When it comes to the arrests of juveniles, the court system tends to take a radically different approach when it comes to detainment and overall punishment. Not only is the philosophy more compassionate but the actions show more willingness to treat incidents as a teaching moment over seeking justice. Here are some of the main differences when it comes to the arrests of minors.
Detainment is avoided if possible
When a minor has a run-in with the law and it is their first time having any issues, most often law enforcement may try to avoid any type of arrest and just decide to take the juvenile home to be placed with a guardian. If it is an incident that is beyond a citation, they will most likely have to detain the minor and take them to the station where they still may be released to a guardian. If a guardian is not available or the charges will be more severe, then law enforcement will most likely place the minor in a juvenile detention facility. All these actions tend to be a lot more forgiving than what an adult would face and this is because the philosophy is that since they are younger, they may not fully comprehend what they have done and the goal is to avoid having minors become repeat offenders which is more effectively done by placing them in the custody of their guardian. Of course, however, if the charges are quite serious or involve violence of some sort, their sort of charges will still be taken with the utmost seriousness and the judge will have to take the safety of the overall community in mind. Even in these cases, however, the chances are that a minor will not be sentenced as severely as an adult would.
There is no bond system for juveniles
In most instances when an adult is arrested, they will have a bond hearing to see if the judge believes a bond should be offered and at what cost. This is different from when a juvenile is involved in a crime because the bond is something that is not allowed for juveniles unless they are being tried as an adult. As stated before, the goal for juveniles is to get them back home to a guardian instead of sitting in a jail cell whenever possible. But if this is not an option then they will simply need to remain in court custody at a juvenile detention facility until a hearing which will still probably be held at a more expedited pace than that of an adult. Overall though there tends to be no middle ground with the way juveniles are treated by the court system where they simply can be released on their own recognizance or pay to be released while awaiting a hearing.