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Juvenile Justice Flow Chart

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The juvenile justice system is the system of agencies that is designed to handle juvenile offenders (Taylor & Fritsch, 2011). Local practice and tradition makes the processing of juvenile offenders vary from states and counties. Even though it is difficult to describe exactly how juveniles are processed through the juvenile justice system, major steps are indeed outlined.

To enter the juvenile justice system, juveniles must be referred either by law enforcement agencies, or parents, victims, schools and probation officers. An officer may not choose to take the case further into the juvenile justice system, and sometimes the case can become diverted. Diversion is the procedure by which a juvenile is removed from the juvenile justice process and provided with treatment services (Taylor & Fritsch, 2011). In the event that a case is referred to juvenile court, there are three important procedures which are intake, prosecution, and adjudication.

Intake is the procedure by which juvenile court staff decide whether to process the case further in court, or handle the case informally, or dismiss the case (Taylor & Fritsch, 2011). If the case is processed further in the system, the intake officer decides if the juvenile should be placed in detention or released to the community. When an intake officer decides to process the juvenile further in the system, a prosecutor receives the case. The prosecution decides whether to file a petition to ask the court to adjudicate the juvenile as a delinquent on the allegations or they may also waive the juvenile to be tried in adult court.

If the prosecutor files the petition, the next step is adjudication. Adjudication is the decision by a juvenile court judge that a juvenile committed the delinquent act (Taylor & Fritsch, 2011). If a juvenile is considered delinquent by the judge in adjudication court, the judge will then provide a disposition in the case. Disposition typically involves probation or residential placement. Once the juvenile is released from a residential placement, the juvenile is often required to serve a period of aftercare.

The process of the juvenile justice system to me personally sounds to be very effective in staying on top of juveniles to reintegrate them back into the community. I know that the detention is not used as often, but it sounds to be very effective for juveniles who are seen as a danger to the community. I can’t argue with the flow chart process of the juvenile justice system because I believe that it is very effective.


Taylor, R. W., & Fritsch, E. (2011). Juvenile justice policies, programs, and practices. (Third ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions.

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