The Role Of Juvenile Offenders Are Held Responsible For Their Crimes

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Public wants to make sure that juvenile offenders are held responsible for their crimes, so other ‘would-be’ offenders receive strong message about cost of the crime7.
This results in community protected from those who might offend or offend again.
Debate over punishment being ethical and moral issue rather than scientific → Teenagers should be punished with same severity as adults7
The law needs to prove 2 things for a person to be convicted of a crime- that a crime was committed and that the person had the intention (“mens rea”) of committing the crime. If a teenager does not have the ability to plan ahead and intently commit the crime, then they are not guilty.
In emotional contexts a teenager’s self-control is more severely restricted than at any other time in development.
In middle adolescence reward-seeking systems are well developed but self-control systems are still developing. This is the time when teenagers commit the most crimes.
Since the basis for these behaviours are biological it is not the teenagers fault, and the teenager is thus not responsible.
During the 1970 's society’s attitude towards juveniles changed from a relatively tolerant to a more strict view, which is considered one of the reasons as to why since then more juveniles were charged as adults rather than a juvenile.11It is widely believed by the public that teenagers who receive a punishment accordingly to their crimes are at a lower risk of committing another offense later on in life.10
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