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.
In today’s society the youth generation seems to be facing some problems that there is no solution for. Juveniles are participating in many wrongdoing activities that they are not being held accountable for. I see many gray areas when it comes to the juveniles justice system and I strongly believe there should be changes made in order to help these juveniles be deterred from such behavior so they do not continue down a path that can affect the rest of their lives.
A plethora of children in the United States is being tried as an adult consequently, 3000 children nationwide are sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Children under the age of eighteen should not be tried as an adult in the interest of the physical and mental well-being of the child. Many questions should be asked by the court before considering trying a child as an adult. What was the nature and nurture of the accused child? Was the child being abused? Was the child using self-defense in an attempt at extricating him or herself out of a precarious situation? Why would a child under the age of eighteen be tried as an adult? If a child is being tried as an adult because the juvenile court is considered too amiable
Bartollas & Miller (2014), identify four key components that are critical to facilitating a juveniles’ ability to turn their lives around for the better. These four essential components included habilitation, healing, hope, and honor.
1. Do children/juvenile have the capacity to understand the consequences of their crimes? Are the children/ juveniles able to be rehabilitated?
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,
Not only does Berstein call for an overall reform of this nation’s juvenile prisons, she goes as far as saying the practice of locking up youth is in need of a “more profound than incremental and partial reform” (13). The fact that Bernstein outlines the numerous failed strategies and goals of this practice with her compelling use of studies and statistics is enough to promote an audience to reject the practice of locking up youth. The statistic she shares that “four out of five juvenile parolees [will be] back behind bars within three years of release” as well as the studies she conducted on numerous instances when a guards abuse of power lead to the death of a child work to further prove her point: being that “institution[s] as intrinsically destructive as the juvenile prison” have no place in a modern society (13, 83). Bernstein refutes this false sense effectiveness further by sharing her own ideas on what she believes works as a much more humane solution to rehabilitating
There are differences between a juvenile court and criminal court in the United States. The focus of the juvenile justice system is on rehabilitation, in hope of deterring the minor away from a life of crime so they will not commit a crime again as an adult. In contrast, the criminal justice system focuses on the punishment and often bases the sentencing outcome on the criminal history of the youth. In a study conducted, Butler (2011) showed that the participants’ experience with adult jails and prisons show that those facilities may instill fear but are otherwise emotionally—and often physically—dangerous for youth. Many of the adult prisoners, who were minors when they enter the adult institution, felt they were forced to “grow
In the United States, there have been many cases where a juvenile would be found guilty and be tried as an adult. There are other cases where those juveniles are tried as adult forever. I am against charging juveniles as adults when they commit violent crimes, the juveniles lose many educational opportunities and the adult system is far too dangerous for the young juveniles.
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
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.
There are indication that most criminals have a juvenile records in the US, indicating that crime manifests from a tender age. Therefore, to reverse the incidence of crime, it follows that the best strategy is to reduce the criminal orientation in the juvenile offenders as opposed to hardening them and preparing them for criminal careers. The case of the Crossroads Juvenile Center demonstrates the willingness of the juvenile justice systems to make these changes on the children.
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?
The privatization of youth confinement facilities is now widespread in the United States; almost half of the youth facilities in the country are privately operated. While many of these private facilities are owned or operated by non-profits, we focus this policy platform on for-profit facilities, which pose a unique and significant risk to youth (http://www.njjn.org/our-work/confining-youth-for-profit--policy-platform). Robert May’s documentary sheds a little light on the problem with the justice system and shows that it might be something that the United States wants to fix before it becomes a problem. He claims that minors need a justice system that protects their rights as well as they protect adult’s rights. Ciavarella was convicted in 2011 of racketeering and other charges, sentenced to 28 years in prison; of the 39 charges against him, Ciavarella was guilty for 12. Conahan, the one who oversaw the scam, pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to more than 17 years behind bars. Hilary graduated college and wants to become an English teacher for at-risk kids. The victims and their families have also won millions in judgements from Mericle and Powell’s
Every year in the United States, an estimated 250,000 children under the age of 18 are tried and imprisoned as adults. In fact, about 100,000 of these children end up in adult jails and prisons. Fourteen states in the U.S don’t even have a minimum age for trying children as adults. This topic has caused great debate all across the nation. While many people are in favor of trying children as adults, others are not very fond of the idea and strongly disagree. There are many thoughts, considerations and ‘what ifs’ people bring up when speaking of this topic. I personally think that it depends on both what the kid did and how old he/she was. I asked both teens and adults for their opinion on this topic. The majority of teens agreed that no children