Prosecuting Juveniles in Adult Court Kimberly Washington Introduction to Statistics for Criminal Justice Ayana Conway, Ph.D., Assistant Professor September 30, 2013 Abstract This research paper will examine whether or not juveniles that commit violent crimes should be tried as an adult. Through research, I will establish an argument that children who commit the crimes of an adult should be punished as an adult. Data based on experience and observation detailing the number of juvenile offenders that are housed in adult prisons and jails, as well as the number of prisoners serving life sentences that were earned by committing violent crimes before the age of 15 will be included in this research paper. Finally, I …show more content…
As the overwhelming majority of research studies show, the adult criminal justice system is not equipped to meet the needs of youth offenders at all stages of the process, from trial to sentencing options to incarceration. The findings of the research show that justice is not served by forcing juveniles through a system never intended to process youth and that transfer laws have exacerbated the problems they sought to address. Nunez and Tang disagree with both Hudson and Mason, Chapman, Chang and Simon with a study that shows that some jurors my lose neutrality when judging juveniles tried in adult courts, thus leaving the sanctions utilized irrelevant and the length of sentences longer, impeding the theory of hope presented by Hudson. Kupchik (2006) reports, “More than 70 people are currently serving life without the possibility of parole sentences for crimes they committed before age 15.” (p. 271) He discusses the effectiveness of subjecting juveniles to the more rigid model of criminal court instead of the less formal and more flexible structure of juvenile court in order to reduce class and race bias. Kupchik determined that this was not possible because the predominant offender in both courts were Black or Latino. Kupchik concluded that the current sequential model of juvenile justice should be rejected
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In the United States, “an estimated 7,100 juvenile defendants were charged with felonies in adult criminal court in 1998” ("Juvenile Defendants"). These numbers portray how there were a lot of juveniles being charged. In addition to a large increase in the amount of crime, there was a change in the severity of the crimes that were committed, “the number of violent crimes committed by young people declined substantially from the 1990s to 2003, but then surged again that year, with the estimated number of juvenile murder offenders increasing 30 percent” (Kahn). These numbers show how juveniles were committing more crimes that were serious in the face of the law. These numbers are a brief snippet of
There are times juveniles should not be convicted as adults because sometimes the “crimes” may not harsh enough to be charged as an adult. For example, if a 8 year old saw a gun in their mother's purse and thought it was a toy and grabbed it and began to shoot who would be at fault ? Plus children in adult prisons are 10 times more likely to be taken advantage of in their time. Research shows that children prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system are more likely to reoffend than those held in the juvenile justice
Today’s heated debate regarding the decision to try juveniles as adults has prompted individuals to construct opinionated and informational articles on the topic. The nation’s troubled youth are protected by groups that believe these offenders deserve rehabilitation and a chance to develop into a productive member of society. However, others believe that those committing certain heinous crimes should be tried as adults as a means to protect public safety, prevent second offenders, and “dispense justice in the form of punishment” (Aliprandini & Michael, 2016). Because these perspectives offer a reasonable and valid argument, juveniles responsible for major crimes
There are many similarities and differences between the adult and juvenile justice systems. Although juvenile crimes have increased in violence and intensity in the last decade, there is still enough difference between the two legal proceedings, and the behaviors themselves, to keep the systems separated. There is room for changes in each structure. However, we cannot treat/punish juvenile offenders the way we do adult offenders, and vice versa. This much we know. So we have to find a way to merge between the two. And, let’s face it; our juveniles are more important to us in the justice system. They are the group at they
Approximately two million adolescents a year are arrested and out of that two million, 60,000 of them are incarcerated according to the American Journal of Public Health. The 60,000 incarcerated adolescents each year are being tried as adults in court because of the serious crimes they have committed. The crimes they have committed are anything from armed robbery to murder. Some juveniles might be first time offenders and others might be repeat offenders. Crimes have always been a major issue in the United States and can cause controversy in the criminal justice system. Charging a minor as an adult in criminal court varies from state to state based on each state’s jurisdiction. Some states consider anyone up to the age of 18 still a juvenile and would not be charged as an adult in criminal court, but other states may charge a juvenile as an adult at the age of 16 or 17. Jordan (2014) states, “Although states already had methods for transferring youth to the adult system, as a result of the growing fear of juvenile violence, most states implemented new laws to increase the number of youth entering the adult criminal system’ (Bernard & Kurlychek, 2010; Torbet et al., 1996)” (p. 315). While it sounds beneficial to incarcerate more adolescents in the adult criminal justice system to avoid juveniles from committing crimes in the future, that is not always the case. Incarcerating these juveniles can be life changing in a negative
Some juvenile delinquents are being treated like adults and being sent to adult prisons instead of juvenile prisons. In an article called “ADULT PRISONS: No Place for Kids,” by Steven J. Smith, Smith presents an argument against treating juveniles like adults. His argument states that minors shouldn’t be trialed and placed into adult prisons because instead of being rehabilitated, they typically come out worse because of the daily exposure to already hardened criminals. Smith provides reasons why juveniles are convicted as adults, the drawbacks of placing adolescents in prisons with adults, and an alternative punishment for juvenile criminals.
The dilemma of whether or not to transfer juveniles to adult court has been a major topic, for many years, in the United States. Since 1899, judges have had the option to transfer juveniles to adult court. The major factor for transferring juveniles to adult court since then has been the seriousness of the offense. That being said, juveniles only make up a small portion of violent crimes in the United States. Only 16 percent of juvenile offenders in 2008 were arrested for violent crimes (Champion,2008). The problem is the determination of whether the crime is serious enough to be waived and transferred to adult court. Almost every state has statutory judicial waiver provisions, which grant juvenile judges the authority to transfer
In conclusion, juveniles tried as adults is unjust. Juveniles should not be tried as adults for several reasons -- because considering young people as adults alters the legal process, because there is a difference of legal standards in adult and juvenile courts, because the brains of young people are not fully mature until their mid and late twenties, and because adult courts do not offer rehabilitative programs
Discussed earlier was the idea of rehabilitating youths in reformatories at the House of Refuge, but only youths deemed reformable (Fox, 1996). What about the youth who were not reformable? What about the youth that commit a serious violent offense such as murder, rape, torture, or armed robbery? In the 1980’s during the “get tough” on juvenile crime movement, states passed waiver legislation that allowed for the transfers of youths to adult court (Kupchik, 2003). Not only has there been no significant findings that trying juveniles as adult does not lower the potential for recidivism, but it has not been found to be an effective means of crime control (Fagan, 2008). Although being tried as an adult opened up even more constitutional safeguards than had been provided post-Gault, the transfer of juveniles to adult court went against the moral notion of keeping youths out of court and out of the system (McGowan, A., Hahn, R., Liberman, A., Crosby, A., Fullilove, M., Johnson, R., … Stone, G., 2007). How does the juvenile justice system, after years of reform and change get back to being a therapeutic and focused on individualized justice? Is it possible?
Mistakes or murders? Children or criminals? Answering these questions requires much deliberation. Trying juveniles in adult court cases isn't orthodox. But such incidents are increasing in America. In 2014 two Wisconsin girls stabbed their classmate 19 times. The state found the twelve-year-olds guilty without considering psychological imbalances (Hanna, Jason). Natural instinct urges one to comply with the decision. However, certain circumstances change perspectives, but only when presented. Trying minors as adults isn't sensible and overlooks many conflicts. Juveniles aren't mentally developed, risk harm in jail, and don't receive adult rights.
In the light of extreme juvenile cases, the juvenile system has conceded age exceptions, by allowing juveniles that commit heinous crimes to be divided into a system where they aren’t tried as an adult based on the fact that they’re only kids. If the belief that they are only kids, shouldn’t they learn that when their kids, the actions they commit have consequences. Although it’s understandable if the juvenile system argues, that for many kids, their parents play a huge part on their developments, but in the case that there is parental neglect, and they don’t know the consequences of their actions, then they shouldn’t be tried as an adult, largely based on the fact that they don’t have parents to teach them values, and the result is that their brains are incapable of knowing the capacities of their actions. If this is the result, then the reasons to not tried them as an adult, is correct, but the reasons to
However, the transfer laws do not lower the juvenile crime rates. For example, in New York a law that sent violent juvenile offenders to criminal courts did not have an effect on violent juvenile crime. Serious crimes presented before the adult criminal court included murder, assault, burglary, rape and arson. In other cases, young offenders become aware of the consequences once tried in the adult courts. When committing the crimes, they think that they will receive light punishments imposed by juvenile courts but when referred to adult courts, the youth tend to become more responsible. Therefore, prior knowledge of resultant punishment plays role in crime reduction among the youths. Subjecting the young offenders to face adult courts brings to their attention the seriousness of the matter at hand (Jeff, page 8).
In today’s society most crimes are committed by juveniles. Many of these young offenders tend to not learn from their mistakes the first time which leads to more crime in America. If juveniles were tried as adults, it would lower the crime rate in America. . The justice department estimates that about 10% of all homicides are committed by people under the age of 18 (Clarke, 2015). However, an argument could be made that transfer laws are increasing the total average of juveniles committing crimes in general (Children in prison, 2014). That seems unlikely, because studies show that 30 to 40 percent of boys commit violent offenses by the time they turn 17(Children in prison, 2014).
Juvenile delinquency has been a problem in the United States ever since it has been able to be documented. From 100 years ago to now, the process of juvenile delinquency has changed dramatically; from the way juveniles are tried, to the way that they are released back into society, so that they do not return back to the justice system (Scott and Steinberg, 2008). Saying this, juveniles tend to