Juvenile Justice System: Should Youthful Offenders Be Tried As Adults

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Should Youthful Offenders Be Tried As Adults? Ervin Frankli March 28, 2012 SWK 501: Policy II Alabama A&M University History of Juvenile Justice System: “Many people believe juvenile courts were invented to "go easy" on young criminals. The actual reasons are more complicated. The 19th Century reformers who advocated the establishment of juvenile courts were just as interested in crime control as they were in social work. Admittedly, some reformers were motivated by a desire to save growing numbers of poor and homeless children from the streets of America’s cities. Others, however, were mainly interested in removing the legal obstacles that prevented criminal courts from dealing effectively with young hoodlums”…show more content…
The first one is the judicial waiver. A judicial waiver “occurs when a juvenile court judge transfers ca case from juvenile court to adult court in order to deny the juvenile the protections that juvenile jurisdictions provide” http://criminal.findlaw.com/juvenile-justice/juvenile-waiver-transfer-to-adult-court.html. Next is statutory exclusion which is “provisions in the law to exclude some offenses” http://criminal.findlaw.com/juvenile-justice/juvenile-waiver-transfer-to-adult-court.html. The final mechanism is concurrent jurisdiction which “allows the prosecutor to file a juvenile case in both juvenile and adult court because the offense and the age of the accused meet certain criteria” http://criminal.findlaw.com/juvenile-justice/juvenile-waiver-transfer-to-adult-court.html. 46 states use the judicial waiver, 29 states use statutory exclusion and 15 states use concurrent jurisdiction. “Nearly every state in the country has been moving greater numbers of juvenile offenders into the criminal court using a variety of mechanisms known collectively as "transfer." When juveniles are "transferred" to adult court, they lose their legal status as minor children and become fully culpable for their behavior. Transfer is often used for juveniles charged with violent crimes, but many youth are transferred for lesser charges” http://www.urban.org/publications/307452.html…show more content…
As such, the best way to deal with them is through rehabilitation rather than punishment. The Time U.S magazine ran an article in 2001 titled, “Should the Law Treat Kids and Adults Differently?” Reasons why they should not treat kids and adults differently stated by the article were: • The juvenile prison system can help kids turn their lives around; rehabilitation gives kids a second chance. • Children don’t have the intellectual or moral capacity to understand the consequences of their actions. • Children should be able to get deadly weapons in the first place. Adults who provide kids with guns used in violent crimes should be held accountable. • Statistically, the black juvenile offenders are more likely to be transferred to adult courts than their white peers who have committed comparable crimes. On the other side of the fence, these were the reasons why kids should be treated as adults: • The end result of a heinous crime remains the same, no matter who commits it. • Harsh sentencing acts as a deterrent to kids who are considering committing crimes. • Kids understand the implications of violence and how to use violent

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