The juvenile justice system exists to help young people take responsibility for their behavior and become productive members of society. A local or state judge determines which law, if any, was broken when a minor is brought before a juvenile court and then issues an appropriate response.
A young person processed through the juvenile justice system may be assigned probation, placement in foster care or with an extended family member, community service, or confinement in a juvenile correction facility.
However, cases processed through the juvenile court system often have worse outcomes, including adult criminal behavior, than those assigned to diversion programs. As such, it is apparent that juvenile justice system reform efforts are needed to give youth the tools to make healthy choices, improve behavior, and work toward a successful future.