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Culture, Society and Praxis

Document Type

Main Theme / Tema Central

Abstract

In today’s society, as soon as a child turns eighteen, they are legally considered adults and no longer need parental consent on matters. However, if eighteen is the standard age of the beginning of adulthood, why then, are more and more underage children being tried as adults, and if convicted, being sent to adult prisons? Society sets all of these age limits on what youths under eighteen can and cannot do, but when it comes to crime, apparently no age is too young to be considered an adult. In this paper I argue that children should not be tried as adults because the juvenile justice system proves more beneficial to helping these children, contrary to current beliefs. I will argue that the programs offered in juvenile facilities prove more beneficial in protecting both society and the convicted children as studies show that fewer youths released from juvenile facilities are rearrested as opposed to those released from adult prisons. Another argument is found in scholarly studies where physical and sexual abuse is reported in greater numbers in prisons than juvenile facilities. Youths in adult prisons are the main targets for abuse, and because of that suicide rates are extremely high. Finally, I will argue that youths gain nothing from being in adult prisons, while juvenile facilities offer so many beneficial programs for them. Once released, youths in adult jails have a much more difficult time adjusting to life after prison, making it easier for them to fall back into crime.

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