There is no one answer to the question of whether juveniles should be charged as adults. The decision must be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the specific circumstances of each individual case.
There are some crimes, however, that are so serious that it is almost always appropriate to charge the juvenile offender as an adult. These include murder, rape, and armed robbery.
When making the decision to charge a juvenile as an adult, prosecutors and judges must consider the following factors:
– The severity of the crime
– The age of the offender
– The offender’s criminal history (if any)
– The likelihood that the offender will reoffend
The bottom line is that juveniles should only be charged as adults in the most serious of cases. When in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of caution and keep the juvenile offender in the juvenile justice system where they can receive the treatment and rehabilitation they need.
The United States has long had a problem with crime. On July 1st, 1870, the Department of Justice was established as a government agency to combat these offenses. Many children were brought to the United States during this period of large immigration, and they became involved in criminal behavior. To address this issue, the juvenile justice system was established to provide adolescents a second chance rather than forcing them into situations with hardened adult criminals.
The first juvenile court was established in 1899 in Chicago, Illinois. The court aimed to rehabilitate minors so they could eventually be productive citizens. This system became very popular and all states had some form of juvenile justice system by the 1920s.
The most common types of crimes committed by juveniles are: petty theft, burglary, vandalism, vehicle theft, and simple assault. In 2012, law enforcement agencies across the nation made an estimated 1.6 million arrests of persons under the age of 18. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, only about one-fifth of these arrests were for violent crimes such as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
There has been a debate on whether juveniles should be charged as adults. Some people feel that they should because the crime rates have been increasing and also, that minors these days are more mature than they used to be. Other people believe that they should not be charged as adults because they are still children and their brains are not fully developed yet.
The juvenile court system first appeared in the mid-nineteenth century and juvenile crime has become increasingly serious. While committing these offenses, minors have less to worry about because their punishment will be considerably lighter than that of an adult’s. As a result, some misguided individuals have grown more daring.
The line between juvenile and adult has become blurred as the crimes committed by juveniles have become more severe. In addition, the victims of these crimes are often left feeling that justice was not served.
There are those who feel that juveniles should be tried as adults because of the severity of their crimes. Others believe that this would be counterproductive and that rehabilitation is a better option. There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument.
The main arguments for trying juveniles as adults are:
– The severity of the crime: If a juvenile commits a serious crime, they should be tried as an adult so they can receive a harsher punishment. This would act as a deterrent to other juveniles considering committing similar crimes.
– The safety of the public: If a juvenile is charged as an adult, they will be kept in an adult prison where they will not have access to other juveniles. This will make the general public safer.
– Justice for the victim: The victims of crimes committed by juveniles often feel that the punishment does not fit the crime. Charging the juvenile as an adult would ensure that they receive a punishment that is more fitting for their crime.
A youth was charged with murder. He said, “I don’t want to be labeled a murderer.” To which Garcetti responded, “No.” He was also asked, “When I’m sixteen, right now, am I in jail or not?” again Garcetti confirmed the boy’s belief by replying “Right” The juvenile only has to compare the risks and advantages of whatever he wants to do because the system will not treat him differently from someone else under the age of eighteen.
The juvenile in this scenario is committing what we would deem as felonies, yet he does not have to worry about the same repercussions an adult would. This is a problem because it creates juveniles that feel they can get away with anything, and if they do get caught, their punishment will not be as severe.
The question then becomes: should juveniles be tried and convicted as adults? There are pros and cons to this debate. On one hand, some people argue that juveniles should not be tried as adults because they are not developmentally mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions. They argue that juveniles should be given leniency because they have not had the opportunity to fully develop as individuals. On the other hand, others argue that juveniles should be tried as adults because they are capable of committing serious crimes and should be held accountable for their actions.
When the court system opts to try juvenile offenders, it is not always achieved. The fact that most are tried as juveniles for the first time is due to the hope that they can be reformed and sent on their way again. This notion is fantastic in theory but does not always work in practice. Percy Campbell, a twelve-year-old boy, has been arrested numerous times. Not four or five of these incidents though, this twelve-year-old has been incarcerated a total of 57 times for a grand total of 97 offenses.
Some of these crimes were extremely violent. Even with this criminal background, Campbell was still tried as a juvenile when arrested for armed robbery. The question is, should he have been?
In the 1990’s there was an influx of juveniles being tried as adults. This was because many people believed that the rehabilitation system for juveniles was not working as it should be. The thought process behind this change in how criminals are tried is that if they are given more serious punishments then they will be less likely to commit more crimes in the future. The problem with this mindset is that it does not always work as intended. There are plenty of examples where criminals who have been tried as adults and given adult sentences have gone on to commit more crimes after they are released.
The reason that many people still want juveniles to be tried as adults is because of how often they reoffend. A study done in 2016 showed that, of the juveniles who were arrested for serious crimes, 72% were arrested again within five years. This number is high, but it does not mean that all of these criminals committed new crimes. Some of them may have been arrested for things like violating their parole or failing to show up for court. However, this number is still high enough to warrant concern.