Juvenile Justice

December 15, 2016 Law

The word justice is described in the dictionary as “a being righteous; fairness” and to bring to justice is stated as “to treat fitly or fairly”. Is our juvenile justice system just? According to the definition it is not. It is not fair or righteous to treat juveniles as adults. Today we live in a world of crime and the youth are committing many of these crimes. The juvenile court system is to deal with all crimes committed by minors (under age 18) but this is not happening mostly minor crimes and cases involving custody and neglect are being brought to these courts. The major crimes such as murder and assault committed by youth are most times disputed in criminal court, which is adult court where children as young at ten are being tried and convicted as adults. Youth, that are not considered adults when it comes to voting, drinking, driving, are being sent to adult prisons for serious crimes. This is not justice; we can’t try children as adults because they are not adults. In Aristotle’s “A Definition of Justice” He writes that their needs to be equality before there can be justice. It is plain to see and understand that children and adults are not equal; they have different standards set forth by law. A child must reach the age of eighteen before he can vote, and age twenty-one before he can drink. So why can he serve an adult punishment? .

Children are not equal to adults and need their own criminal courts and correctional facilities. It is not just to put a juvenile in a prison full of adult criminals. It is not safe or helpful. Juveniles are sent to a place full of more crime and learn from adults how to be criminals. This can set back their rehabilitation, and possibly make them more dangerous to society. There are cases when a child commits a heinous crime and needs a heavy punishment. This is why we need to build new juvenile facilities for these sorts of crimes. To truly be just, there needs to be a distinct separation from adults and children concerning their crimes and facilities housing them.

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