The Justice System Of The Adult Criminal System Essay

1774 Words Nov 18th, 2016 8 Pages
An estimated 250,000 youth are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated every year across the United States (campaign for youth justice). There is large controversy regarding whether or not children and young adults should be required to be sentenced as adults, regardless of their age and circumstance. This is believed to be the most logical way of approaching this matter because every case should undergo the same consequences despite the criminal’s circumstances. An opposing view would argue that it is necessary to take into consideration the situation of each criminal case before deciding on the punishment. They would also claim that children specifically, should be given another chance due to their lack of maturity. Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy illustrates several stories of youth that have been sentenced as adults even for nonviolent crimes. His stories describe the abuse and victimization they were exposed to in the adult criminal system. Youth should simply not be treated the same as adults in the justice system because they lack the cognitive maturity and can benefit more in an environment focused on their rehabilitation. Children are cognitively underdeveloped enabling them to be more susceptible to making incorrect judgments therefore, underage prosecution should be banned due to the harmful psychological and physical effects that it may have on a child and, instead, rehabilitation should be the main focus.

“Under most laws, young people are recognized as adults at age…

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