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Juvenile Law Overview

Juvenile

Quick Guide to Child Employment

Quick Guide to Child Employment

Child employment laws are administered through the United States Federal Government to impede the presence of youths in the workforce. The following employment laws are restricted for minors under Federal law:
18 years of Age- Once an individual reaches the age of 18, he or she is no longer subject to child employment laws under the Federal Youth Employment and Child Labor provisions.
16 and 17 Years of Age- May seek employment for unlimited hours in any occupation other than those declared hazardous by the State Department of Labor.
14 and 15 Years of Age-During the school year, hours are limited to 3 a day and 18 per week. Over the summer, permissible hours of employment are increased to 8 a day and 40 per week. Children in this age bracket can work no later than 7 P.m. during school weeks and no later than 9 p.m. between June 1 and Labor Day. 

Overview of the Department of Juvenile Justice Programs

Overview of the Department of Juvenile Justice Programs

While juvenile justice by name is child-oriented, this
does not mean that the care of child suspects and juvenile delinquents should
come at the expense of the rest of the
State. Thus, a Department of Juvenile Justice is bound to
place the safety of the public on a par with the welfare of the child and
include the protection of both populations as points of paramount importance in
their official missions. Besides, just within the spectrum of juvenile justice,
enforcement of the laws should obviously not come at the expense of the child.
State departments are committed to delinquency prevention as well as
delinquency detention and want to see children grow into self-sufficient adults.

         

That said, a State Department of Juvenile Justice is certainly in
charge of administering the law and any functions subsequent to adjudication.
In all, juvenile justice departments are responsible for processing complaints
against offenders from the public, taking children into temporary custody in
anticipation of court proceedings, overseeing first appearance
s (notification of charges), adjudication and disposition
hearings (deciding what
to do with the guilty child), and committing to
a plan of action for the child moving forward, such as youth detention,
probation, or supervised residence.

 

Yet in meeting those goals stated in its list of values,
it is critical to a Department of Juvenile Justice to not only be proactive in
regard
s to delinquency prevention, but to engage the
community in doing so. A
State Department will be the organizer, or if
not taking the lead, at least a sponsor of community juvenile crime prevention
councils. Though these programs are part of a self-interested motivation to
reduce the burdens on
State juvenile justice departments, these
burdens are often considerable ones. More than this, though, these actions
reflect genuine concerns for the welfare of
states underage
residents and the survival of families, which are realistically closely
related. 

Read This Before You Enter into Contracts

Read This Before You Enter into Contracts

As with
much of family law, contract law applies differently from place to place
. As such, without
going into discussions of specific
State statutes, we can only go as far as
general trends on the matter. Usually, though adults and children may very well
come to terms on a written contract and both parties may uphold their end of
the bargain, a child may just as well prove non-compliant with most supposedly
binding agreements. This is related to the concept inherent in many
State
family laws of
 capacity.         

Primarily, the above consideration of family law has to
deal with concerns in the wake of agreements between individuals. As for
contracts between minors and public entities/private companies, in some
instances the latter will not let a juvenile move forward without additional
consent from a
 child’s guardian. Meanwhile, some manifestations of
family law and contract law are not as readily subject to the child’s
discretion or revocation.

In some specific circumstances, such as approval of a
loan for a minor student starting college, the child’s parent will likely have
to co-sign on the written contract between creditor and those receiving the
funds and will be in part responsible for any financial consequences should the
terms of the agreement not be upheld. Similar provisions might be in order for
children who are paid entertainers, with deals being struck between an
agency/other company and his or her immediate family
on the minor’s behalf. Laws
dictate that parents may be culpable should their children not perform as
expected. 

What You Should Know Before Joining the Military

What You Should Know Before Joining the Military

The United States has not instituted a system of compulsory conscription/service in the Armed Forces since the Vietnam War, although all American men are required by law to enroll with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday should the need for another mandatory draft arise. Females are exempt from this requirement.
Still, some people may not see joining the military as an obligation or a means to an end of paying for college, but rather as a way to serve one’s country and to honor those family members and other servicemen and women who fought for American ideals in past conflicts. In fact, some citizens may not even wish to wait until they become an adult to put their lives on the line for what they believe to be an admirable and highly necessary purpose.
Though American military juvenile law is realistically its own category, it is likely influenced at least in part by international policy, as are a number of foreign juvenile laws based on international law. According to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), first published late in 1989, allowing children younger than 15 to participate in military affairs should be avoided at all costs. A 2000 protocol to the UNCRC concerning the use of children in armed conflict pertained to the world’s commitment to limiting mandatory service of individuals younger than 18.
These sentiments are echoed by elements of juvenile law contained within the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which makes military service of children younger than 15 punishable as a war crime, and to which over 100 countries have aligned their own juvenile laws or at the very least are party to the treaty. Going back to the United States, though, it has yet to put either measure into effect, expressly voting against the Rome Statute. Perhaps surprisingly, America is one of only two nations in the world (along with Somalia) not to ratify the Convention.
Still, seeing the aforementioned terms of Selective Service (i.e. only open to males between the ages of 18 and 25) and the minimum age of enlistment, U.S. juvenile law may have its outside influences. Minors realistically have a small window to join a branch of the Armed Forces before the age of legal responsibility, and according to a few state juvenile laws, this will not be possible at all. American males must be 17 to serve their country, and even then, will not be able to join without parental consent unless emancipated.         
With all the protections of juvenile law against voluntary and involuntary conscription of young children in the United States, however, and as somewhat of a bone of contention for parents and other concerned citizens, there is little to no protection against representatives of the U.S. military targeting young children to advertise service in the Armed Forces down the road, notably children from underprivileged homes and minority ethnic backgrounds. At worst, this could potentially take children out of college, keeping their focus off their other options and into mortal peril on the front lines in ongoing foreign conflicts and military occupations.

Make Sure You Know About Minors and Alcohol

Make Sure You Know About Minors and Alcohol

In the United States, while an individual is usually a
minor up until the age of 18, he or she will not be able to buy alcoholic
substances until the age of 21. This was not always the case, though. It was
not until the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 that American
State officials were required to enforce laws concerning
the minimum age of purchase being 21, as opposed to 18, 19 or any other ages
that would allow minor drinkers to pay for their own drinks.

 

Proponents of this Act and preservation of the 21-years-of-age minimum going
forward highlight the notion that this policy saves lives by discouraging drunk
driving in older teens/younger adults. On the other hand, those people arguing
for the rights of these minors note the incongruence of allowing young people
to die by lethal injection in prison at the age of 18 or younger but not to be
able to “have a drink” until 21. For some members of this
transitional 18-21 age group, minimum drinking age requirements make them feel
like second-class citizens.

 

Where State
courts have the most leeway and controvers
y in its own right is the topic of public consumption of
beer and other alcoholic beverages by minors, with sales of alcohol to minor
children being severely limited by the nature of mandated ID checks for people
suspected to be underage (or sometimes, identification reviews for all patrons
as a standard company policy). While all states outlaw illegal acquisition of
alcohol by minors, the majority of states either have no explicit prohibition
against private underage drinking or will allow a minor to drink alcohol in the
presence of a parent or other guardian.

 

Even when a minor does not plan to drink, he or she may
come across some seemingly harsh standards in terms of being able to use a
facility. Especially if the plan is to visit a bar where no food is sold,
intending minor drinkers may not be able to enter an
establishment unless accompanied by one or more parents, if at all. Again,
young people should prepare to show their identification upon entry. 

National Center for Juvenile Justice

National Center for Juvenile Justice

In terms of “juvenile justice centers”, while their names might vary from organization to organization except for any information in their titles that relate specifically to their location, their functions may be very different. For many people, a “juvenile justice center” might be related to the particular juvenile justice system of a county or state. In other words, a juvenile justice center of this sort would be one charged with officiating judicial courts, corrections, and probation, and intervening when children are at risk of abuse.
The National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) is one of several not-for-profit juvenile justice centers around the United States. Located in Reno, Nevada, the NCJJ is affiliated with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), but receives no remuneration as a result of this connection.
Instead, this juvenile justice center subsists on fundraisers and other sources of charitable donations. As for its primary contribution to the NCJFCJ and, in turn the world, the NCJJ offers research resources and technical assistance to other juvenile justice centers as a means of securing justice for juveniles tried in juvenile and criminal court.         
Regarding its research activities, the National Center for Juvenile Justice features many State and national projects under its banner. Like the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency, it is a publisher, putting out a newsletter known as “The Juvenile Law and Family Digest” specifically for NCJCFCJ members and other professionals. The NCJJ is also notable for its devotion to the compilation of large amounts of data on juvenile justice systems. The National Juvenile Court Data Archive and the National Juvenile Justice Data Analysis Project act as sources of vital information for juvenile justice centers across America.
As for the technical assistance side of things, the National Center for Juvenile Justice deals specifically with offering informational assistance to juvenile court staff and practitioners, but at the same time does not discriminate against average citizens and aims to disseminate materials to all parties in a timely, cost-effective fashion. The NCJJ’s technical services include on-site visits to those in need, as well as workshops for agencies on a particularly problematic area of technical assistance and pre-prepared informational packets tailored to the needs of the requesting party. 

Special Protections under Law At A Glance

Special Protections under Law At A Glance

A court of juvenile law is commonly a less confrontational environment for a child than an all-purpose criminal court. Rather than being scrutinized by a jury of their peers, minor offenders will only have to appear before a judge in a juvenile court, and upon sentencing the punishment will often not involve jail time. In lieu of this, judges will sentence juvenile delinquents to probation, community service, mandatory public service classes, and/or fines.
Noting the informality of many juvenile laws and the relative unimportance of some status offenses (as compared to violent crimes), juvenile offenders may not even be summoned before the court or may be able to “get off easy” with a warning. For isolated incidents, some officers of juvenile law may be satisfied with no more than a notification of the child’s parents of wrongdoing on his or her part. If patterns of breaking the law with regard to minor offenses occur, though, those who uphold juvenile laws may not be so merciful and may order the child detained.
As with adults, regarding an appearance in court, juvenile law specifies that underage accused may still lay claim to basic constitutional rights against self-incrimination, and if need be, to have a legal professional represent them free of charge. Juvenile laws also dictate that minors found guilty in juvenile court may appeal their case to an adult criminal court, but are advised to think twice about such a strategy, as they run the risk of any punishments of the new court with how it finds. 

Understanding the Juvenile Law State Variations

Understanding the Juvenile Law State Variations

While the Federal Government does have a hand in juvenile law, namely that of setting guidelines for the states to follow (i.e. Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act) and allocating funds to the states for their compliance (i.e. Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974), the juvenile justice system is really in the hands of the states. It may seem like a trivial distinction, but State courts can actually decide at which age juvenile charges can no longer be filed.
Juvenile rights carry on until the age of 18 in most areas, whereupon a person legally becomes considered to be an adult. In a handful of districts, though, this threshold may be lower. In states like North Carolina and New York, for example, juvenile charges may cease when a child reaches the age of 16. 
The incidence of arresting minors and filing juvenile charges may often vary quite noticeably as mediated by children actually committing those acts and the standards of local, county and State police. Other juvenile rights, such as the ability of a defendant under the age of 18 to be tried as a juvenile after having his or her case heard in a regular court of law, are also at the discretion of the states, and therefore, make State-to-State comparison hard. Concerning this example, over a third of states, including Florida, Pennsylvania and Nevada, will apply “once an adult, always an adult” standards to some minor offenders’ records.

Know the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Know the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice

Some organizations, such as the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)
devoted to providing juvenile justice
information and services to the public
, will do so in a way that tries to compile as much
information as possible on all topics within the sphere of the welfare of children.
Of course, at least with the NCJRS, it helps that it is a
Government-sponsored program.

 

Meanwhile,
t
he Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
(CJCJ)
, arguably limited in its focus and
logistically constrained by the need for charitable donations, nonetheless can
devote itself to a cause that its members truly believe in, and furthermore, is
active on behalf of the community in seeing that its goals are met. Claiming no
political or religious affiliation, the CJCJ is committed to innovative
approaches to protecting the best interests of children implicated in matters
of juvenile law and saving them from delinquency.

 

Some notes about the Center on Juvenile and Criminal
Justice:



The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, which
is
based out of San Francisco, is devoted to
directly providing its community (both in terms of geography and the field of
practice) with experimental programs, technical assistance, and program
evaluation services, aiming to promote a sense of fairness in the juvenile
justice system that otherwise would lend itself to juvenile delinquency. In
operation for some 25 years and led by individuals with yet more experience in
legal studies and their practical application, the CJCJ is a professional unit
with all the concerns of the average American and offers its aid to children
and adults alike.

 

One of the big concerns of the Center on Juvenile and
Criminal Justice regarding prolonged exposure to the courts and detention
facilities is the risk this may present to children in falling into patterns of
delinquency. After all, while detention theoretically is designed to ward off
exposure to conditions that promote juvenile delinquency, much evidence
suggests the opposite effect is realized by this strategy. As much as getting
children away from secure confinement is important to the CJCJ, so is the exact
population it is helping.

 

The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice directs its
energies first and foremost at those youths most at risk of delinquency. With
the idea that repeat encounters with the  juvenile justice system lead to
increased likelihood of arrests in adulthood, the CJCJ works with multiple
offenders in an attempt to provide them with the care and personal attention they
might otherwise not receive. 

Easy to Understand Definition of Minor Juvenile

Easy to Understand Definition of Minor Juvenile

Depending on the jurisdiction, the exact age might vary,
but most of the time a minor is considered to be someone who is under the age
of 18, and according to the law, cannot be held legally and fully responsible
for his or her actions. Understandably, minors may be ineligible for using
certain services and buying certain products for which it is assumed sound
adult judgment is required. For instance,
although statutes may vary, generally the age of 18 is the
threshold for the legal ability to purchase cigarettes/tobacco. Meanwhile, for
other non-narcotic drug-oriented products, like alcoholic beverages, the minimum age to buy is 21.         

 

While individual states may decide what age someone
becomes a legal adult, the
Federal Government has also had its say on the subject of minors
and juvenile delinquency. In the 1960s and 1970s, the United States was
especially active in legislating to address problems with crimes committed by
children.

 

The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act of
1968 and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 worked in
concert not only to implement programs at the community level to take children
out of situations that lent themselves to underage criminality, but also to
ensure funds were delivered to states that kept minor convicts away from their
older counterparts in detention. It was the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act
that specifically addressed the definition of juvenile delinquency, detailing
that minors under the age of 18 guilty of a criminal offense were to be
considered delinquent.

 

A minor in juvenile court will almost certainly be
treated differently than one tried in criminal court as an adult, as a juvenile
court does not have the authority to exact a sentence of punishment on a child.
Rather, juvenile courts will prescribe programs of rehabilitation for offending
minors and will otherwise afford them greater legal
flexibility.