Juvenile justice systems were created with the idea that children are different from adults and that their behavior can be changed. In 1899, Illinois was the first state in the country that created a separate court for children. Since the inception of the first juvenile court, the juvenile justice system has been modified and improved to provide rehabilitation in the best interests of the child. Sometimes, even those who are under the age of 18 are transferred from juvenile court to adult court. When a transfer is requested, there are specific factors that judges consider when deciding between juvenile and adult court:
One of the first factors that is used when determining whether or not to transfer a case to adult court is the age and background of the child. The age of the child is useful in determining whether or not treatment in the juvenile justice system would benefit the child or the public. The older the minor is, the harder it is to reform the behavior of the child.
2. History of the Minor
The minor’s history is often included when determining the jurisdiction where the case is held. The history of the minor includes previous criminal or delinquent history, previous abuse or neglect history, and any mental or physical health and educational history.
3. Circumstances of the Offense
The type of offense that the minor is being charged with is one of the most important factors that is considered when deciding a transfer. Elements of the circumstances include the seriousness of the offense, whether there is evidence that the offense was committed in an aggressive manner or was premeditated, whether the offense resulted in serious bodily harm, and whether the minor was in possession of a deadly weapon.
In the state of Illinois, minors above the age of 15 automatically are considered for transfer to adult court if the crime committed is murder, a sex crime, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, or any other felony involving the use or threat of violence.
4. Advantages of Treatment in the Juvenile System
The judge will determine whether or not the child will benefit from treatment in the juvenile justice system. The judge will also look at whether or not there are available facilities or programs to benefit the minor within the juvenile system.
5. Security of the Public
The judge will also look at whether the security of the public will require sentencing in accordance with the Unified Code of Corrections. Elements that the judge will look at include the minor’s history of treatment, including the response of the minor toward the services and the willingness of the minor to participate in such treatments, the likelihood of the minor’s rehabilitation before the juvenile court’s jurisdiction expires, and the adequacy of the punishment or services.
Seek Help From A Joliet Juvenile Defense Attorney
If you or your child has been charged with a crime, the justice system can be tricky and confusing, and it can get even more confusing if your child is transferred to adult court. With the help of an experienced Will County juvenile defense lawyer , you can get the help that you need. All minors deserve a chance to change their behavior and turn their life around. Contact the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you protect your future.