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Juvenile justice is the area of criminal law applicable to persons not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. In most states, the age for criminal culpability is set at 18 years. Juvenile law is mainly governed by state law and most states have enacted a juvenile code. The main goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment.
Juveniles can be transferred into adult court if the juvenile court waives or relinquishes its jurisdiction.
State statutes creating juvenile courts and providing methods for dealing with juvenile delinquencey have generally been upheld by courts as an acceptable extension of state police power to ensure the safety and welfare of children. The doctrine of parens patriae authorizes the state to legislate for the protection, care, custody, and maintenance of children within its jurisdiction.
The federal role in the field has largely been that of funder and standard setter. Congress passed the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act in 1968. This was later revised in 1972, and renamed the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Act. The stated purpose of the act is to assist states and local communities in providing community based preventative services to youths in danger of becoming delinquent, to help train individuals in occupations providing such services, and to provide technical assistance in the field.
The Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act defines juvenile delinquency (any act that is othewise a crime, but is committed by someone under 18 years of age) and sets forth rules by which state laws must comply with regard to juvenile court procedures and punishments.
Juvenile Dependancy invloved the custory and caretaker status for minors. When a child has been abandonded, neglected or abused the child may be removed and placed in state care or alternative care.
Juvenile Dependancy court is the branch of the Superior Court which deal with cases involving neglected, abused and/or abandoned children. The court first tries to preserve families by offering solutoins and programs to address the problems that have caused the removal of the children. The courts provide resources to parents to get the children back into the family home. If the court can not safely address these issued and keep the children in the home the court may seek permanent alternative homes for the child. Optons include; other family members, adoption, guardianship or long term foster care.
There are legal processes that must be followed. There are multiple agency and government rules that are involved in the process. Juvenile Dependancy Courts, Child Protective Services and the Department of Health and Human Service are all agencies that may be involved in a Juvenile Dependancy case.
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