Essay on juvenile violence

903 Words 4 Pages
Juveniles Tried As Adults 1

Juveniles Tried As Adults 2

Trying juvenile criminals as adults is unfair. Juvenile offenders are not as cognitively developed or mature as adults and, therefore, should not be held accountable for their crimes in the same way adults are.
Many tough-on-crime advocates call for certain juvenile crimes to be automatically heard in adult criminal courts with convicted criminals subject to sentencing under adult standards. Such proposals focus on the gravity of the act and its immediate impact on the victim and society, rather than on the inner motivations of the young perpetrator. Although intention plays some role in determining the severity of the crime, considerations of the juvenile’s
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For this reason, a juvenile offender should not be sentenced in an adult criminal court.

Juveniles Tried As Adults 3
Sentencing juveniles to adult prisons is not only immoral, but the impact of sentencing juveniles in adult courts falls unequally on the minority youth. For example, non-white youths in California are eight times more likely than white youths to be sentenced by an adult court to incarceration in a youth facility and three times more likely to be transferred to adult court for trial and sentencing (Young, L. 2004). This discrimination undermines the credibility of the juvenile justice system. How can a system with such disparities among the races be considered fair and equal?
Sentencing juveniles to adult punishment subjects young offenders to conditions that are unacceptable for children. Adult prisons offer little or no counseling or education at the secondary level. For these youths, long sentences served in adult prisons basically end all possibilities of living a meaningful life once they are released as adults. Additionally, youths that are incarcerated in adult facilities are likely to be sexually assaulted, beaten by staff or attacked with a weapon. According to Stephen Donalson of Stop Prison Rape, nearly 300,000 incarcerated boys and men are raped every year. The most vulnerable of these inmates are the youngest, weakest, and least experienced.