Should Juveniles Be Tried Juveniles? Essay

1747 Words May 3rd, 2015 7 Pages
By definition a juvenile is “A person who is not yet old enough to be legally considered an adult” (Merriam Webster Dictionary). Despite this definition, America chooses to try juveniles as adults. Juveniles who commit certain violent crimes are subjected to being imprisoned in adult facilities. These violent crimes are known as the seven deadly sins and include murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape, aggravated sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, aggravated child molestation and armed robbery with a firearm. Over 200,000 juveniles are charged in adult courts every year in the United States and should not be (Should Juveniles Be Tried as Adults? 11). Even though juveniles are capable of committing violent crimes they should not be tried as adults because of their mental immaturity, the negative effects that a child may gain from being housed with adults, their incompetence to stand trial and the fact that adult prisons do not deter juveniles from committing future crime.
Although throughout most of history children were imprisoned in adult facilities this changed once the legal system saw the negative effects it produced. In 1899 the first juvenile court was established in Chicago with the philosophy of rehabilitation rather than punishment (Myers 25). The legal system found that adult prisons made juveniles antisocial and more inclined to participate in criminal activity. This caused the legal system to find new ways to rescue juveniles from a life of crime. One of these new…

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