The current state of the juvenile justice system is one which has created an immense debate between a variety of people in the United States. The main question in this debate boils down to the issue of whether children should be able to be tried as an adult with no regard to their age. The juvenile court system is a separate entity from adult court which is used to handle the criminal cases of the youth in America. In the present, some children have their ability to fall under the jurisdiction of the adult courts revoked due to the gravity of their crimes. This should not be the case as the juvenile court should be given the ability to treat juveniles the way they should be.
Juvenile Justice Should juveniles get treated as adults that’s one of the biggest controversy in our nation now days, with many juveniles committing crimes that are inconceivable according to their age. Judges have the last word on how to treat this young people. Many people argue that “the teens that are under eighteen are only kids, they won’t count them as young adults, not until they commit crimes. And the bigger the crime, the more eager this people are to call them adults” (Lundstrom 87). This is why people can’t come to a decision as how these young people should be treated like.
Doing so has had countless adverse effects on the youth. Despite this, many prisons and facilities have turned a blind eye to these negative factors, and continue to plant them in the adult systems. Children should not have to be put in jails and prisons with adults because they have an increased chance of being raped, educational services are often too expensive, and their minds are inclined to becoming mentally unstable, which often leads to suicide. Solutions to these issues include lifting the ban that prevents grants to be awarded to inmates, and abolishing children from adult jail facilities altogether. Conversely, others may argue that these children deserve this treatment, children are becoming more intelligent and know right from wrong, and that these sentences will show others what can potentially happen.
Juvenile justice is a contentious topic in our society. In just twenty-three days, during the month of January, eleven school shootings occured. Although, the media frequently demonizes these juvenile murderers, as a informed citizens we have a moral obligation to examine the premise behind the actions of the accused because our children are our future. While juvenile and adult murderers deserve punishment for serious crimes, juveniles are capable of reform; therefore juveniles should never be sentenced to life without parole. Adolescents are biologically different from the general population which disproportionately increases the rate in which they commit crimes.
In the article it states, “The court said that minors who commit terrible crimes are less responsible than adults: They are less mature, more susceptible to peer pressure, and their personalities are not yet fully formed.” In this quote the author is reasoning against life without parole because they are less mature and not fully developed. Although all crimes deserve proper punishment, juveniles should not receive life without parole because they are still developing and this punishment leaves no room for a second chance
With as many as 200,000 adolescent entering the adult justice system each year, controversies arise regarding whether young criminals should be tried as adults. Many troubled adolescents as young as 13 years old are thrown into the adult jails for decades; thus, the current justice system has a reputation for meeting juvenile crime with harsh sentencing. However, are these punishments truly rehabilitating young criminals to one day become a law-abiding adult? For the kids living behind the adult prison walls, there is a greater negative impact on them rather than the necessary guidance to help them grow as a person. It is evident a criminal record can ruin an adult’s life let alone one of a juvenile.
Every child deserves a chance to be the fireman or astronaut that they dream of being. If the laws were non-existent fifty percent of those kids with a dream would not make it to a third of their life expectancy. Throwing a child into prison is equivalent to the latter. They need to be taught the right way to behave. A juveniles brain is less developed than an adult’s, “it does not have the level of maturity, thought process, decision-making, experience, or wisdom” that an adult’s has.
“New Orleans prosecutors are seeking life without parole [for juvenile offenders] in half of all cases; in West Baton Rouge Parish, 100 percent,” (“Justice for the Youngest Inmates”). Whenever a minor is found guilty of committing a crime, he or she must go through the processes of the juvenile justice system. There has been much controversy over how young criminals should be punished and corrected for breaking the law. The goal of the juvenile justice system is to rectify the mistakes that youths have committed in order to produce functional, well-mannered members of society. However, juveniles are often treated poorly after being tried and come out of the detention facilities in a worse condition than when they entered.
Her point is valid in that juveniles cannot be excused for their crimes, however Jenkins lacks the insight that much like how the brain changes through age, a teenager can transition from immaturity to maturity. Furthermore, if sentencing most juvenile to life sentences, it prevents them from learning their mistakes. For example, Greg Ousley during his adult years expressed his regret in killing his parents, and hopes to reconcile with his family members. Ousley comes to a realization, “ what he interpreted in his father as disinterest, even disgust, more likely stemmed from a paralyzing self-consciousness” (Par. 86).