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.
Thomson’s article “Startling Finds on Teenage Brains” allows readers to understand that unlike adults, juveniles undergo biological changes which increases the likelihood of them committing crimes. Compounding this evidence with society’s infatuation with violence as depicted in Jenkin’s article “On the Punishment of Teen Killers”, readers can begin to acknowledge that contrary to adults, juveniles who commit heinous crimes are not in complete control of their actions. Furthermore, as a society we should no longer stand to sentence juveniles to life without parole because juveniles are still “malleable”, able to be reformed which is made evident in Garinger article “ Juveniles Don’t Deserve Life Sentences”. As informed members of society we have to be bridge builders, who are capable of crossing between the adult and adolescent world. It is only through these bridges that we are able to rescue kids from themselves.
These juvenile offenders are treated like adults because they made adult decisions when instead they should be given attention and support to turn them into better people. A public defender says in a short documentary that, “We are seeing far too many young offenders entering the adult system who should be dealt with in the juvenile system”, and that a way some juvenile offenders are treated far worse than they deserve. Just because juveniles made bad decisions in their youth does not mean that they should be given a life sentence or put on death row, because they were just children who made some terrible mistakes. The people that think juveniles deserve the worst punishment they can get are probably don't understand that juveniles don’t really know what they are doing and it most likely isn’t always their own
“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.
For Starters, the Juvenile Justice center doesn’t help some of the troubled teens. According to “Report: Juvenile justice system schools “do more harm than good”, it states, “Overall, 30 percent reported they had been physically or sexually abused, 37 percent had problems with hearing, sight or teeth, and 20 percent “wished they were dead,” according to the report.” So not only are the teens not being helped out, but they are getting abused physically and sexually. Some of these teens were probably bullied or are having trouble at home. If these teens were to get the proper help they needed they most likely wouldn’t be harming themselves or anyone. The report found that most of the students there has learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral
In our society, crimes are being committed not only by adults but by juveniles as well. By law as soon as a person turns 18 they are considered to be an adult. So what if an adult and a juvenile were to commit the same crime yet were sentenced differently simply based on the fact that one is a child and one is an adult? Juveniles are committing violent crimes just as adults and should be given the equal treatment and sentencing as adults receive. Juveniles aren’t completely ignorant as everyone seems to think.
In fact, this may also be because of our own habits as a community, we as teens, we are used to learn from what we see, and from what we heard from the people around us. It's not like if by blaming will make a difference, like it was all their fault. As it’s mentioned on a documentary called, “When A Child Kills”. The documentary is about a boy, whose name is Nathan, he was charged with second degree murder. The boy was found guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
In a New York Times article Richard Freidman explains that, “Adolescents have a brain that is wired with an enhanced capacity for fear and anxiety, but is relatively underdeveloped when it comes to calm reasoning” (1). This shows that teenagers may act out on their fears and anxieties, which can lead to serious crimes, rather than being reasonable. Teenagers shouldn’t have to be punished as adults for one stupid decision that their underdeveloped brain
Killing minors violates both of these amendments. Research and studies have proven that younger people respond much better to therapy and rehabilitation than adults, thus making the possibility reformation a better option than death (Lipsey). No matter the crime, death sentences for minors are wrong. Adolescents do not have fully matured brains, so they have a much harder time than adults to use proper judgement. As researched by Jeffrey Arnett, Ph.D., who specializes in studies on the phase of life between the ages of eighteen and 25, younger people
This concept is shown in need of understanding the effects of high impact peer on juveniles. One particular study with 70 participants, all between the ages of eleven and seventeen years, studies show that peer pressure and persuasion same old juveniles have the main role in making decisions, actions, and beliefs that participants involved in. One of the most powerful intervention program designed and adopted by the various court systems in the United States is their mentor and intervention program designed to scare young people from crime. While most programs involving adult offenders who install fear and truth become young offenders, it is clear that the influence of friends should be used in this concept as well. Unlike adults who can easily remember their youth and youth-related, it is very difficult for juveniles to communicate with adults.
These youth live in poverty, have endured homelessness and hunger, witnessed death and murder, and survived sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. It could be argued that because the youth do not know any other way of life that they should not be held accountable for their actions. However, when poor often black youths commit a crime, they do not have the financial resources available to afford the best attorneys or expert witnesses. As a result, these youths are more often found guilty and given harsher sentences relative to the crimes that they commit. The inability to afford proper legal representation has allowed many black youths to serve time in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.