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Juvenile justice is a system of laws, policies, and procedures intended to regulate the processing and treatment of nonadult offenders for violations of law and to provide legal remedies that protect their interests in situations of conflict or neglect.
The concept of delinquency, as well as special trials and institutions for confining and controlling youth, was established in the mid-19th century in Great Britain. Yet juveniles were tried in the same courts as adults until the Juvenile Court of Law was founded in Chicago in 1899. The first court dedicated to cases involving delinquent children was a success, which led to the creation of other juvenile courts, known colloquially as children’s courts or family courts, in other states.
Youth and their guardians can face a variety of consequences including probation, community service, youth court, youth incarceration and alternative schooling.
The primary goals of the juvenile justice system, in addition to maintaining public safety, are skill development, habilitation, rehabilitation, addressing treatment needs, and successful reintegration of youth into the community.
The United States incarcerates more of its youth than any other country in the world.
Young offenders who are released a second time are even more likely to end up behind bars again.
55% of juveniles who are arrested for a delinquent offense will be arrested again in a 12-month period.
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