Since Pennsylvania established its juvenile justice system in the early 1900s, the court "has changed its purpose from solely treatment and rehabilitation to rehabilitation and punishment," said Riya Saha Shah, a staff lawyer at the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia. "What that has meant is there are harsher consequences for kids."
Most of those under 18 who clash with the law land in juvenile courts. In 2012, Montgomery County heard delinquency, or criminal, cases involving 2,156 children accused of committing crimes. More than 31,000 cases cycled through all of Pennsylvania that same year, for accusations ranging from fights in school to rape.Click HERE for more