Should Juveniles Be Tried and Treated as Adults?
Debate Rounds (3)
I do not believe that juveniles should be tried or treated as adults. Simply because a person has the capability to do something does not mean they have all the mental awareness necessary to understand what the consequences of their actions are. You state "if the juvenile had the mental capacity...", how are you defining "if" and what constitutes mental capacity? In other words, how do you determine that the juvenile did have the mental capacity to commit the crime?
Again, though juveniles presumably know the difference between right and wrong that does not mean they do the "right" thing all the time any more than it means an adult does. They also do not have the mental capacity to determine the consequence for their actions nor do they necessarily have the ability to fight their impulses. You state that "juveniles already have an idea...", what do you mean by "idea"? Is having an idea of right and wrong the same as having concrete understanding of right and wrong? You then say "regardless, the young adult already knew which category that it would fit in"; are you then saying that all young adults know the difference between right and wrong?
Lastly, you imply the prison system is punishment. I assume you are referring to adult prison. Is not the purpose of prison to rehabilitate and not punish?
I accept your premise, you're saying that juveniles shouldn't be tried and treated the same as adults because they might not have all the mental awareness. If that were the case, wouldn't nobody have to go through the usual procedure of going to court and being sentenced as an adult? I believe that they are aware of their actions but underestimate the consequences. When I say that they have an idea, I mean that they have a notion of wrong and right in their mind, and the reason I say notion is because when it comes to the fine details everybody has a different perception of wrong and right but we all share the same general idea of them. I do believe that all young adults know the difference in between right and wrong; as a psychology major I have to believe that at some point in the early life of a human they learn the meaning of wrong and right somewhere whether it be on the media, parents, or the environment.
With that being said, I believe that everybody does has a conscious awareness of what they do. By the way, prison is a form a punishment by making people deal with the consequences of their actions, it is made in such scanner where people don't want to go back which makes it rational for me to think it would best fit in the category of positive and negative punishment.
Adult prisons are no place for juveniles. Studies have also shown a high rate of recidivism for juveniles placed in the adult system. According to the CDC the recidivism rate is as high as 34% for juveniles placed in adult prisons (McClard, Tracy. "The Mother of a Son Incarcerated in an Adult Prison Tells Why the System Fails Young People." Juvenile Justice. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 80-88. Print.)
You refer several times to young adults. What age are you suggesting is young adult? The debate you posted is for juveniles. Most psych majors understand young adult to be 18 years old to roughly 25 years old.
Prison is indeed a form of punishment, however, my contention is that juveniles need rehabilitation, not just punishment.
monim14 forfeited this round.
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