These are kids. They don't know any better. It's not okay to treat a child, who does not know wrong from right, as you would treat an adult, who knows what they're doing and knows the consequences of their actions. To say "if you can't do the time, don't do the crime" is very ignorant because a 10 year old can not be held accountable for their actions due to the fact that they are still young and still learning. What they need is therapy to help them better understand right and wrong so they don't make the same mistakes as adults.
It is very cruel and unusual to lock up young children and treat them like adult criminals. What they need most is to be educated as to why certain behaviors are not permissible in law. These children who commit crimes should have psychiatric evaluations and therapy to help them so they don't become full-fledged criminals when they're old enough to understand consequences to their actions.
Australia's prison system that incarcerates children as young as age 10 is absolutely ridiculous. Children at this age don't need to be locked away: They need serious help instead. In most cases, I'd say that poor parenting is to blame for out of control criminal children, so maybe the parents need to be locked up instead.
Australia's practice of locking up 10-year olds and sending 13-year olds to solitary confinement is cruel and unusual punishment because these young children do not have the life skills nor the maturity to handle such cruel consequences. A 10-year old's brain is still developing and is unable to process such cruel punishment without emotionally scarring them for life.
Kids have been known to kill, it's very rara but can still happen. If they kill as kids imagine how they will be as a grown up. Kids should be locked away. They could have a mental problem too. Kids aren't all stupid ya know.
However, that should be the only time they should be locked up. Murder is the only time because when they grow up the can be greater threats.
Locking up 10 year olds and placing young children in solitary confinement is not cruel and unusual punishment. But, that's beside the point. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime. A major problem with criminal punishment is that the deterrent effect is woefully lacking. Time to hit people where it hurts and send a message.