Minors under the age of 18 years, who commit a crime, or otherwise violate established rules and statutes, are identified as juvenile delinquents, juvenile offenders, youthful offenders, or delinquent minors. Laws governing juvenile delinquency are largely enacted and regulated on a state by state basis.
Juvenile courts hear cases dealing with juvenile delinquents, incorrigible youth or status offenders, and issues of child neglect, abandonment or abuse. These courts are considered civil, not criminal and the minor is charged with committing a delinquent act, rather than a crime. When a judge determines that a minor has committed a delinquent act, he or she pronounces the juvenile to be a ward of the court, and is allowed broad discretion when disposing of the case. This can include suspension of their driver's license, paying a fine, community service, ordering counseling, probation, home confinement, placement in a relative's home or in a foster or group home, and even incarceration in juvenile corrections. In extreme cases the judge can send the youth to an adult jail or state prison.
In addition to specialized courts of law for juvenile offenses, they are also detained in separate facilities, usually called juvenile corrections. These include short term facilities called juvenile halls or juvenile detention facilities and for longer terms, secured juvenile facilities. This corrections system includes social workers and probation officers, and the end goal is to rehabilitate the offender and deter them from repeat offenses.