The juvenile justice system has been around for several hundred years. They are treated differently than adult offenders mainly because of their age and mental capacities I am going to give a brief history of the juvenile justice system and what they did to punish the offender. Also some different ways to transfer juveniles to adult courts and a few sentencing guidelines. Race also is a factor in the juvenile justice system. There are many more aspects of the juvenile justice system, but this is a little descriptive taste of what goes on. .
Juvenile offenders have been treated differently from adults for around six hundred years. In the late Fourteenth century, English common law saw the defense of immaturity. In other words they had a guide of some sorts. Children under the age of seven could not be found guilty of a crime. They were presumed to lack the mental capacity to under stand what they were doing. Then from the ages of seven to fourteen the children were presumed to lack any criminal capacity, but the prosecution could rebut it. From fourteen and up immaturity could not be raised and the juvenile could be tried as an adult. Reasons being is at fourteen the child knows what is right and wrong and can be tried (Myers, 12). .
In America, the first separate juvenile justice systems were closely associated with the establishment of houses of refuge in the 1820's. The first house of refuge opened in New York City in 1825. The kids that were committed to these institutions weren't there for serious any serious behavior. They were more like poorhouses that kept the children from growing up being bums. Lots of kids were placed in these "poorhouses" without even committing any criminal acts. Due process was not provided, and many constitutional challenges arose. By the late Nineteenth century a new and separate justice system for young offenders was sought after (Myers, 12).
At the turn of the century, the Progressive reform movements looked for ways to change the way children were treated by the legal system (Myers 12).