Deviance Final : Question #1 A juvenile being tried as an adult is a very sensitive and controversial issue over the past years. There has been a significant increase in the number of juvenile offenders being tried in adult courts for serious crimes. Juveniles should be tried as adults depending on the seriousness of the crime that they commit. There are many factors that contribute to juvenile courts and to what extent a juvenile should be tried as an adult. The juvenile justice system was intended to rehabilitate offenders that committed non-serious crimes.
Juveniles of today seem to take advantage of this system by committing violent crimes. Juveniles think they might get off easier because they believe they will be tried as juveniles no matter the seriousness of the crime. (Estudillo, 2001). In the past years there have been laws to protect juvenile delinquents from being prosecuted as adults. There was a rising violent crime rate for juvenile offenders in the late 1980’s and 1990. To reduce the violent crime courts transferred their violent juvenile offenders to more strict adult courts.
During the mid-1990’s many states adopted laws so that it would make it easier to try juveniles in adult courts (Juvenile Justice, 2006). Violent juvenile offenders should be tried as adults. There are many crimes that a juvenile can commit that are heinous and violent enough for them to be tried in adult courts. Many juveniles are capable of knowing the difference between right and wrong, and what they should do and not do. The maturity and mental capacity of the delinquent offender should be taken into consideration when deciding to try juveniles as adult. The simple fact is that fully competent and mature juveniles are fully capable of committing the same crime as a competent adult” (Chiou, 2002). Minors should take responsibility for their actions. Tying juveniles as adults will give other minors an example, giving them a wake-up call. Other terms of punishment, like the three strikes law, makes the minor take the responsibility for their actions. Although this is harsh, it serves as a great way to show that committing crimes is serious and a punishment will be set (Estudillo, 2001).
This is portrayed in the updated juvenile justice system. The previous juvenile justice system could not keep up with the overwhelming amount of violent juvenile offenders. The juvenile justice system was just reprimanding minors not very seriously. The system needs to give violent offenders individualized attention. They need to help offenders who are threats to society even after being sentenced in the system. The first laws were not designated to deal with extremely violent cases; they were mostly created for minor crimes. The focus was also on rehabilitation, and trying to fix problems.
It is proven that “rehab centers have had little influence on youths” (Estudillo, 2001). Many juvenile offenders go through the system and just take rehabilitation as an “easy way out”, many offenders go through the rehabilitation program numerous times before something can be done to actually reprimand them. Criminals must be held accountable no matter if they are minors or not. Juveniles that commit these heinous crimes, such as murder, need to think about the families of the victim. If the juveniles are just tried in juvenile courts they usually will be sentenced with a less harsh sentence.
These families of the victims feel that they are abandoned and feel less secure that the criminal can go out and victimize someone else. They sometimes feel as though “their loss was left unacknowledged” (Estudillo, 2001). The only way to solve this is to try the minor as an adult. The minors must take full responsibility for their actions, to act as a deterrent for other delinquent minors. Although there are many states that allow juveniles to be tried as adults, other states have restrictions against trying juveniles as adults.
Juveniles that commit heinous and malicious crimes should be tried as adults, as long as they have the understanding of what is right and wrong (Juvenile Justice 2008). If a juvenile wants to commit an adult crime they should have to pay adult time. Many minor feel that they can commit these adult crimes, because they feel that they will only be charged with a juvenile offense. If the minor has the mindset that he is going to harm or kill a person, if the crime is especially violent or monstrous and if they had the crime premeditated should all be taken into consideration when rying a minor. They should be tried as an adult if they fit the criteria needed. Juveniles that are tried and convicted in the adult system should have to follow all the rules and procedures of the adult system. There should not be an exception because they are minors. They are “subject to the same policies and procedures as other inmates regarding housing, health care services, education, vocation and work programs, and recreational activities” (Juvenile Justice 2008). Juveniles should be treated this way if they are waivered to the adult system.