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Incarceration In An Adult Prison Increases Juvenile Crime

2259 words - 9 pages

In the last 42 years little to no changes have been made to correct the standards that govern punitive measures towards juvenile delinquency. Today juvenile law is governed by state and many states have enacted a juvenile code. However, in numerous cases, juveniles are transferred to adult court when juvenile courts waive or relinquish jurisdiction. Adolescents should not be tried in the adult court system or sentenced to adult penitentiary's on account of: teen brains are not mature which causes a lack of understanding towards the system, incarceration in an adult facility increases juvenile crime, and children that are sentenced to adult prison are vulnerable to abuse and rape.
American Psychological Association experts state that on average when compared to adults, 16 and 17 year-old juveniles are more: emotionally volatile, aggressive, impulsive, reactive to stress, vulnerable to peer pressure, likely to take menacing risks, prone to dramatize short-term advantages, under mind the long term consequences of their actions, and are likely to omit alternative courses of action. This may have something to with the fact that the adolescent brain is under developed. For example, according to experts at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law and Brain Behavior “Modern neuroscience is demonstrating that the teen behavior we all observe has a brain signature that can be scanned...” and “ Their frontal lobes, the regions that synthesize and organize information, that consider the consequences of actions, and serve to inhibit impulsive behavior are not fully developed, nor will they be until the early to mid 20s.” (Edersheim, Beresin, Schlozman 2013) The front of the brain contains important nerve circuitry that functions by prioritizing inbound messages that are critical for making the right decisions and for controlling impulses. The evidence shows that this specified area of the brain is under developed in teenagers, and that their impulses are not always thought out. Teen brains are underdeveloped when it comes to the decision making process is important information and should be taken into consideration when a juvenile is charged with any offense. In addition, with new found evidence of brain development being released doctors and psychologists seem to be in agreement that the findings should be taken seriously. For example, an article posted in the “Observer” in 2013 by Andrew Meriuzzi, Dr Helen Neville an internationally renowned psychologist and neuroscientist implies “Our biggest job will be to convince the public and policymakers to demand evidence and to evaluate evidence.” (Merluzzi 2013) Statements from credible sources may open the eyes to the public, that teenagers need to be evaluated thoroughly before being condemned to cells like rats. It is important to have the physiologists and scientists input so they the world can move forward with proper treatment of our youth. In relations, professionals and specialists are fully...

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