Should Juvenile Offenders Be Considered?

1521 Words7 Pages
Should juvenile offenders be considered a source of fear and subjected to incarceration in adult prisons or a part of society worthy of being rehabilitated? Juvenile delinquents are feared by many today. They are revered as violent, superpredators, a generation lost without a cause and without ethics or morals. Some may say that it becomes an act in futility to try to find a solution to the increased crime rate when it comes to juvenile offenders. In an effort to find a solution, any solution, the criminal justice system has reformed to housing juveniles with adult, hardened criminals. This act produced juveniles who in turn become hardened criminals. In the writing, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Thomas Paus (2005) states: The…show more content…
Juvenile Justice and Historical Changes History tells us that the juvenile justice system was developed a century ago because children were incarcerated in the same facility with adults and were exposed to violence, and as a result, through learned behavior, became hardened criminals as well. According to author Joseph Penn (2001), the early juvenile justice system was designed to help juveniles through treatment so that they could be rehabilitated and to provide a safe haven for juvenile offenders. Penn continues: The first juvenile court was established in Illinois in 1899 and in late 18th century children as young as seven could stand trial in criminal court and could be sentenced to prison or death. The perception of children was later changed and they were viewed as persons with undeveloped moral and cognitive capacities. This allowed the state of Illinois to intervene in the lives of children providing protection and care or supervision [parens patriae] (p. 1). From this move, laws were put into place and juvenile courts were formed. This law provided children in trouble with a means for defense and the ability to serve out their time with offenders within their age category. An extensive study conducted by Snyder and Sickmund (1999) revealed that there was a movement calling for a separate juvenile justice system which would provide rehabilitation and treatment for juveniles; but funding was and continue to be an issue. Within
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