Kids are HUmans Too! But to What Extent?

January 7, 2010
By Hannah Rae SILVER, Houston, Texas
Hannah Rae SILVER, Houston, Texas
8 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The debate over whether juveniles should be tried as adults or juveniles continues to rage and hinge upon the fact that children are not developed or children should have morals that would indicate wrong done. Mike Hendricks, the author of “Stop Trying 13-Year-Olds in Court as Adults,” considers it morally right to treat kids like kids. He thinks that they have a lot of time to change and that delinquents can make a turn-around after rehabilitation and therapy. “The fact is, kids are not adults. Their brains are wired differently,” wrote Hendricks (15). This means that delinquents are too young to fully process their actions. Hendricks also reasons that it would be unfair for a minors jury to be made up of adults rather than peers. To sum up this side of the argument, underage criminals should be given the chance to change and hopefully, by giving this second chance at an early age, they will realize their mistakes, learn from them, and become law-abiding citizens.
Jessica Wilde, the writer of “Juvenile Criminals Must Be Tried as Adults,” argues that all felons must attend a proper judiciary trial and suffer the consequences of their actions. Jessica wrote, “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…. Prevention of relapse should not be the main focus because situations like this should never arise in the first place” (4). This claim enforces that young offenders should be treated like adults because morals are inherent and these morals are the cause of many crimes. Wilde thinks that since people are born with these characteristics, rehabilitation could never completely change a person. To eliminate rehabilitation alternatives from young criminals, Jessica Wilde proposes that they should be tried just like an adult and need to be prepared to face the punishment that would be handed to an adult.
Given the facts on both sides of the subject matter, one has to make a stand. I believe that if a minor commits a crime, they should receive compulsory rehabilitation while serving a sentence at juvenile detention center. If they are deemed guilty, I don’t believe at this age, they should be sent to jail with hardened criminals because they could possibly be “abused and come out more dangerous and damaged than when they went it (Hendricks 19). Instead, they should be sent to rehabilitation home or juvenile hall and be allowed to complete their schooling until they become a legal adult. At that stage, a decision should be made whether they go to jail or be kept on probation until their release is once again evaluated. In my opinion, children who commit crime are subject to change with corrective teaching and should be given the chance. Regardless, minors who commit a crime should report on a monthly basis with their guardians to be reviewed by a social worker and kept on house arrest for a year. As a human brain develops at an earlier age these days, it is important that juveniles and minors realize that if they commit a crime at a young age, there will be serious punishment. Delinquents deserve a second chance to live a normal life after a criminal past. This alone will help to decrease the thought of a delinquent in committing a crime.

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