Preview

Children in Adult Prisons

Powerful Essays
Open Document
Open Document
2227 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Children in Adult Prisons
Children In Adult Prisons
Carol Carlisle
History 303 The American Constitution
Instructor David Ellett
March 14, 2011

Children In Adult Prisons

In the United States, children are sentenced to adult prisons and given adult prison terms. Many of these children are sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Some of the children were 13 and 14 years old. The children are sentenced to die in prison with no regard to age life history, or familial circumstances. Some states sentence children to life without parole for non homicidal offenses. While children must learn to be accountable for their actions, sentencing children to adult prison terms are cruel and insensitive. This is supported by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution. Giving children adult sentences in adult institutions denies a child the chance for rehabilitation. Also, the majority of children sentenced to life in prison without parole are black, poor, and poorly educated. (Equal Justice Initiative, 2009). The Eighth Amendment protects citizens against cruel and unusual punishment. The Fourteenth Amendment protects citizens from being deprived the rights of life, liberty, and property by the states. These Amendments were not considered when sentencing children in several states. In several cases that did not involve homicide, very young children were given life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole. In the case of Sullivan versus Florida, Joe Sullivan was 13 years old when convicted of sexual battery. The state of Florida sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In 1989, Joe Sullivan, an African American, was 13 years old when he was tried as an adult and sent to an adult prison in Florida. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. His background was not taken into account. Joe is developmentally handicapped and was a victim of child



Bibliography: Equal Justice Initiative. (2009). Children in Adult Prison. Retrieved from http://eji.org/eji/childrenprison FindLaw. (2009). Juvenile Life without Parole for Non-Homicidal Offences: Florida Compared to Nation The Oyez Project, Sullivan v. Florida, 560 U.S. ___ (2010) Retrieved from http://oyez.org/cases /2000/2009/2009-2009_08_7621

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Juveniles Serving Life

    • 4252 Words
    • 18 Pages

    The issue of juveniles serving life sentences, for non homicide offenses, is becoming a recognizable problem in the state of Florida and across the country. This punishment became enacted within the federal, state, and local judicial system when courtrooms and prosecutors were given permission to utilize prosecutorial discretion when deciding to send a juvenile to an adult court. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy felt this process was wrong when he stated: “there is no statutory differentiation between adults and juveniles with respect to authorized penalties” (Re, R.M., 2011, p. 367).…

    • 4252 Words
    • 18 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Juveniles who commit heinous crimes are capable of change, so convicting them as adults and giving them a life sentence doesn't allow them to do so. In Gail Garinger’s, “Juveniles Don't Deserve Life Sentences”, Garinger states the the 79 juveniles in the US who are convicted to a life sentence, are seen as unchangeable and no one cares what becomes of them. But from personal experiences of being a former judge, Garinger had see first hand the juvenile's capacity to turn themselves around. If a juvenile were to be convicted to die in prison, they would be never be given the opportunity to show their change. They should be given an opportunity to show their growth and maturity, but life in prison denies them that. Life in prison denies these young individuals the access to…

    • 997 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    German Singer Q’orianka Kilcher once stated this quote about juveniles. “I think it's important for us as a society to remember that the youth within juvenile justice systems are, most of the time, youths who simply haven't had the right mentors and supporters around them - because of circumstances beyond their control.” This quote approaches one of America’s biggest question about juvenile justice. Should minors who have committed heinous crimes against the American Society be tried like an adult and given punishments like life in prison? This question was answered in a Supreme Court ruling that stated juveniles couldn’t be sentenced life in prison because minors were still minors, regardless of their crimes. However, despite this ruling,…

    • 904 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Miller vs Alabama

    • 1283 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The Supreme Court reviewed the constitutionality of mandatory life sentences without parole enforced upon persons aged fourteen and younger found guilty of homicide. The court declared unconstitutional a compulsory sentence of life without parole for children. The states have been barred from routinely imposing sentences based on the crime committed. There is a requirement for individual consideration of the child life circumstance or the defendant status as a child. The court rejected the definite ban on life sentences without parole. This is because in some cases the instances may be uncommon, but jurors can find irreparably corrupted children. The Supreme Court declined to decide the subject whether there is age below which children with life sentences without parole is unconstitutional.…

    • 1283 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    Juvenile Death Penalty

    • 1324 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Capital Punishment, or the penalty of death for crimes committed by a defendant, is a controversial topic in today’s society. In general, the public associates this method of punishment with adult offenders who commit heinous crimes. What about the defendants who are not adults? In some states, defendants as young as 16 years old have been tried as adults and eligible to receive the death penalty. Juveniles are being punished as adults, yet, in every other aspect of the law, they are not held to the same standards. Is it public outcry for justice to be served that allows for such a consequence for our children or should the juvenile justice system be responsible for implementing measures that protect our children from punishments of death?…

    • 1324 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Children do not have the capabilities of proper decision making to be tried and convicted as adults and serve time in adult prisions. The juvenile justice system was overlooked for many years. As of June 25, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that juveniles who committed murder cold not be sentenced to life in prison because it violated the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusal punishment. I agree that juveniles should not be tried as adults, a point that needs emphasizing since so many people believe that all juveniles are criminals.…

    • 473 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    He’s thirty-three years old, waking up on a cold, hard bed, eating “nutritious” food, scared of the other inmates, knowing his life will end in prison, all for a crime he committed when he was fourteen. He knows that he has a lot longer to serve as he was given a life sentence. This man described, who was once a child delinquent, is like many other children in America who faced the same fate. Since the very first court case of a child murderer, the debate of whether children should be tried as adults has been a raging discussion.…

    • 755 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Best Essays

    Juveniles in the criminal justice system are a special population. Throughout history juveniles have been looked at as needing to be protected from the harsh realities that face adults daily. The juvenile justice system has primarily operated in a parens patriae capacity and protected the rights of those that were legally incapable of protecting themselves such as minor children and the mentally ill. From 1987-1993 the juvenile homicide rate doubled causing critics and conservatives to questions the approach of the juvenile justice community calling it ‘soft on crime’ Steiner &…

    • 3319 Words
    • 14 Pages
    Best Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In 1992 when the Adolescent Equity Act was passed by Parliament, the State Government said: "It is the goal of this Administration, as it was of the past Government, to manage 17-year old kids inside the adolescent framework, as opposed to the grown-up framework. We don't want such youngsters being presented to the impacts of grown-ups in Adult prisons, in this way expanding their chances of staying in the framework and being repeat offenders. This change will happen at a proper time later on." The reasons referred by the Administration conveying its desire to stop overseeing 17 year olds in the adult system up until now appear to be exact today. Eighteen is the season of full grown-up duty, in Queensland and all through Australia, yet 17…

    • 159 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    “In a world that demands justice when the unthinkable becomes reality, there are no easy answers when that reality involves minors. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world and remains the only nation that, in rare circumstances, will sentence its juveniles to life without parole. Is it a solution? Does it work? Do we care?”…

    • 674 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Vincent M. Southerland and Jody Kent Lavy write about their take on sentencing children to life in prison without parole and why it's wrong. Throughout the article the authors have you thinking about how cruel and harsh of a sentence life in prison is for children. A good argument the two authors make is that “young people are more susceptible to peer pressure than adults, and less capable of thinking through the consequences of their actions and assessing risks”. Through this statement the authors point out the physiologically a child doesn't have fair judgment. When adults are sentenced to life in prison their brains have already matured and should fully understand the difference between right and wrong, but children are still in the process…

    • 274 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    I like the ruling is far because children do not always completely understand the consequences of their actions. Sentencing a child without parole is taking their freedom away. They need to pay for their actions but sentencing them like that is wrong because they need help and not time in jail. Putting the children in jail will not help the problem instead they should be place in a special program to help them understand what they did is wrong and how to deal with it. Another aspect to consider is why did they commit the act? Was it because they were abused or someone made them? No matter how horrible the act the child commit, they still are children and need help.In the case of Alabama I feel like the boys did know what they were doing and…

    • 174 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    When Kids Get Life

    • 1078 Words
    • 3 Pages

    In the Frontline documentary “ When Kids Get Life” the narrator explained to us five different cases that occurred in the state of Colorado where these five teenage boys were sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The United States is one of the only countries in the world that allows children under 18 to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International report that more than 2,000 inmates are currently serving life without parole in the United States for crimes committed when they were juveniles; in the rest of the world, there are only 12 juveniles serving the same sentence, according to figures reported to the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of the Child.…

    • 1078 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    A 12 year old brother and 13 year old sister have been sent prison for 1st degree murder. Curtis and Catherine Jones murdered their fathers girlfriend and have been sentenced to 18 years. The reason behind the killing was about a relative abusing the two children and once Curtis and Catherine asked for help from their father and his girlfriend, they ignored and did not do anything about it. So the kids plotted a plan to kill the girlfriend. Today, children are receiving much harsher punishments than they should be. This is a major problem because once they are sent to prison they become victimized, are mentally unfit, and shouldn't live in that poor of environment.…

    • 989 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Youth offenders should never be tried as an adult. Youth offenders know little about living life and yet some people believe that giving life in prison to a teenager is humane. Alternatives exist and should be implemented prior to making a decision that practically ends a life before it even blossoms. The documentary on “When Kids Get Life” demonstrates some sociological theories that can be tied to the story about an individual named Jacob Ind.…

    • 1008 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays