Should Juvenile Offenders Be Punished?

1423 Words Jan 15th, 2016 6 Pages
To Americans, justice is important. When harm is done to most Americans, often victims of harm say they want the juvenile offender to pay for what he/she has done. Making someone pay for the harm they have caused is an easy concept when it comes to adult offenders; however, what about juvenile offenders? Should juvenile offenders be punished for what he/she has done?
When victims want the juvenile offender to be punished for the harm they have caused, this is called retributive justice. Often Americans think that upping the consequences for committing crime is deterrent for others who are thinking of committing criminal acts. However, retributive justice has been proven to be outdated, and it doesn’t do much from deterring youth from committing crime. Though, there is an alternative, and it is called restorative justice. Restorative justice includes the victim, juvenile offender, and allows the community to mediate the harm caused by the juvenile offender. Restorative justice also reduces the recidivism rate (repeat offending). All of the above have proven to be more beneficial to society than retributive justice. Children are our future, how much of a future can they have if they were severely punished for misdemeanor or minor criminal activity.
First, restorative justice includes the victim in the criminal justice system. Often the victim is forgotten about. When a juvenile offender commits a crime, it is reported to police. Afterwards, the police make an arrest, the…
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