California's Proposition 21

2140 Words Jul 20th, 2008 9 Pages
Introduction
The purpose of the following paper is to explain California’s Proposition 21. This writer will explain the pros and cons about this proposition; as well as what voters voted for when they chose “yes” for this proposition. Research will be done in order to explain what the reasoning for Proposition 21, and the changes that occurred when it enacted in the State of California. The following information will be provided as well; prosecution of juveniles in adult court, juvenile incarceration and detention, changes in juvenile probation, juvenile record confidentiality and criminal history, gang provisions, and serious and violent felony offenses. In addition, the following paper will also explain the impact under this proposition
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Florida, which allows prosecutors to move juvenile trials to adult court, has the second highest rate of violent juvenile crime in the U.S. (http://www.4children.org/news/100pr21.htm).
Other cons are that this initiative will put hundreds of millions of dollars into trials and prisons, money that could otherwise be used for education and prevention programs. This initiative assumes that youth are capable of understanding their actions and incapable of rehabilitation. Opponents also say that the job of prosecutors is to convict a youth. It is a conflict of interest for them to decide where the youth should be tried. Judges should continue to decide (http://www.4children.org/news/100pr21.htm). Lastly, by expanding the “three-strike” law, this initiative would put more people in prisons for longer, even though California prisons are already operating at more than 200 percent capacity. Overcrowding leads to early release of many offenders.
A “Yes” vote for this measure meant that various changes have been made to the juvenile and adult criminal law. Among the more significant changes is the requirement that more juvenile offenders are to be tried in adult court; it requires that certain juvenile offenders be held in local or state correctional facilities; increases penalties for gang-related crimes;

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