Most of the time, the system has proven itself to be unsuccessful in dealing with juvenile crimeMost often, the system is unsuccessful. “There are kids who are five times more likely to be raped or otherwise sexually assaulted in adult prisons than in juvenile facilities. The risk of suicide is likewise much higher for juveniles in adult jails.”(How to reduce crime Pg 3). When juveniles are sent to jail, they are still relatively impressionable from people in the prison, and may go back into crime after they’re released, hindering rehabilitation and just creating another violent criminal in the world. The court sentencing the criminal is also at
When it comes to kids, we tend to baby them. We organize their lives and set limits on everything. If they want to do something outside those limits we tell them they are not old enough or they have not experienced enough of the world yet. After all, what can they possibly know about love, major decisions, and what is best for them? Yet somehow, despite all this, when they commit a crime we turn into hypocrites. Magically, they are geniuses who know everything about the world. In society’s eyes, they are no longer a child, but a monster.
Picture a mother receiving a phone call from the local police station that her ten-year-old son is being held in a jail cell for stealing school supplies and is facing charges of five years in prison; his mother weeps as she knows it is her fault for not being able to afford them. This has been an issue in the juvenile system since the early 1800s. The juvenile justice system has not been strong enough to find an appropriate sentence for small crimes committed by children who are not living stable lives. In the 1800s, they believed that the death sentence was one of the only ways to teach people that crime is not permissible, and even if children committed a very low-level crime, they could be put to death. Since then, the justice system has gone through phases of accepting the death sentence for children, to banning the death sentence for children under 18, and then banning the death sentence and life without parole for children completely. Many of these children have not had a fair chance in the system and have been punished for crimes that others may have done, so this problem must be fixed. Although most people would say that juveniles should be punished for their crimes, the community should be better involved in helping these children to know that these crimes are not allowed, and if they are committed, the community should be there to help these children learn from their mistakes.
The court decision was influenced by Graham and Roper cases that established for sentencing reasons children are different from adults under the constitution. Children lack maturity and have no developed sense of responsibility. This leads them to be impulsive and reckless. In Roper it was held children are exposed to outside pressure and negative influences from friends. Therefore, they have less control of their environment because the child’s nature is not2 well informed. Graham and Roper emphasized distinguishing traits of children weakening justification for inflicting harsh sentences to juveniles even when they commit outrageous crimes.
Considering the behaviors of an adolescent in the same manner as that of an adult is unfair. Juvenile brains are still developing, which means that they perform differently than adult brains (AACAP). Adolescents are more likely to act on impulse, get involved in fights, and engage in risky or dangerous behavior. They are less likely to think before they act or consider the consequences of their actions (AACAP). Weighing this scientific fact, it is unfair to assume that a juvenile committed a delinquent act with the same forethought of an adult. The mental development of a juvenile makes it difficult to prove that they established the mens rea equal to that of an adult guilty of the same offense.
The criminal justice system has been going through a trial consisting of whether juveniles should be tried as an adult or not. According to a new analysis from the Pew Charitable Trust, the rate of juveniles committed to prison or other, correctional facilities in the United States has decreased 53 percent in the last 12 years. Garinger stated in his article, Juveniles Don’t Deserve Life Sentences, that nearly seventy-nine adolescents nationwide have been sentenced to die in prison because, they were sentenced to life in prison without parole. Many factors can be a leading cause to this heinous behavior such as, underdeveloped brain, and growing up in a abusive environment. A young kid that commits a heinous crime can change if he or she were given the opportunity go through counseling or a rehabilitation program.
The United States stands alone as the only nation that sentences juveniles to life without parole for the crimes they’ve committed. Some of these crimes include shootings, murder, and bomb threats but what causes these children to commit such heinous crimes. Although we have juvenile facilities, charged juveniles who commit these crimes are placed in adult prisons. In agreement with the majority of Supreme Court justices, we should abolish mandatory life in prison for juveniles who commit crimes due to the fact that these juveniles have brain development that is vastly different from an average adult, that their backgrounds should be accounted for when charging them, and that it’s morally wrong to put them in adult prisons.
In today’s society our children go down one of two paths: become successful or become criminals. The question then must be asked: have we allowed our children to be tracked down such opposite paths by using discipline as an excuse? There may well be an argument that ultimately the school and prison system have nothing to do with one another; however, I believe they have become one in the same. When a child can be suspended from school for bringing a plastic knife to cut his banana or a child can be expelled after two incidents of misbehavior, I think we have a problem. Where is the compassion and understanding that our education system
Juvenile who show remorse for the crimes they commited should not be sentenced life without parole. Some kids commit crimes without realizing the damage they’ve cause, and I don’t think it's fair to be sentenced to life without parole. In the book “Just Mercy” the story of Trina who accidentally set a house on fire that killed two people. She was only fourteen, mentally disabled and sentenced to life in prison without parole for a crime she didn't’ intend to commit. A Lot of the crimes that committed by kids are usually mental illness and bad upbring and they shouldn’t be imprisoned for life without parole.
Next to the parents, a child’s friends can be the biggest influence in a child’s life, and the need to fit in can be very hard for a child. The idea of being cool or giving into peer pressure can cause a child’s idea of what’s right and what’s wrong to become misconstrued. Causing a child to fall into a bad crowd of delinquent peers causing them to get into trouble with the law.
One of the most controversial questions in the juvenile justice system today is, "Should the death penalty be applied to juveniles?”. A lot of people think that the death penalty for juveniles is cruel and unusual punishment and should only be used for adults. The crimes that juveniles commit are as dangerous and as violent as adult crimes. People argue that the adolescent brain does not mature until the late teens or early twenties, and that death penalty should not be the resolution. Some studies show that childhood abuse or neglect can causes the child to commit crimes when they grow to adulthood. Debate about the use of the death penalty for juveniles has grown more intense because of the crimes they are
Our society’s fearful of our kids. I think we don’t know how to set limits on them. They begin to behave in severely outrageous ways, and nobody stops them.
What does Columbine, Sandy Hook, and the Edlington murders all have in common? These were all violent crimes, committed within the last decade, by people under the age of 21. Every time you turn on the television, there is news of children engaging in disruptive, dangerous behaviors. Juvenile detention camps are filled with children under the age 18 who have maimed and murdered others. Looking at data from the National Criminal Data base, it is a clear fact that children’s behavior is significantly deteriorated from 20 years ago. Some critics would argue that the rate of children’s misbehavior has been the same through the decades, but this paper will present evidence that children’s behavior is indeed on the incline. Factors to support this view include: data of school violence, the severity of crimes committed, and the increase of diagnosing children with mental and behavior disorders.
"It has become politically expedient to call for the imprisonment of children alongside adults. But this is no way to reduce crime,"says Ira Glassner, the executive director for the ACLU. "After the horrors these kids experience in prison, they are likely to commit far more serious crimes upon release than they did before they went in." (About.com) They need to put these kids in some kind of crime prevention program than a correctional facility. Studies have been shown to reduce crime substantially when compared to imprisonment after crimes have been committed.
First, the Supreme Court cited juveniles lack the maturity to fully understand the consequences of their actions, and they have an underdeveloped sense of responsibility so punishment for their actions is not a likely deterrent (Flynn, 2008). The next difference is juveniles are highly susceptible to negative influences induced by peer pressure, and juveniles lack the problem-solving skills to extricate themselves from felonious situations (Flynn, 2008). Finally, the Supreme Court acknowledges adolescents and juveniles have a greater chance for rehabilitation than adults (Flynn, 2008). Therefore, the Supreme Court ruling established children and adolescents possess reduced culpability for the crimes they commit, and the death penalty for juvenile offenders is unconstitutional under the Eighth Fourteenth Amendments (Flynn, 2008).