Essay On Juvenile Custody

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Discussion 1: Legal Rights of Juveniles in Custody
Dealing with juvenile offenders presents special problems not faced by the police when they deal with adult offenders. This fact sometimes conflicts with their primary policing mission, which is law enforcement. Beginning the early nineteenth century, juvenile delinquents in the United States were treated the same as adult criminal offenders. When found guilty of offenses they were given punitive sentences analogous to those imposed on adult offenders. The adult criminal code applied to children, and no juvenile court existed. Until the 1960s, juveniles were not protected by the constitution because of the rehabilitative nature of the Juvenile Justice System. It was in that decade
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Once a juvenile has been taken into custody, the child has the same Fourth Amendment rights as an adult to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Children in police custody can be detained prior to trial, interrogated, and placed in lineups. However, because of their youth and inexperience, children are afforded more protections than adults. Police must be careful that the juvenile suspect apprehends his legal rights and, if there is some interrogation, they must grant contact to a parent to safeguard the juvenile’s constitutional interest.
While in custody, the juvenile is also protected under the Fifth Amendment. It states that any person charged with a crime is protected against self-incrimination. Thus, a person is not required to answer any questions that can be used against him or her in court. For most of the 19th century, children were not protected by this amendment this was because rehabilitation was the goal of the Juvenile Justice System, not punishment. Police often questioned juveniles without their parents or even an attorney present. Any incriminating statements arising from such custodial interrogation could be used at trial. However in 1966, a landmark case, Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court placed constitutional limitations on police interrogation procedure used with offenders. The comparable landmark case with regard to juvenile offenders proceeding was In re Gault in 1967. In the past, police often

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