old enough to commit crime, too young to do time. Essay

1043 Words 5 Pages
What age defines a person as an adult? In some states, such as Texas, you are considered an adult at 17 years of age. Other state’s juvenile systems make you liable to be tried as an adult at the age of 18. Law enforcement officials have been questioning the age of being tried as an adult for the past 40 years. Recently, they have come to the conclusion that children between the ages of 16 and 18 who commit adult crimes should be tried and sentenced as adults. After researching information and cases of minors being tried as adults, I have concluded that if minor offenders were punished in the same degree as adult offenders are, the number of minors committing crimes might be reduced significantly.
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This would reduce the crime rate by keeping those peers of offender from thinking twice before they take action that can put them in prison where they had to watch their friend go.
The facilities that the juvenile offenders are kept in have been reported for their unhealthy conditions and lack of privacy. Kristin Choo says:
Juveniles reportedly as young as 12 were being held in a rundown, vermin-infested jail, in crowded, airless cells that were sweltering in the summer and freezing in winter. They were chronically hungry, fed portions far to small for growing bodies. They were also scared, as violent fights broke out continually, the combatants armed with weapons formed from materials ripped from the dilapidated plumbing.”
That environment may expose the juveniles to obscene actions like the fighting and things of adult manner, but it’s not something that they probably haven’t learned on the streets already. If they choose to commit adult crimes, then it shouldn’t be a bad thing for them to be exposed to the adult mannered environment in a prison.
There are alternative programs to keep juvenile offenders out of prison such as, monitored house arrest, counseling, probation and parole. The programs offer rehabilitation to the juvenile to help them to adjust to the right way of living. These alternative programs are less costly because the juvenile is working and paying taxes. Joan Petersilia says, “And so far, fewer than 10% of the offenders in the