LegalWays: Juvenile Certification

Lesson Duration

By Jennifer Bloom and Sally Revak

In this lesson from the LegalWays curriculum, certification(the process of moving a juvenile from juvenile court to adult court) is described, including presumptive and non-presumptive certification.  The activity “You Decide” asks students to decide whether cases would be presumptive or non-presumptive and to identify the factors that would be considered in the certification process.  The “Case Study” asks them to determine whether a juvenile should be certified and to explain the reasons for the decision.  In the final “You Decide” activity the students analyze four cases and decide if the juvenile stays in juvenile court, becomes an EJJ, or is certified to adult court.  The students are asked to provide their reasons.  This activity requires that the other lessons in the unit be completed first. Although the lesson is based on Minnesota law and procedure, most states have similar processes. The lesson can be adapted to the law of other states.


  • Students will understand the purpose and procedure of the juvenile court
  • Students will understand the process of moving a juvenile from juvenile court to adult court
  • Students will understand the reasoning that underlies judges’ decisions

Time to Complete

One to two class periods

Materials Needed


See Juvenile Delinquency Teaching Guide


LegalWays curriculum was funded by Grant No. 95-JS-FX-0300 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice.


Types of especially helpful comments: How you modified this for your class, How you would improve this lesson.

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