The Juvenile Justice System is also known as JV, JVDT or just DT. This is the correctional system for youth under the age of 18.
When a minor commits a crime they are placed in the Juvenile Justice System. The Juvenile Justice System is full of troubled teens that
didn’t think they would get caught. Many believe that because they are under the age of 18 there will not be consequences for their illegal
behavior. The sad truth is that in many cases they are right.
Many juvenile teens receive a slap on the wrist for a crime that in all reality should be accompanied by some time spent locked up.
This problem creates a false sense of security for the defiant youth. When the judicial system is too lenient, the teen receives a message
that it really doesn’t matter what they do as the consequences will not be that severe.
One sad byproduct of a troubled teen entering the juvenile system is the label he receives. Once labeled a Juvenile Delinquent the
teen will have a difficult time removing that label. Even if a troubled teen turns his life around and begins to make better choices, the
negative label will follow him. In some states once a teen turns 18 his record is cleared as he enters adulthood. This would not be true
if a teen were involved in a serious crime and charged as an adult.
Juvenile Programs are typically those associated with the juvenile system. When a teen enters the juvenile system he is assigned people
that monitor his behaviors. The people watching what he does can include councilors and judges, they will want to see how he or she is doing
in school as well as compliance with the law. Some situations will require that the youth keep a part time job, perform community service and
When a teen becomes involved in the juvenile system, the troubled teen may be court ordered to attend some type of program. The Juvenile
Programs can include boarding schools for troubled teens, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or any other appropriate type of help.
The court will then require reports from the type of treatment the teen is involved in. For example if a teen is sent to a boarding school for
troubled teens, the court may want periodic reports on the teens progress. The teen may also be required to complete the program to satisfy the
court. Reports on grades, behaviors, and interactions with others will be taken into consideration by the court.
As mentioned in the first paragraph Juvenile Detention can be synonymous with the Juvenile Justice system. It can also mean that a
troubled teen is being detained by the Juvenile System. This juvenile record will remain with the youth until he or she becomes the legal
age of 18. Juvenile Detention Facilities range in degree and many states rate juvenile delinquent’s on a numerical system from level 1 to
level 6. Each level carries with it a different diagnosis and or classification of behaviors. In some states youth from similar levels are
It can add to the problems of a troubled teen if the juvenile court places the teen in with youth that are worse. The teen may escalate and
learn new negative behaviors. For example, if a teen is placed in a level 6 program that could be designated for psychiatric troubled youth,
even though the teen doesn’t have psyche problems, he or she may learn new behaviors. There are many incidents where a teen that is placed in a
psyche hospital will begin to use the threat of suicide after seeing how effective it is to manipulate people.
Juvenile Teens make up the majority of the population of students in a Juvenile Detention Center. There are exceptions in every case,
and there may be offenders in the juvenile system that has not reached their teenage years. The category for these children would be Juvenile
Preteens. While rare, there are children under the age of 13 that break major laws. The majority of youth that are not yet juvenile delinquent
teens, are usually guilty of crimes like shoplifting, vandalism, and truancy.
Teens and Juvenile Help
Teens that are Juvenile Delinquents require special attention and plenty of additional time. A parent with a troubled teen or a juvenile
in need may feel like they have accepted a new part time job. The parent of the teen and juvenile needing help will usually spend more time
in the principles office and the police station, than they have previously in their life. It may truly challenge even the most patient parents
to their very limits. The alternative to giving the additional attention could result in life changing experiences for the youth including
incarceration or admission into a troubled teen boarding school.
The Juvenile Court is very similar to the adult court system. The obvious difference is the age of the offender. In Juvenile Court
proceedings the judge in many cases will allow first time offenders off with very little consequence. Some youth get the message and are
truly intimidated to have to stand before a judge. Other teens laugh it off and believe it makes them appear tough and hardened. Some youth
after appearing in Juvenile Court will tell their friends that they were not afraid, and that they totally deceived those in charge there.
In conclusion Juvenile Court can either be a life changing experience for a defiant youth, or the catalyst for more negative behavior. As with
anyone or anything, the difference is how the teen processes the experience. Parents can have a positive role in helping the youth understand
the seriousness of this life style and what it can lead to.