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Prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys are the key players in the juvenile court system. The juvenile prosecutor is the attorney responsible for bringing the state’s case against the accused juvenile. The juvenile judge must ensure that the children and families who come before the court receive the proper help. Defense attorneys representing children in juvenile court play an active and important part in virtually all stages of the proceedings.
Many decisions about what happens to a child may occur prior to adjudication. Due to personnel limitations, the juvenile justice system is not able to try every child accused of a crime or status offense. Therefore, diversion programs seem to hold greater hope for the control of delinquency. As a result, such subsystems as statutory intake proceedings, plea bargaining, and other informal adjustments are essential ingredients in the administration of the juvenile justice system.

  • Prepare to engage in discussion on the following questions:
    • Given the issues faced by public defenders (e.g., lack of resources) and the price juveniles may face due to such challenges (e.g., guilty pleas, plea bargains, longer or more severe sanctions, etc.), what solutions can alleviate these issues?
    • Is diversion the answer if widening the net is the consequence?  Why or why not?

Support your work with scholarly academic resources, textbooks, or other sources provided.  Quoting or paraphrasing from any source in discussion posts requires APA format by including an in-text citation and listing the reference at the end of the post.

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