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Should Youthful Offenders Be Tried as Adults?


Submitted By Ervin2012
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Should Youthful Offenders Be Tried As Adults?
Ervin Franklin
March 28, 2012
SWK 501: Policy II

History of Juvenile Justice System: “Many people believe juvenile courts were invented to "go easy" on young criminals. The actual reasons are more complicated. The 19th Century reformers who advocated the establishment of juvenile courts were just as interested in crime control as they were in social work. Admittedly, some reformers were motivated by a desire to save growing numbers of poor and homeless children from the streets of America’s cities. Others, however, were mainly interested in removing the legal obstacles that prevented criminal courts from dealing effectively with young hoodlums”
The Juvenile Justice System was founded on the principle that “children are fundamentally different from adults, and that the justice system that deals with them should reflect these differences” (Setting the stage). Two themes make the system: the welfare of young offenders and the protection of public safety.
“State legislatures are responsible for establishing juvenile courts and for framing their legal responsibilities. Thus, state lawmakers have the power to decide who falls under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and who remains under the jurisdiction of the criminal court. At one time, the issue was relatively simple. States merely decided at what age an individual was to be fully responsible for his or her criminal behavior. Offenders above that age were tried as adults in criminal court; those below it went to a juvenile court. Most jurisdictions set this age at 18”
Maximum age: “16 states statutorily set the lowest age of juvenile court jurisdiction.
• North Carolina having the youngest age which is 6
• MD, MA and NY= age 7
• Arizona=

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