Get Tough Policies to Juvenile Judicial System
Historically, a separate justice system has existed within which minor offenders are tried and rehabilitated differently from adult offenders. However, following an increase in juvenile crimes get tough policies have been advocated but this argues against the transfers to criminal courts of various juvenile offenders (Hurst, 2000). When we transfer youths to criminal courts, we harm them by increasing their likelihood to commit suicide. Children in adult prisons are most likely to be sexually or physically abused. Children in the adult system also miss out on rehabilitation support, education and vocational training but end up in the hands of adult mentors offering them training in crime therefore are more likely to reoffend thus trying them as adults jeopardizes public safety (Hurst, 2000).
Age is a determinant of transfer but varies from state to state and from one country to another. Adult age in New York and North Carolina is 16 years while other states in America consider 17 year olds as adults automatically. Another determinant is the nature of the crime such as where the offenders pose genuine threats to other juveniles safety, have a history of repeating the offense despite rehabilitation or there exist a severe offense (O’Neill, 2004).
Status laws are therefore justified and should not be abolished. They are based on the same duties of protecting and serving as juvenile judicial systems. Status offense laws are conceived based on implication to individual and society in terms of benefits and costs should the negative adolescent behaviours occur (O’Neill, 2004). The juvenile system aim at offering fairness and protection to children and must measure up to due process and fair treatment.
Hurst, Y. G., (2000) “The attitudes of juveniles toward the police: A comparison of black and
white youth”, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 23
(1), pp.37 – 53
O’Neill, (2004). “The American Juvenile Collection: a historical study”, Collection
Building, 23 (3), pp.118 – 121