Essay on Don't Treat Juvenile Offenders As Adults

1915 Words 8 Pages
Prior to 1899, in the United States, child offenders over the age of seven were imprisoned in the same facilities as adult offenders. As a result of political and social reformers, society’s views on juvenile justice began to shift to a more sympathetic view. Beginning in 1899, individual states began to address the youth incarceration problem by establishing youth reform homes, the predecessor to juvenile dentition centers. The objective of these homes was the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders for their re-entry into society and for the greater good. However, in recent years, many have argued that juveniles charged with violent felonies ought to be treated as adults; while others argue its antithesis. In 2005, Kirk Gunderson (17) …show more content…
These three arguments reveal that correlation between acts of violence against juveniles and their imprisonment in adult facilities.
Violence Toward Juveniles is Higher in Adult Prisons
First, violence towards juveniles is higher in adult prisons. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, violence is defined as or of, relating to, or characterized by unlawful physical force. When public opinion envisions violence in adult prisons, it thinks of deadly assaults which can range from murder to rape. Juveniles in adult prisons are viewed as easy targets for attack, manipulation and sexual exploitation. Studies show that while 36.7% of juveniles in juvenile facilities report being victims of violent attack, 45% of juveniles in adult facilities report similar abuse. Also, sexual exploitation is reported to be five times more likely in an adult facility than in a juvenile facility. Mel Cardona-Rowe, former female juvenile offender remarked, on her experience at an adult facility. When asked about sexual assault in adult facilities, she explained her many encounters with women being sodomize and sexually…