Full classical essay- Rehabilitating Juvenile Delinquents | Teen Ink

Full classical essay- Rehabilitating Juvenile Delinquents

January 13, 2010
By Anonymous

Rehabilitate Juvenile Delinquents
Would you want your child to face a life sentence or possibly a death sentence for a crime they committed at so young an age? Keaire , 14, will be tried as an adult for a murder she’s accused of committing when she was just 13. In many communities kids are being tried as adults although they are not adults. Opponents argue that they should suffer the consequences of their actions. They believe these kids cannot be cured or treated in rehabilitation centers. Laws in response to violent crimes by juveniles in the early 1990’s helped to make punishment of juveniles easier in court. Their brains and bodies are still developing and therefore unable to make the decisions an adult would make. I believe that kids should not be tried as adults and that juvenile rehabilitation is the best method to help these kids. Kids should not be tried as adults for crimes they committed.
Stop trying 13 year-olds in court as adults for crimes they’ve committed. I agree with Mike Hendricks that, “14 is too young to be considered an adult” (1). Kids do not have the brains or maturity level of adults to always make good decisions in tough situations. Their brains have not fully developed and are not able to think things through the way adults do. This often leads to bad decisions. Kids today are flooded with violence on the television and video games and sometimes cannot figure out right from wrong. Mike Hendricks states, “it’s also shocking that ours is a society in which kids so young are denied a chance at rehabilitation in the juvenile system” (1). When these kids are thrown in with hard criminals that are repeat offenders, they have no chance of rehabilitation. They are abused by these criminals and eventually come out of prison more dangerous and ready to commit more crimes. These kids aren’t old enough to be in prison with adults who are dangerous and don’t provide any good examples to them. This can hurt society overall by creating even more criminals. What these young kids are doing is not right and they need help and guidance, not jail. Our society is not helping these kids, if as Hendricks states, “yet where is the outrage over trying kids as adults, then sending them to adult prisons where they’re abused and come out more dangerous and damaged than when they went in?” (2). In this country many kids are not considered adults until they’re 18 years old. They are not allowed to vote and most live at home where their parents make decisions for them because they are minors and under age. They need adults to help them grow and develop into good decision makers. We need to find better ways to help these troubled kids.

The other side will argue that juvenile criminals must be tried as adults.
Jessica Wilde states, “the obvious problem in trying minors as minors and not treating them in the same way for the same crimes is that rehabilitation will not fix these young criminals” (1). They believe these kids have been raised in very dysfunctional homes with very bad role models as parents. The essence of Wilde’s argument is, “a lack of human morals cannot be treated or cured in rehabilitation centers” (1). I believe that there is a chance for these kids to be rehabilitated in many ways and areas. They should at least be allowed to change and get help by being in a juvenile detention facility with help and therapist to get better. Jessica
Wilde states, “ all crimes committed by juveniles should be treated in the same regard, if not to punish heinous acts, then to provide justice to the families of victims” (2). I feel bad for the families of the victims but we do not live in a society where we should believe in punishment of young kids for revenge. This is wrong and goes against our religious teachings of forgiveness. We have nothing to lose by trying to rehabilitate these juveniles, only saving lives to gain. Why not take this chance and make our society a better place to live?

Society’s juveniles who have committed crimes should be given a chance of rehabilitation. Why should we let these kids rot in jail when we have the ability and resources available for them to get better? Should we not care about the future of these kids? We live in a just society and although these kids violated the law, they should have a chance at making their lives new and better. Juvenile detention centers with mental health therapy for these troubled kids can be tried and used to make them understand their actions and the consequences of these actions. Kids are not always able to look long term and see what can happen related to their mistakes. These rehabilitation places have a purpose in our society, and we should use them to help these kids. In the end, these kids deserve a second chance in life and not to be treated or tried for crimes as adults, which they are not. If we do not help these kids what does this say about our society. Are we willing to forget these kids and let them throw their lives away?

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