The juvenile justice system was developed in the late 19th century as a separate justice system for juvenile offenders. Although the juvenile justice system was initially distinct from the criminal justice system and firmly focused on rehabilitation, a series of court cases over the past 50+ years gradually reduced some of the differences between the juvenile and criminal justice systems. The result was a more adversarial context for the disposition of juvenile cases. In recent years, however, several cases from the Supreme Court of the United States and some state courts have acknowledged key differences between adolescent and adults, which has led to a dramatic shift in how juvenile offenders are handled in the juvenile and criminal justice systems.