Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice is an area of criminal law specifically tailored for individuals not old enough to be held accountable for criminal acts. When it comes to juvenile justice, the system is composed of federal, state, and local jurisdictions all of which have special rules in place to ensure the safety and welfare of children. Diego Ruiz Duran is an attorney based out of Mexico and is familiar with the juvenile justice system and how to assist juveniles and their family through the process.

Local officials will intervene if they witness bad juvenile behavior through police, court, and correctional involvement. There are many consequences a juvenile can receive if they become delinquent such as: being incarcerated, going to a group home, probation, community service, youth court, alternative schooling, or whatever reasonable punishment the judge decides.

In adult court, a complaint must be filed against the defendant whereas in juvenile court a petition must be filed against the juvenile. In many jurisdictions, when a juvenile case goes to trial, the child does not have the right to a jury trial like adults do. The judge is the one to decide on the facts of the case in a juvenile case. This means the prosecutor only has to present the evidence to the judge to prove the child committed the crime.

When adults are found guilty in court, there is usually a separate hearing to determine the sentence whereas juvenile court cases are completed in one sitting. In juvenile court, a disposition occurs to determine the juvenile’s habits, prior convictions, readiness, character, and if they are ready to make changes to determine what should happen to the juvenile.

In adult courts, the hearings are open to the media and public whereas in juvenile hearings they are closed to the media and public. The juvenile’s docket is only viewed by lawyers, probation, the child and family are present in the courtroom. Diego Ruiz Duran has a firm belief in helping everyone understand their due process rights regardless of economic status.

Juveniles commit crimes for many reasons to include environmental and psychological factors. It’s important for the adults in the juvenile’s life to prevent the juvenile from getting to this dangerous point. There are several treatment options for juveniles compared to adults Rehabilitation is often the treatment choice compared to adults as it can turn the juvenile’s behavior around. In a smaller correctional facility or group home, these facilities help reduce violence among juveniles. Five hours of academic instruction per day. Cognitive programs (helps them think and understand the errors that get them in trouble). Juveniles have a gradual return to the community from a secure facility.

With adult treatment options, incarceration is usually the main treatment option. Larger facilities. Facilities can range from 300 inmates (county facilities to 6,800 inmates such as the Louisiana State Penitentiary (state facilities). The ratio is 1:300. Academic instruction is optional. Rehabilitation programs are optional unless it is court-ordered. There are no reintegration programs for adult offenders so there is a shock value when offenders are back out into the community.