Should Juvenile Be Charged as Adults in Criminal Cases

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Should Juvenile Be Charged as Adults in Criminal Cases?

Robert Horn

Post University

The purpose of the Adult Criminal Justice system is to punish offenders according to the severity of the crime committed. The juvenile justice system’s aim is to rehabilitate or mentor the juvenile offenders, in the hope that they can prevent further crimes, and to change their behavior. The motivating principle of the juvenile system is rehab. The reason for this is because juveniles are not fully developed, mentally or physically. Many Juvenile offenders come from broken homes, been abused, or come from bad neighborhoods. Juvenile offenders need a second chance, because they have not even received a first chance. Rehabilitation is the best option for them because of the way they would be exploited and turned into criminals if they were sent directly to prison. If given the chance, the Juvenile Justice System can aid in successfully rehabilitating youthful offenders so they are not inclined to commit future crimes. With this reasoning, juveniles cannot be blamed or accountable for their actions the same way adults are.

The Justice System fulfills and important function by establishing standards of conduct. It defines what is right and wrong for people and removes them from the responsibility of taking vengeance out on those who wronged them, which deters the escalation of feuds in the community. The Justice System also protects the rights of citizens by establishing and honoring the principle that freedom shouldn’t be denied without a good reason. Rehabilitation does have its objective: to return offenders to their communities as cured members of the society. Efforts in the 1980’s and 1990’s were unsuccessful. There was no one program that was more effective in the effort to rehabilitate youthful offenders than any other program. Because of this, a large portion of released offenders continued to return (Murphy 49). This led many people to believe that the best alternative was to simply remove offenders from the community, preventing vexation and exploitation. Because criminals are more often considered to be inclined to commit crimes than those never convicted of a crime, it follows that some benefits will be derived from incarcerating convicted criminals. The potential of incarceration is great as a method of crime control if it is only a few hardened criminals who commit the most crimes. If those criminals can be identified, sentenced, and incarcerated for long periods of time, there would be a significant reduction in crime. Most supports of correctional reform have this view on the population of criminals. Blame for most of the crimes committed is most often place on a relatively few predatory, compulsive individuals thought to commit a large number of crimes each year (Newburn 54). The last and final goal of this reform movement is reestablishing retribution. Retribution is the most moral of all penal goals. There is an element of rage included because the victim deserves the right to be repaid with pain for the harm suffered. Justice is achieved when the punished given to the offender is equal to the level of harm coming from the criminal act. Consequently, social balance is reestablished and maintained within the society.

When it comes to juvenile offenders, the rules are thrown out the window. There is a separate legal system for them and they are also categorized differently. By federal standards, any juvenile who is under the age of 18 who has committed a crime is a juvenile delinquent. This is a decision that society has made. Society believes that there are important and serious differences between adults and juveniles. A one-size-fits-all approach is not wanted and will make the situation worse. Juvenile offenders are easiest to influence and are also the easiest to bend. It is believed that the actions a juvenile criminal...
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