or juvenile accused of robbery charges lawyer and attorney rights. Furthermore, conviction requires proof beyond reasonable doubts in both courts. However, there are significant differences between these courts. These dissimilarities may broadly be classified according to court procedures and aims.
Firstly, court procedures related to the nature of crime perpetrated and trials. In juvenile courts, minors are normally accused of committing delinquent acts. Conversely, adult courts prosecute crimes. This means that crimes done by minors are less serious as compared to adults. It is only a judge who has the right to decide cases in juvenile courts (Hirby, n.d). As such, minors do not have the rights to public trials as opposed to adults who are subjected to public jury trials. Secondly, the main aim or objective in juvenile courts is for reformation and rehabilitation purposes which may be done through probation and parole (Vitello, 2014). Elements such as counseling and community servicing may be used on minors. Conversely, adult courts mainly aim at providing punishment to law offenders by imposing punishments such as incarceration.
Abolition of juvenile courts may have severe societal implications such as increased crime rates and substance abuse. This means that crimes such as robbery, alcoholism, theft, and illegal substance use would significantly increase among juveniles due to the lack of avenues for addressing these issues. As such, these courts make juvenile offenders follow the right paths for brighter futures.
Clarke, P. (2015). Juvenile vs. Adult Criminal System
Hirby, J. (n.d). Difference Between Juvenile and Adult Justice Systems.
Vitello, B. (2014). The big difference between juvenile, adult courts.