Beyond Scared Straight -Juvenile Justice Reform: Minors in Prison

Via Scoop.itJuvenile Defendants

A mother watches her child playing outside the window of their home. Never would she imagine that her child would be taken away from her, causing her to be forced to watch him through a different type of window. Her young child is now forced to live a life in an atrocious place with terrible people. One childish mistake, a bad choice made by a psychologically disadvantaged youth lands him in a place he does not belong. Adolescents are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, but too young to have the brain capacity and maturity to make the right choices. There have been children as young as thirteen tried as adults and sentenced to die in prison (“Cruel and Unusual”). An adolescent should never be given an adult sentence in an adult penitentiary, but statistics show that 2,381 juveniles are serving a life sentence without possibility of parole in the United States (“One Strike”). There are many better ways to handle these situations other than putting a child somewhere the child does NOT belong. Politics can be stated as “who gets what, when and how.” Instead of being put in prisons where they will only learn worse things and be opened up to more violence, rape, STDs and other horrible things, minors need to get and require a facility where they can thrive and become young men and women who can benefit society. The reform of how we process minors needs to happen soon and be accomplished through the reform of our judicial system.
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