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Juvenile Courts And Juvenile Delinquency Essay

1392 words - 6 pages

How would you feel if the police arrested kids all over our country to jail for just crossing the street the wrong way or pushing another kid on the playground? That is what is happening to many underage juvenile all over the United States; they are being sent to adult prisons for crimes that do not deserve such severe punishments. Why they were tried as adults is an enigma and we will explain why this is a terrible injustice. In 1899 children in between the ages of 7-14 were believed they were incapable of committing criminal intent. The court system back then believed that if enough evidence could be gathered to convince a jury, the underage person would be convicted and sent to an adult prison. Currently in our state, persons as young as 14 can be tried as an adult, due to the effects of Emily’s law. Emily’s law was created when her parents left her with a babysitting company, and the owner’s 13 year old son raped the 2 year old and threw her against the wall. She then died on impact.Throughout the harshness of sentencing juveniles, a court specified for juvenile delinquents was created in 1899. Trying juveniles as adults is too severe, because the charges set against them are unjust. Instead, these children could be rehabilitated and become productive citizens. Sending them to prison will make them vulnerable to deadly danger, and destroy any chance of changing, flourishing and returning to society.
Every year, juvenile’s courts in the United States handle an estimated 1.7 million cases in which the youth was charged with a delinquency offense. In 2007 juvenile courts handled about 4,600 delinquency cases per day. The trends in juvenile court cases paralleled the decline in arrests of persons under 18. In 1996 more than half the cases waived to criminal court were non-violent, meaning that most juveniles commit lesser crimes that require only rehab to fix. Too many children are prosecuted as adults for crimes that do not fit the punishment. Latest statistics say that 67% of juvenile defendants in adult court are, African American; 77% of juveniles sent to adult prisons are minorities (60% African American; 15% Hispanic; 1% American Indian; and 1% Asian). Youth commit only a small portion of the nation’s crime. For Example, in 2008, 12% of violence crime clearance and 18% of the property crime clearances nationwide involved only youth. According to FBI, youth under age 18 accounted for only 15% of all arrests. Every state has laws that require some youth to be prosecuted in adult criminal court. These laws, combined with other statutes, are putting 1,000 of young people at risk of facing harmful and irreversible consequences, often from minor mistakes. Researchers estimate that as much as 250,000 youth are prosecuted as adults every year. But the underlying rationales of the juvenile court system are that youth are developmentally different from adults & that their behavior is malleable. Rehabilitation and treatment, an addition to...

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