Essay On Juvenile Delinquents As Adults

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Prior to 1899 in the United States, children who committed a criminal offense were tried and punished as adults. Children were being institutionalized with adult criminals where they were picking up negative influences preparing them for a life of crime. Progressive and social change demanded that children be protected and educated instead and therefore a separate court system for juveniles was subsequently established to address this problem. It has since being argued that juvenile courts have abandoned their role to rehabilitate juvenile delinquents and should be abolished. In an age where juvenile crime has escalated from simple truancy to more serious crimes such as mass school shootings some would agree it is time to abolish juvenile courts or modify the system at the very least. Because of the seriousness of juvenile crime in this day and age, most states have already lowered the age limit for juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 years and are prosecuting more children as adults depending of the seriousness of the crime. Some criminal justice and child welfare scholars argue that younger children do not have the mental capability or experience to weigh the consequence of committing a crime and much less understand the implications of a criminal record in their future. Furthermore, they note that most juveniles grow out of criminal behavior as they mature out of the system and in …show more content…

As members of a society we need to distinguish the differences between adolescent and adult behavior and keep those differences in mind when thinking about the implications of abolishing juvenile court has on society. Questions need to be answered such as are all adolescent considered to be as responsible and independent as adults are to be treated the same in a court system? As a society, are we ready to return to a court system similar to that of

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