The juvenile court, representing the parens patriae power of the state, was created in order to remove juveniles from the stigmatizing and punitive atmosphere of adult criminal courts. Divorced from this atmosphere, the juvenile court, by administering individualized justice' in an informal, civil-natured proceeding, could measure the juvenile's social maladjustment and subject him to state supervision in such a manner as to correct his delinquent attitude and lead him to a correct life. Many forums, however, have found that the functioning juvenile system inadequately promulgates the enlightened principles which led to its creation. Scholars have attacked the non-criminal label as an insufficient justification for summary proceedings administered with extensive judicial power, and question the constitutional propriety of denying juveniles procedural rights in exchange for unfulfilled promises of rehabilitation.
Right to Counsel in Virginia Juvenile Proceedings,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol3/iss2/7