Teen Brains

March 8, 2017
By , Herriman, UT

Did you know that when you are a teenager your brain is not fully developed? Scientists used to believe that your brain was fully developed at the age of three but because of the technology now we now know that it does not fully develop until your mid twenties.

The Teenage brain is undeveloped and the part of your brain called the prefrontal cortex, which controls your judgment and thinking about what the consequence will be is the part that is undeveloped. Teens should be given an little excuse if they commit crimes because their brains are not fully developed, they are younger and should not have that kind of life, they should learn not to do that crime again than staying in jail the rest of their lives.


First, teens do not have fully developed brains compared to adults. “In adults, various parts of the brain work together to evaluate choices, make decisions and act accordingly in each situation. The teenage brain doesn't appear to work like this” (docs.google). In adult brains all the parts of the brain are complete and that makes it so they make better decisions. The “prefrontal cortex, a section of the brain that weighs outcomes, forms judgments and controls impulses and emotions” (docs.google). The part called the prefrontal cortex is an important part in the brain that helps make better decisions by knowing the outcome of what you might do, teens do not have this part so they do not know the outcome of the decisions they make.     

Next, teens should not be sentenced to a life of jail they should get better lives. “At the age of 16, Cameron Williams lives a life far removed from the world of other teenagers. Williams, who celebrated his sixteenth birthday in jail, faces up to 110 years behind bars” (abcnews). For example this teen has to live in jail the rest of his life instead of  having a chance to improve his life. “Williams is one of many young adults facing the prospect of life in prison”(abcnews). Giving the teens who make bad decisions should have a chance. They should be put in jail a little than be released and if they make another bad decision then they can be put in prison for a long time.

Finally, teens should learn to not do crime instead of going to jail. These “Juvenile courts
focus on rehabilitation, unlike adult jails and prisons, where criminals are subject to incarceration and much harsher sentences” (abcnews). They should focus on changing the person's life instead of sending them to an adult jail where they rot for the rest of their lives. “more needs to be done for the nation's young criminals, and that the law needs to take into account their psychological development and maturity” (abcnews). Courts should start to understand these teens brains and that they do not deserve to live in jail and that they need to help these teens with the decisions they make.


Some may argue that teens should be accountable for what they do and their punishment should fit the crime like adults. They are wrong though because teens brains don’t process the consequences and they do not realize what will happen to them after they do the crime. Even though they do something bad does not mean they know what will happen next in their lives and what it will do for them long term. If teens are accountable for what they do then why do teens make bad decisions some that affect society.


In conclusion, teenagers should not be entirely held responsible for their actions and what crimes they commit. The first reason why is that they do not even have fully developed brains. The next reason is that they should have the chance to live their lives and not just go to jail. The last reason why is that they should be rehabilitated and learn not to do that crime that they did before again. Teens really do not have fully developed brains that will help them make bad choices so let's do our best to give the teens the best lives we can give.

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