Research Paper Georgia State Juvenile Justice System

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The juvenile justice system was first established in the United States in 1899, and spread from state to state shortly after. Georgia established its own system to try minors in court in 1906, and the first court was built in 1911 in Fulton County. Every single county in the state of Georgia now has a juvenile court and the courts are all controlled by a 1971 law known as the juvenile code.

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This code aims to make the courts to be protective of individual minors rather than aim for a harsh punishment. Many believe this is the way to treat minors, but many people believe that the juveniles courts are too soft on delinquents. These same people believe that delinquents should be tried in adult courts. Others argue that children are clearly not adults and that some kids go through a phase of rebellion which simply takes some correcting. In regards to those that believe delinquents should be tried as adults, there actually are instances when the state supreme court can take jurisdiction of the case if the minor is alleged to have committed certain offenses. For example some offenses are crimes that include murder, voluntary manslaughter, and rape. The exception applies when the child is under the age of 13 because these minors are considered to be unable to commit a crime with intent. In other words, the case would go straight to juvenile court if the capital offender is under the age of 13. There are two types of acts that juvenile courts can try minors over. One type is called a delinquent act which is an act that would considered a crime if the individual were to be an adult. The other is a status offense which would not classify as a crime in an adult court.

An example of a status offense would be running away from home. Arrests works differently in the juvenile system compared to the adult court system. For example, if a 15 year old commits a crime and is caught, he or she is considered to be taken into custody rather than arrested. This allows the minor to legally claim that he or she has never been arrested before. Very much like adults, juveniles are granted the same rights such as the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The juvenile system actually takes a lot of factors into account when a minor inadvertently confesses to a crime. Courts consider whether the minor truly understood his or her rights at the time. If an officer is able to get a minor to confess, and the method of interrogation used might be considered. Another factor considered is the whether or not there was an adult present to consult with the minor.

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