Arguably, the rate of crime activities carried out by teens is tremendously increasing. As a matter of fact, the question should juvenile criminals be tried as adults has become a controversial issue in the world today. Nearly everyone from politicians, lawyers to judges express their opinions on the issue, and because everyone is controversially concerned there is no realistic conclusion that has been reached. The court systems in the global arena are left with the hard task in making decisions. For many years, children have committed heinous crimes just like adults, and how they will be stopped has become another significant problem. In most cases, children commit crimes, not because of their choice, but because they are victims of environment and family that were brought up. Research shows that the main objective of creating juvenile courts was to treat and guide instead of punishing. In the 1980s and 1990s, the general publics emphasized in getting hard-hitting with juveniles by trying them just like adults. Some of the states passed laws that made it easier for the court to try children offenders just like adults; on the other hand, some States unconditionally opposed the move to try children as adults. In general perspective, child offenders should be tried as adults.
Certainly, juvenile offenders should be tried as adults for many reasons. The main objective of undergoing trial in court is to administer justice and reduce crime activities in society. Juvenile courts in most cases have failed to deter youthful offenders from committing a crime and other violent related offenses. Hence, it is evident that the existence of a juvenile court system will not help in reducing crime in society and deterring juvenile from criminal activities. In addition, juvenile rapists and murderers are always released after lenient and short sentences; this will lead to continuation of criminal activities among the youth. The families of the victims are left to suffer forever, yet the offenders are happy and live peacefully in the society (Hile 20). Moreover, juvenile offenders should undergo a trial as adults in order to reduce crime. In fact, trying juvenile as adults will prevent them from committing additional criminal activities. In the society, everyone should be accountable for his or her offense. Just like adults, teens should be held answerable for their crimes and actions and be tried always as adults. Some assert that children learn from their parents; this is not the case, children are supposed to learn from criminal acts and bad actions of their parents. It is crucial to comprehend that moral of the children and adults are inherent since birth. Juvenile courts carry out its operations with the conjecture that the offenders in question are young and immature. Therefore, juvenile offenders should be tried as adults since the case will be judged on the essence of crime committed (Cole et al 68). When the juvenile offenders are tried as adults the development of the case is complete, judgments are mature, and deterrence of crime will be achieved. Therefore, for better execution of justice and correctional procedure to be effective juvenile offender should be tried as adults.
On the other hand, other scholars and individuals assert that juvenile offenders should not be tried as adults. On most occasions, juvenile are not conversant with the legal system, laws and regulations of a nation. This implies that it will be extremely unfair to try juvenile as adults because adults commit crime knowing the consequences. When children are tried as adults, they will be sent to prison if found guilty; hence, children will be subjected to unprincipled, unethical, and bad ideas (Watkins 57). This sort of environment will make children undergo hardships, which will lead to rude and prone to commit a crime. Moreover, the laws that supposed juvenile to be tried as adults are unjust, inhumane and immoral. Children are always incompetent and innocent, which may lead to undue trials and executions. It is worth noting that adult prisons are dangerous to juvenile offenders, and this will increase the juvenile crimes. Changing social environment that juveniles live actually help in changing the behaviors of the juvenile than punishing juvenile by subjecting them to adult courts and correctional process (Hile 35). Based on issues of maturity, opposing proponents asserts that children are immature and always learn from their parents and society. Hence, in will be unfair to hold the juvenile accountable at equal standards as adult offenders.
The argument for and against juvenile tried as an adult is reasonably true. Those in support of the issue focus on the administration of justice in society regardless of age. As a matter of fact, any criminal justice system is meant to correct the offenders. Therefore, proposing and opposing the juvenile being tried as adults should lead to an ultimate objective of correcting offenders, instead of making them hardcore criminals (Watkins 90). In both occasions, justice should be administered to both the victim and the offender. It is evident that the environment in adult prisons has the potential of changing the character of the juvenile offender negatively. Meaning, there should be a consideration of the future life of the juvenile offender.
In concussion, supporting reasons why juvenile should be tried as adults seem to outdo the reasons against. The correctional system that juvenile offenders are subjected should lead to a fair administration of justice. Trying juvenile offenders as adults will deter them from criminal activities. Evidently, trying juvenile offenders as adults will serve the real purpose of criminal justice systems. Parents and other responsible stakeholders should advise their children on criminal issues, and nurture them in a positive way. Hence, juvenile criminals should be tried as adults.
Cole, George F, and Christopher E. Smith. Criminal Justice in America. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008. Print.
Hile, Kevin. Trial of Juveniles As Adults. New York: Infobase Pub, 2003. Internet resource.
Watkins, Christine. Should Juveniles Be Tried As Adults? Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Print.