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Should Juveniles Be Tried As Adults Hope Penson Effective Essay Writing/ Com 150 March 28, 2010 Instructor: Brandy W. Kreisler

Should Juveniles be tried as Adults?

The United States is the world leader in convicting children as adults. Unfortunately once a child is charged as an adult the likelihood of a fair trial is very small. Over the past 30 years there have been changes in many states laws which have led to a dramatic increase in the number of juveniles tried as adults and housed in adult jails and prisons. These get tough laws have made it easier for more and younger juvenile offenders to be prosecuted in criminal court. The purpose of juvenile court is to treat, not deter. Changing the social environment in which juveniles live is a more effective way to reduce juvenile violence than punishing the juvenile offenders in adult courts. The premise of the juvenile court is sound since children have not filly matured, they shouldn’t be held to the same standards of accountability as adults. In some states certain juvenile offenders are automatically tried as adults. Even though juveniles are committing serious crimes at an alarming rate they are not being reformed because juveniles being charged as adults do not comprehend the nature of their crimes. What is America to do? Is charging them as adults reforming them or contributing to the problem once they return to society.

The Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1899 created the first Juvenile court in the United States. The court handled criminal cases of youths younger than 16. The act also required sealed files for juvenile cases and supported rehabilitative sentences rather than punitive ones such as imprisonment. By 1925 most states had juvenile courts. Averages of 7,500 youths are in adult jails on any given day, according to a...

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