Juvenile Justice

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Yessenia Palomino
Professor Cragen
English 101A
13 March 2013
Adolescents Vs. Adults
According to Clay Thompson article, “The Lost Boys: California is Trying Kids as Adults-and Locking Them Up for Life. No One Knows How Many”, on the project censored website,“ In California alone minors as young as 14 are being punished into the adult criminal justice system. As a result children face adult punishments sometimes as severe as life in prison” (Thompson). We have age limits on things because it is quite obvious that youth are not fully capable of making the right decisions. For one, the brains of adults and adolescents are not developed the same way. Nor does it help to give a harsher punishment to an adolescent because the court thinks that a lesson will be learned this way. If we are sending our youth directly into the adult system then thats a sign of us giving up on them, and as a community we are failing. Rather than sending off a child into the adult world we must give them a second chance.

Adolescents have a high risk of being assaulted in an adult prison. A seventeen-year-old who was in an adult jail in Baltimore reported that he was harassed on a daily and when he reported it to the guards they did nothing bout it, so he had to fake that he was suicidal so that he would be isolated (Bochenek). Being in a prison can lead to a traumatized future for this young adult, if they make it out alive.

No evidence have been shown to prove that treating adolescents in an adult prison will reduce the crime rate, but instead studies have found that youth in adult prisons had approximately a 30% higher recidivism rate than youth who were sent to a juvenile correction facility, ("The Reasons for Treating Juveniles Differently"). Reasons for this are most likely because of the environment in which they live, though prisons also have programs those who are incarcerated in this environment lack the attention that is giving to then in a juvenile correction center....
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