There are more than 2,000 child offenders serving life without parole sentences in United States prisons for crimes committed before the age of 18 and Lolita Barthel is one of them. The United States is one of only a few countries in the world that permits children who commit crimes to be sentenced to prison forever, without any possibility of release. Only eight states in this country Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Mexico, New York, and West Virginia and the District of Columbia prohibit life without parole for youthful offenders. Unfortunately, adolescents, like adults, commit horrible crimes and make terrible mistakes. And, like adults, they should be held accountable but in accordance with their age, stage of development, and greater capacity for rehabilitation.
Humes has constructed an account of LA, California’s juvenile justice system and the children who pass through it in the mid-1990s (XIV). This carefully researched book chronicles the arrests of seven teenagers and their experiences both in juvenile court and while serving time. He describes the legal processes and interactions between prosecutors, public, private
There are many victims of unfortunate circumstances in the world today, yet some of these results could have been easily avoided. In the novel, Just Mercy, the author Bryan Stevenson addresses many cases in which children under the age of 18 are incarcerated within the adult criminal justice system. By treating children as adults in the criminal justice system their innocence and undeveloped person, become criminalized. These children become dehumanized and only viewed as full-fledged criminals and as a result society offers no chance sympathy towards them. Stevenson argues that children tried as adults have become damaged and traumatized by this system of injustice. His claim that children should not be tried as adults is agreeable because
The federal government’s “War on Crime” by the Johnson administration in the 60s made way for tougher law enforcement and surveillance (Hinton, 2015). However, with this came the separation of children and adults in the criminal justice system; then the separation of juvenile delinquents from status offenders. As mentioned, status offenders are different from juvenile delinquents because they had broken rules which apply to only children. Meanwhile, juvenile delinquents are youths under the age of 18, who committed offenses that would be punishable to adults as well. By the late 1960s, there became a growing concern that juveniles involved in the court-based status-offense system, were not getting their best interests met (Shubik & Kendall, 2007). This can be seen in the growing number of court-involved status offenders who were being detained and placed outside of their homes for noncriminal behavior (Shubik & Kendall, 2007). Following multiple studies and research, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended that the juvenile court be the agency of last resort and that community-based organizations, not penal institutions, should be responsible for these youths (Shubik & Kendall, 2007; Farrington,
Have you ever thought a about what actually goes on in Juvenile Detention Centers? How the young teens are treated by the guards and other cell mates? If you really think about it, most people in this generation don’t understand how bad it is getting. Being a teen doesn’t mean you are an adult and every teen makes mistakes. From the point of view of the young prisoners in those detention centers, when you get in trouble or you make a mistake in the “outside world” people get over it. At the age they are at, it is just like getting grounded for a week and that’s it. However, in the world of the Juvenile Detention Centers, if you make a mistake, you will may get beaten up by other cell mates.
The book Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, by Nell Bernstein is a compelling expose on the inherent evil of juvenile detention facilities. In her eye-opening account of the danger that lies within locking up this nation’s youth, Bernstein utilizes a plethora of rhetorical strategies to urge her audience to recognize and act on her claim. In writing this account on the heinousness of juvenile detention centers and why the system as a whole must be reformed, Bernstein uses personal cause and effect examples, studies and statistics, as well as concrete refutations to advocate the world for change.
The juvenile justice system has made numerous of ethical issues when managing juvenile offenders. The issue with the juvenile justice system is the laws and rules that govern it. It has led to years of controversial debate over the ethical dilemmas of the juvenile corrections system, and how they work with youth offenders. The number of minors entering the juvenile justice system is increasing every month. The reasons why the juvenile justice system faces ethical dilemmas is important and needs to be addressed: (1) a vast proportion of juveniles are being tried and prosecuted as adults; (2) the psychological maturation of the juvenile to fully comprehend the justice system; and (3) the factors that contribute to minorities being adjudicated in the juvenile justice system are more likely than White offenders. These three ethical issues that are rising in the juvenile justice system will be further examined.
There are many children in the world who are being put behind bars and detained for alleged wrongdoing without protections they are entitled to. Throughout the world, children are charged and sentenced for actions that should not be considered as adult crimes. Here in the United States, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is age 12. Law enforcement officials and those in the juvenile justice system nationwide tend to mistreat underage individuals by trying cases while working through the lens of an adult. Unfair punishments are still handed down domestically, which is in violation of Supreme Court law. The following articles specifically address the idea that juvenile justice is unethical. In the article, “Juvenile Justice & Adolescent
Childress, S. (2016, June 2). More States Consider Raising the Age for Juvenile Crime. Retrieved from PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/more-states-consider-raising-the-age-for-juvenile-crime/
The United States has a larger percent of its population incarcerated than any other country. America is responsible for a quarter of the world’s inmates, and its incarceration rate is growing exponentially. The expense generated by these overcrowded prisons cost the country a substantial amount of money every year. While people are incarcerated for several reasons, the country’s prisons are focused on punishment rather than reform, and the result is a misguided system that fails to rehabilitate criminals or discourage crime. This literature review will discuss the ineffectiveness of the United States’ criminal justice system and how mass incarceration of non-violent offenders, racial profiling, and a high rate of recidivism has become a problem.
Juvenile courts were initially intended for the trial of minors for small crimes such as theft and trespassing, but within the last 30 years, violent juvenile crime has seen a major influx (Juvenile Arrest). According to Barry Feld, Juvenile justice systems can no longer handle the cases that are being brought to them because they surpass the sentencing of the juvenile system. Thus, his argument is that juvenile systems should be abolished because reforms within the system have allowed for more lenient sentencing and reconciliation of sentences. Doing away with juvenile courts would “assure greater procedural regularity in the determination of guilt” and eliminate the immense amount of subjectivity involved (Feld). Although this may assist in assigning guilt among juvenile offenders in more serious crimes, it may be slightly extreme to try minors in criminal court for petty offences. Feld addresses the apparent problem of subjectivity and trying minors in criminal court would help diminish that bias, yet he only considers the application of more serious crimes that would have mandatory sentences of five years or more, not both the serious crimes and the approach to smaller-scale crimes. Although he remains somewhat blind to part of the overall argument, the information provided is well researched and knowledgeable. Feld himself is also highly
The detainees at their two centers are between the ages of 10 and fifteen and they are held in these centers as they await the results of their trails. After the trial results are released, these Juvenile delinquents are passed on to the relevant facilities or released back in to the community.
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. All things considered, this is a major issue that needs to be resolved, so children who commit these brutal crimes can better themselves as
In today’s world there are countless crimes committed every single day. “In 2015, there were 1.42 million total arrests, at a rate of 3,641 arrests per 100,000 residents” (State of California, Department of Justice). Grown adults are not the only people being arrested every year, there are also juveniles, children, being arrested every day. One topic of controversy today is whether or not juveniles who commit these crimes should be tried as adults in criminal court. There are many differences between the justice system for adults and the justice system for juveniles. If a juvenile is defined as a person under the age of eighteen can we justify trying them in as an adult? Is convicting juveniles as adults a better solution?
Can you imagine waking up behind closed walls and bars? Waking up to see your inmate who is a 45-year-old bank robber and you are a 14-year-old minor who made a big mistake. This is why minors who have committed crimes should not be treated the same as adults. Some reasons are because the consequences given to minors in adult court would impact a minor’s life in a negative way. If a minor is tried through a juvenile court, they have a greater chance of rehabilitation.