The 1st juvenile court was established in 1899. However, it wasn't until 1945 that all states has juvenile courts.
In the mostly rural society of the 19th century, parents ,churches, and communities punished children who committed crimes. Children were typically disciplined by force, sometimes brutally.
The urbanization that followed the industrial revolution in the last half of the 19th century posed particular problems for children. Many were subject to harsh conditions, including extensive poverty and child labor. At that time, children who got into trouble (whether by committing a crime or by being the victims of abuse or neglect) were often put to work or sent away to relatives. So-called "reform schools," the precursors of modern juvenile halls, were also set up. The ostensible purpose of these schools was to change or reform children, in part by giving them skills and training. In fact, these facilities were often little more than warehouse type jails, some with deplorable conditions, where most of the learning that occurred was how to become a better criminal. .
Around the turn of the 20th century, many social leaders came to believe that reform schools were not working. They also began to understand children not simply as mini-adults, but as people with special needs who should be treated differently than adults. Consequently, the movement for a separate juvenile justice system began.
As with adults, juvenile court goals are a mix of rehabilitation, punishment and community safety. Juvenile courts have traditionally considered child less dangerous and more amenable to rehabilitation the adults. As a result, minors who commit crimes often receive counseling and stay at home in lieu of going to jail. However, citing statistics suggesting that minors increasingly commit more and worse crimes at younger ages, advocates of punishment and community safety want juvenile courts to get young criminals off the streets.