Kids – they can be a handful, and at times, aberrant, especially when they lack the nurturing and discipline in their formative years. When children lose their innocence and become law offenders, the grownups of the society and the government are responsible for correcting them and leading them to the straight path.
There has been a debate regarding the advantages and disadvantages of trying juvenile delinquents as adults. Despite them losing their naivety and becoming cold blooded criminals, children are children.
List of Pros of Juveniles Being Tried As Adults
1. Not Sugarcoating Crime
When there is no sufficient correction or punishment afforded to every offense, it fosters the belief that the offense done is acceptable or tolerable. Child or adult, the criminal violated the law, and made another person(s) suffer greatly. Crime has to pay. Trying juveniles as adults is not sugarcoating crime because of age.
2. Reduce Crime
It is alarming to know that a rising number of crimes are committed by juveniles. Over the years, these young offenders are free to cultivate criminal minds and behaviors all because of the absence of ample punishment. When kids are being tried as adults, it discourages them from doing unlawful acts.
3. Focus on Crime
Even at the start of trial, the court is already prejudiced when it tries juvenile delinquents. But when juveniles are tried as adults, this enables the courts to focus on the crime, not on the age of the suspect.
4. Teach Accountability
Kids under the age of 18 are not perfect innocents. Many of them begin thinking and acting more maturely. Punishing them for their wrongdoings teaches them accountability, which they can bring with them until they grow old.
5. Trial by Jury
Juvenile courts are sometimes regarded a joke or faux courts with no proper trial or jury. This downplays the necessity to uphold the truth, bring forth justice and punish criminal act, regardless of the age of the offender.
List of Cons of Juveniles Being Tried As Adults
1. Risks in Adult Prison
When child offenders are tried as adults, they go through the same process as adult offenders. They may not be able to cope well in a correctional facility where they comingle with adult criminals convicted with horrible crimes.
2. Parental Rights Stripped
When juveniles are tried as adults, the parents are stripped off of their onus, where parents may be responsible and accountable for what their children have done or have become.
3. Lack of Hope
By trying child offenders as adults, it shows society’s hopelessness in giving them another shot at living clean, normal lives. It seems that once a child commits a crime, they are no longer able to quit. Young people have many years ahead of them, which may be channeled for doing good.
4. Provoke Child Offenders
Some kids (even adults) have a negative reaction against strict punishment and rigid rules. When juveniles are being tried as adults, they may become more aggressive, more hopeless, and more violent. They may pick up even worse behavior while in an adult prison.
5. Lifetime Effects
A child with criminal record will always live with the stigma for the rest of their lives, and this gives them a hard time blending in with society and leading normal lives. They may have limited options for school, work, business, and even finding a future partner. This could have lasting ill effects on their mental, social and emotional lives.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.