Despite the establishment of a separate juvenile justice system over a century ago, youth are routinely charged and prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. Youth in the adult criminal justice system face a higher risk of sexual abuse, physical assault, and suicide.
But, in a number of states, minors as young as 13 could be subjected to a waiver petition. And a few states allow children of any age to be tried as adults for.
In the 1700s, laws did not distinguish between juveniles and adults within the criminal justice system. According to a PBS Frontline online.
Why Are Juveniles Sometimes Tried as Adults? In the juvenile justice system, offenders who are still minors are usually tried in a separate court.