Offenses against the law that are committed by young people.
The American judicial system provides special status and treatment for juvenile offenders. Their identities are protected and their records barred from public view. Judicial proceedings are less formal than those of criminal courts. Incarceration may not extend beyond a defendant's majority. Sentencing is tailored to the developmental needs of defendants and may consist of probation, counseling, community service, supervision, or placement in homes for youthful offenders.