Juveniles being tried as adults.

Essay by HappypuppyJunior High, 8th gradeA, April 2003

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Teens should not be charged as adults because they do not know or understand the law or their rights," says Pincham.

Justice Stephen White, from Pennsylvania says, "I do not believe a 7- or 8-year-old has the capacity to understand the nature and gravity of their offense. I do believe there are circumstantial facts that a state."

Nick Pastore, a former police chief of New Haven, Connecticut now working for DC-based Criminal Justice Policy Foundation as a research consultant said, "We just give up on these young criminals. They are past redemption! We'll just kill them or force them into imprisonment with the adult monsters."

Former freshman David Dominguez, 15, allegedly left the SAC during 5A on May 31 and stabbed two freshmen during a fight in the Marvin Memorial Church parking lot. Dominguez has narrowly escaped facing adult charges that would have robbed him of chances for rehabilitation and increased his likelihood of committing further crimes.

Treating young offenders in a system meant for adults endangers young criminals, fails to deter youths from further criminal action and is racist. Juvenile and adult justice systems should implement a policy of segregated incarceration to avoid perpetuating injustice.

Placing juveniles in adult penitentiaries subjects children to violence and sexual abuse and robs the youths of a chance to start their lives anew. More than 21 percent of inmates younger than 24 report being hit or punched in jail, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics. Juveniles languishing in adult prison have been wrenched out of society during their most formative years, and they are certainly not learning how to be law-abiding citizens by being abused by inmates three times their age.

Incarcerated teens step back into society having lost the chance for rehabilitation, and they often have no choice but...