The punishment on children and young persons is restricted by Juvenile Offenders Ordinance. The former is a person below fourteen years old. The latter is a person whose age is between fourteen and sixteen years old (these frames vary across the states so that the highest limit can reach eighteen years old). The juvenile court possesses the jurisdiction to determine charge against children and young persons involved with any offense except for the homicide (Cox, Allen, Hanser, & Conrad, 2013). As a rule, juvenile courts have jurisdictions over three major types of juvenile matters: “youths who violate criminal laws, but are classified as delinquents, youths who violate status-related laws, youths who are abused, neglected or dependent” (Martin, 2005, p.200). From a territorial perspective, juvenile courts possess jurisdiction to hear and determine charges against offenders within a limited territory (a municipality or a county) (Bernard & Kurlychek, 2010).

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If a case involves serious offenses, the jurisdiction can be passed from a juvenile court to an adult court. Thus, a waiver to adult court means that a child or a young adult is subjected to full sanctions to which an adult is normally subjected in criminal justice practice (Fagan & Zimring). There are four main models which a juvenile court can use to transfer the case to the adult court. These models include a judicial transfer, a prosecutorial waiver, a legislative waiver, and a demand waiver (Martin, 2005). There are some deciding factors that can stimulate a waiver petition from a juvenile court. First, the petition can be placed if the suspect is charged with an especially serious offense. Second, the waiver can occur when a suspect possesses a considerable juvenile record and past rehabilitation efforts did not prove to be a success. Third, the expected length of the sentence is so long that youth services will eventually work with a grown up (Cox et al., 2013).

  • Bernard, T. J., & Kurlychek, M. C. (2010). The cycle of juvenile justice. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Cox, S. M., Allen, J. M., Hanser, R.D., & Conrad, J. J. (2013). Juvenile justice: a guide to theory, policy, and practice. New York, NY: SAGE Publications.
  • Fagan, J., & Zimring, F. E. (2000). The changing borders of juvenile justice: Transfer of adolescents to the criminal court. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  • Martin, G. (2005). Juvenile justice: Process and systems. New York, NY: SAGE Publications.