Minors Should Not Be Tried as Adults in Court

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Monique Gonzales Mancia 11 May 2012 Minors Should Not Be Tried as Adults in Court “In the United States, children are treated as different from adults, except when it comes to criminal law; We see them as in need of protection from the outside world and as insufficiently mature to justify being treated as adults” (Barstow). Children are not allowed to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or even vote until the age of 18 or 21 yet when it comes to criminal law they are looked upon as an adult and prosecuted as adults. Experts from attorneys to Supreme Court justices still wrestle with the issues that appear when discussing this topic. Current policies and procedures seem to create more controversy with each new case of a juvenile tried as an adult. Minors should not be tried as adults in court because they lose the chance at receiving rehabilitation services, the recidivism rate is higher, and the stigma of a criminal past on an adults’ life. The adult criminal system has no special programming and treatment needed for the rehabilitation of convicted youths. The American Government spends money for the prevention of juvenile crime, the rehabilitation, and transitional services for young offenders convicted in the juvenile judicial system. Young adults should have an opportunity to take advantage of these programs too, not shoved into an overburdened, underfunded, and inefficient system. Resulting in perhaps additional or false convictions from the lack of positive reform needed to rehabilitate young minds. Educational programs in juvenile detentions have proven that young adults respond well to this type of treatment and when released, return to school and eventually employment. “A recent survey of educational programs in adult jails found that 40% provided no educational services at all, only 11% provided special education classes, and 7%
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