Should The Age For Juvenile Courts Be Increased?

Many young boys and girls commit crimes and they are known as juveniles in the eyes of law. In the USA, in 2012 there were approximately juveniles in the age group of 10-24 years in prison.  This was recorded in a Harvard Paper. The truth is that all these juveniles are not served uniformly by the same system. In the USA, the Juvenile Jaw Center states that rehabilitation of these young people is the major objective.

This is where the system differs from the criminal law of justice for other offenders. A juvenile is defined as a child who commits an act of crime and is below the age of 18 years. These children are tried by a different legal system that is separate from the system for adults above 18 years. Here, the difference in their age is not substantial however the results of committing the crime is.

A specialist speaks on the issue

Criminal justice specialist Adam Quirk says that in the year 2012, 130,000 young people in the age group of 18 years to 24 years were imprisoned in state and federal jails. This constituted about 21% of the prison admissions in the country. Vincent Shiraldi, Kendra Brader and Bruce Western, academics from the Harvard Kenny School in a paper suggested that the age of the criminal juvenile court be raised to 21 years. This diminished the projection of offenders aged 24 or 25 years.

Brain development of young adults equals that of an adolescent

They said that the brain development continues till the mid-20’s in human being. This was the basis of their neurobiology research. This is the part where the brain related to reasoning and control. They stated that the behavior of a young adult is still equal to that of an adolescent over mature adults. There have been some legal systems that have tried to make positive changes in the state and the federal levels.

San Francisco in this regard conducted a special training probation unit in 2009 to help adults in the age group of 18-25 years.  Again, famous New York Jail, Riker’s Island transferred 1000 inmates in the age group of 18-21 years to a facility that was tailor-made for them. This new facility offered classes,  five hours of behavioral therapy and counseling to the young inmates. There are still plans for them to do more for the prison inmates and formal plans are being created. These plans are well-researched and intended for the welfare for the juvenile delinquent.

Adam Quirk states that the Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy said that the system has to look into the needs of juvenile delinquents even more. Young people need more guidance, counseling and classes. In other nations, abroad countries have incorporated juvenile courts meant for older adults. For instance, the age of a juvenile in Netherlands is 23 years and in Germany 21 years. America uses these nations as examples to create a positive change in the lives of young adults who fall prey to crime at an early age.