Essay On How Juveniles Should Not Be Charged As Adults

1568 words - 6 pages

Juvenile Justice: Should Minors be charged as Adults?A movement has started in our country to renovate the juvenile justice system. This movement wants to erase any differences between young offenders and adult criminals. Almost all fifty states have changed their juvenile justice laws, allowing more youths to be tried as adults and abandoning long-time efforts to help rehabilitate delinquent kids and prevent future crimes. It seems to be plain and simple, a minor in this country is defined as a person under the age of eighteen. How then can we single out certain minors and call them adults? Were they considered adults before they carried out an act of violence? No. How then, did a violent act cause them to cross over a line that is defined by age? The current debate over juvenile crime is being dominated by two voices: elected officials proposing quick-fix solutions, and a media more intent on reporting violent crimes than successful prevention efforts. Minors should not be tried as adults in our society today. This is obvious through looking at propositions by our government such as Proposition 21, a proposition which used statistics to try and convince people to sentence youths to sentences.Politicians feel that best solution is to lock up youth offenders for long periods of time. Most studies demonstrate that putting young offenders in adult prisons leads to more crime, higher prison costs, and increased violence. Yet, our nation is spending more and more on prisons, and less on crime prevention efforts. Some states spend more on prisons than they do on education. The cost of keeping juveniles in prison as compared to putting them into rehabilitation programs is astronomically higher. It can cost five thousand dollars to keep a juvenile in prison, when all they need to do is go to high school. Also the effectiveness of prisons preventing juveniles from becoming repeat offenders is low. Kids, who have already spent time in adult prisons, are far more likely to commit more serious crimes when they are released. Crime prevention programs work and are affordable. They have also been shown to reduce crime substantially. There are many crime prevention programs around the country that have been very successful in helping to reduce juvenile crime. Many states use programs that are designed to help parents of troubled kids in raising their children. These programs offer strategies and tactics for helping supervise and discipline troubled children. This is done, because it is believed that one of the causes of delinquency is that parents of kids with delinquent tendencies simply don't know what to do with them. The parents just let their kids commit any crimes they want, because they do not have any idea how to prevent them. These programs as well as other similar ones have been shown to have quite an influence on crime prevention.Media reports on juvenile crime are greatly exaggerated. Crime level indicators show that the male "at risk" population...

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