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Should Juveniles Be Charged As Adults?
Transcript of Should Juveniles Be Charged As Adults?
But what if the circumstances were different?
By Zoe Apostolatos
If I asked you to think of 'kids,' what would come to mind?
Exposure to Violence through the Media
Each year in Australia, one out of every 20 juveniles is arrested for a property or violent crime and one in 10 has recently carried a weapon or stolen something worth more than $10.
-They are exposed the implications of violence; and
- How to use violent weapons.
• Juvenile Justice Act 1992 (including Juvenile Justice Amendment Act 1996, Juvenile Justice Amendment Act 1998, Juvenile Justice Amendment Act 2002)
• Juvenile Justice Regulations 2003
• Child Protection (Offender Reporting) Act 2004
• Young Offenders (Interstate Transfer) Act 1987
• Children's Court Act 1992
New South Wales
• Young Offenders Act 1997 (Part 5 and Schedule 1)
• Children (Community Service Orders) Act 1987
• Children (Detention Centres) Act 1987
• Children (Interstate Transfer of Offenders) Act 1988
• Children and Young Persons Act 1989 (CYPA)
• Sentencing Act 1991
• Crimes Act 1958
• Bail Act 1977
• Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (CYFA) (enacted in April 2007)
• Bail Act 1992
• Children and Young People Act 1999 (currently under review)
• Crimes (Restorative Justice) Act 2004
• Rehabilitation of Offenders (Interim) Act 2001
• Family and Community Services Act 1972
• Young Offenders Act 1993
• Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988
• Bail Act 1985
• Young Offenders Act 1994
• Young Offenders Amendment Act 2004 (proclaimed on 1 January 2005)
• Young Offenders Amendment Regulations 1995
• Children’s Court of Western Australia Act 1988
• Court Security and Custodial Services Act 1999
• Inspector of Custodial Services Act 2003
• Sentence Administration Act 2003
• Child Welfare Act 1947
• Bail Act 1982
• Juvenile Justice Act (until 1 August 2006)
• Youth Justice Act 2005 (from 1 August 2006)
• Youth Justice Regulations 2005 (from 1 August 2006)
• Police Administration Act (Division 2B of Part VII)
• Youth Justice Act 1997
• Youth Justice Amendment Act 2003
• Youth Justice Regulations 1999
Should Juveniles be charged as adults?
I believe that at the young age of 15, 14, and even younger, kids all across the Australia and the world are being prepped for the careers that they will hopefully have for the rest of their lives. By the age of 16, most teens are expected to know what they want to commit themselves to to make a living. If kids are given that much responsibility and such a young age, then why can't they comprehend the consequences of violent crimes such as armed robbery and murder? The answer is that they can. Children who have committed a crime well over a state of their own knowledge should be tried as an adult. Using the excuse "they didn't know what they were doing" won’t cut it anymore; children see violence and killing well enough on the Internet and even their favorite shows. Besides determining by the means of pathos, whether a grown man or a young child committed a crime against my family or friends, I would want justice to the fullest extent.
Children are not dumb, most do understand that if they shoot someone they will get hurt, but, do they really understand what it means to die? Those who do understand and show no remorse for what they did need help. Putting them in an adult prison will not help them. They are children and should be treated as such, they are not adults and they do not think like adults do. They do still deserve to be punished and going to juvenile court does not give them a free pass. They will still be punished but will also be able to have access to the help that they need. For an 8-15 year old having to stay in Juvenile detention until they are 21-25 is a long time. They lose their childhood and by the time they get out they are adults. Children cannot finish their education in and adult prison, nor can they continue to grow like their peers. In an adult jail, children will be isolated from the rest of the world. This can cause all kinds of problems such as mental disorders, attempts of suicide, and they may become victims of rape.
History of the Juvenile Court
Reasons FOR Juveniles being tried as adults
- Harsh sentencing could be a deterrent to committing crimes
- Even if the brain isn’t fully developed yet, it does not account for the actions of the individual or what they choose to do
- The end result of a heinous crime remains the same, no matter who commits it
Reasons AGAINST Juveniles being tried as adults
- We need to rehabilitate and treat young criminals
- Putting youths in adult prison only leads to more crimes
- Children do not have the capacity to think the same way adults do
- The brain of a juvenile is not fully developed
The Juvenile System CAN and WILL turn youths lives around
Wouldn’t you like to see them be able to live up to live their full potential? Can you imagine the rest of your life being determined by a decision you made at the age of 14? What about age 11?
“We cannot give up on our children. Sending them to the adult system is tantamount to giving up on them” (Juvenile Competency, 2002)