Prosecuting Juveniles As Adults In The Criminal Justice System

2668 words - 11 pages - woodypaella ✓ Expert Reviewed

The word most frequently used to describe the growth in the rate of violent crime among children 17 years old and younger is epidemic. The alarming rate at which children are committing crimes has increased the amount of questions on what should be done with these juveniles. The National Center for Juvenile Justice states how “Every state but Hawaii now allows juveniles to be tried as adults for certain crimes,” so why are people struggling with laws allowing young offenders to be tried as adults? (Juvenile Justice) They are children, and the lack of maturity and brain development can produce risky, impulsive behavior, and should be treated rather than persecuted and written off.
In the law, a juvenile is defined as a person who is not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. In most states and on the federal level, this age threshold is set at 18 years. However, Wyoming considers juveniles as being under 19. In other states a juvenile is a person under the age of 17, and in Connecticut, New York, and North Carolina, a juvenile is a person under the age of 16 (Allen). These ages are set in place by states to determine if a young adult, who has committed a crime, will either be tried in an adult court or a juvenile one. There are three categories juvenile courts rule on concerning children: ones accused of a crime, children neglected or abused by their parents, and children accused of a status offense. Offences such as truancy, running away from home, and the purchasing of alcohol, tobacco, and pornography are considered status offences because they only apply to a specific class, in this case being minors (Allen).
The goals of juvenile courts are much different from that of adult courts. Ordering punishment is not the primary goal of juvenile courts. Instead, they respond to juveniles by ordering rehabilitative measures or assistance from government agencies (Allen). The juvenile court’s responses to crimes are generally more lenient than the adult court response. Juvenile court proceedings are held in private, whereas adult court proceedings are public affairs. Also, the offense committed and the punishment is the focus of adult courts, whereas juvenile courts focus on the child, and helping them through rehabilitation, supervision, and treatment (Allen). Harry Allen describes in his book how, “Adult courts may deprive adults of their liberty only for the violation of criminal laws, and juvenile courts are empowered to control and confine juveniles based on a broad range of behavior and circumstances” (Allen).
One issue is determining whether children have the capacity to commit such gruesome crimes. How does a child even know how to murder someone, or rape a person? Many children show early signs of being capable of committing future violent crimes. However the American Psychology Association reports that “…the part of the brain that is responsible for good judgment and the control of impulses—the...

Find Another Essay On Prosecuting Juveniles As Adults in The Criminal Justice System

The Criminal Justice System in USA

1687 words - 7 pages are often embedded into a culture of the human character, in other words, viewed as essential to the criminal justice system. This biblical story mentioned above has defined the way justice has been administered for thousands of years. The quote "Eye for an eye" continues to be the standard adopted by courts throughout the ages. Race is an issue. Ignoring in turn ignores the role played by whites, who created race as a concept," and allows...

The Criminal Justice System Essay

3698 words - 15 pages The Criminal Justice System Is this a hellish nightmare that I have to awaken from? Caged and confined, thinking and pondering, I wonder what human is this that he should be subjected to imprisonment that neither improves nor corrects his soul? Is there no compassion for restoring a man to contribute to this nation? Or does the dark side of humanity see offenders of the law as utter undesirables unworthy of aid and therapy...

Racial bias in the criminal justice system

660 words - 3 pages of those sent to prison. Whites and racial minorities live incompletely different worlds when it comes to the American criminal justice system.. Since as far back as the 1920's minorities have been over-represented in federal and state prisons. Minorities were then 25% of all prisoners while only about ten percent of the total population.The Kerner Commission warned in its report: "Our nation is moving towards two societies, one black, one...

Psychiatric Disorders in the Criminal Justice System

1960 words - 8 pages the criminal justice system. Mental institutions were ‘warehouses’ for the mentally ill and failed to meet basic human rights requirements and treatment. Yet as a result of institutions closing, more mentally ill people began filling the prison system. Something needs to be done about mental illness in prisons and there can be two possible solutions. Firstly, mentally ill people who have committed crimes are still...

Personal Interest in the Criminal Justice System

674 words - 3 pages Justice System, and the different agencies involved such as the Youth Justice Board and the Police Service. I am extremely keen to learn more about their aims and how they operate, and work together, as well as the history behind them. I aspire to become Social Worker, working primarily with youth offenders. After visiting the Youth Justice Board website for more information, I was particularly impressed with the programmes set up to guide...

Racism in the Criminal Justice System

6805 words - 27 pages have resulted in worse treatment for minorities in the criminal justice system. The tougher punishment for the use of crack cocaine, which is prevalent in minority neighborhoods, and the harsh new sentencing laws are a result of a new, stringent brand of law enforcement in which officers are trying to arrest as many people as possible. Unfortunately, as a result of this new brand of law enforcement, minorities, who are disproportionately thought...

Encouragement in the Criminal Justice System

1468 words - 6 pages for. There are a vast number of instances within the criminal justice setting in which encouragement can be given. The level of success of that encouragement would depend on the person giving the encouragement and the person receiving the encouragement. Criminal justice professionals can definitely be successful in encouraging their clients. The difficult lies in how unique each client is and how that uniqueness will differentiate how each...

The Criminal Justice System

901 words - 4 pages The Criminal Justice System The Criminal Justice System is one of the most important tools available to society for the control of anti-social behavior. The criminal justice system needs to prove a balance between punishing the guilty and protecting the innocent being found guilty; however it is not as easy to convict those who are guilty of committing crimes. There have been many miscarriages to justice where innocent...

Juveniles in Adult Facilities: History of the Juvinile Justice System

1211 words - 5 pages smaller to the adult offenders, they may be seen as a prey or easy target for rape, assault, mental issues which eventually leads to suicide. We must keep in mind that juveniles are youth meaning they are still a child, not an adult and should not be exposed to adult incarceration environment. Although it is cost saving to place juveniles and adults under one facility, it is unethical because they are not built and yet mentally ready and prepared to...

Toxicology in the Criminal Justice System

3178 words - 13 pages Forensic science has been a significant aspect of the criminal justice system for centuries. With the flourishing determination to develop forensic science throughout the years, advancements have led to the development of many significant sciences, including toxicology. Understanding and studying the adverse effects of chemicals on biological systems has proven to be a necessary force in the criminal justice system. By exploring new theories in...

Sentencing Guidelines in the Criminal Justice System

3765 words - 15 pages The criminal justice system has been in place the United States for centuries. The system has endured many changes throughout the ages. The need for a checks and balances system has been a priority for just as long. Federal sentencing guidelines were created to help create equal punishments among offenders. Judges are given the power of sentencing and they are not immune to opinions, bias, and feelings. These guidelines are...

Similar Essays

Prosecuting Juveniles in the Adult Criminal Justice System

2095 words - 8 pages juvenile these things should be considered when it comes to their punishment. Where did they come from ?, Have they constantly have problems in the community or with other authorities ?, and how is their character as a person. No child, no matter the age, should have to be tried as an adult, for the simple fact that they are not adults. By law you are considered a legal adult once you turn 18 years old, but it has been scientifically proven...

Juveniles and the Justice System Essay

1850 words - 7 pages The United States sentences more juveniles to death than any other nation in the world (Justice, 2009) and our juveniles are being sentenced as young as ten years of age. These are juveniles being tried as adults, and something has to change and change fast. The younger generation is supposed to be our future leaders. How will our juveniles or the citizens of this country prevail if this continues we won’t be able to because most of our future...

The Criminal Justice System Essay

2417 words - 10 pages The criminal justice system views any crime as a crime committed against the state and places much emphasis on retribution and paying back to the community, through time, fines or community work. Historically punishment has been a very public affair, which was once a key aspect of the punishment process, through the use of the stocks, dunking chair, pillory, and hangman’s noose, although in today’s society punishment has become a lot more...

The Criminal Justice System Essay

1487 words - 6 pages The Criminal Justice System After speaking with several different individuals, I think the reason I chose to use the responses and thoughts of Alissa C. in my paper is because she had straight yes and no answers with thoughtful explanations, and she had very few "I don't know" or "maybe" type answers. Alissa C. seemed genuinely concerned about the state of the criminal justice system and, obviously, had given it a great deal of thought...