Juvenile Offenders Should Be Rehabilitated

Topics: Crime, Prison, Criminal justice Pages: 4 (1043 words) Published: October 25, 2010
Final draft- Argument essay

Juvenile Offenders Should Be Rehabilitated

Out of the 100,000 juvenile offenders released every year in the United States, a large percentage of them have drug and/or mental health problems according to the Department of Justice. Another study done by the Department of Justice also showed that about 82% of these juvenile offenders were arrested again within 3 years. The criminal justice system should rehabilitate juvenile offenders instead of treating them like the adult offenders and locking them away in cells until their release date when they are just thrown back into society.

A juvenile offender is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as a person under the age of 18 that has been charged with a crime. Although, for more severe crimes, some states set the juvenile limit to 14 years of age. Juveniles, by law, can be arrested for anything an adult can be arrested for. Additionally, juveniles can also be arrested for curfew violations, refusal to obey parents, running away, truancy (skipping school), and underage alcohol consumption. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) reports that roughly half of all youth arrested are charged with theft, simple assault, drug abuse, disorderly conduct, and curfew violations. OJJDP statistics show theft as the greatest cause of youth arrests. OJJDP statistics also state that in 2008 there were 2.11 million juveniles arrested. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is the part of the United States Justice System responsible for all of the data collection on juvenile offenders. According to the United States Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs approximately 107,000 juveniles are incarcerated on any given day. Approximately 14,500 of these juveniles are housed in adult facilities. In terms of their legal status while incarcerated, 21% were held as pretrial detainees, and 75% were sentenced as adults. A majority of the juvenile...
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