VICTIM AND OFFENDER RIGHTS: JUVENILE VS. ADULT OFFENDER
A crime inflicted on a victim is hard regardless if the perpetrator is an adult or a juvenile. Adults can fully take responsibility for themselves. No questions asked. If an adult is at fault it is permissible for others to know their name, where they are from and other details as a form of knowledge, safety and accountability for the victim, community and the offender. However, should juvenile offenders be protected or have the same consequences when it comes to health, safety and healing of their victim(s)?
As per definition by Dictionary.com, a juvenile offender is a person below the age of 18 who has committed a crime. Juveniles commit delinquent acts rather crimes, which are acts committed by adults 18 and over. Juveniles also have their case heard by a judge rather than a jury of their peers. No bail or right to trial is made available to the juvenile offender. Lastly, records are sealed for juveniles so that poor choices made as a youth do not affect adult opportunities. In most cases, the records are expunged (erased) at the age of 18 if certain requirements are fulfilled.
Victims, however have the same access and rights for both adults and juveniles. The victims are allowed to know the offender’s name and address, the hearing dates, knowledge if the offender escapes, their release date and their HIV test results. Victims are permissible to be present at hearings, give impact statements, get restitution for missed pay or costs incurred, and importantly, have a separate waiting area so they do not have to be in the vicinity of the offender.
If you have been a victim of a crime contact a lawyer that knows how to protect your rights and find justice in the Illinois area.