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NCJ Number: 170128 Find in a Library
Title: Kids Are Kids, Not Adults
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:59  Issue:3  Dated:(June 1997)  Pages:6,117
Author(s): J A Gondles Jr
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 2
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Handling more juvenile offenders in the adult criminal justice system represents a flawed and unbalanced approach to fairness, because children are still growing and learning and need a focus on teaching and mentoring.
Abstract: Recent State and Federal legislation allows a prosecutor and not a judge to decide whether a juvenile should be tried in juvenile court or adult court. However, the prosecutor's job is to present the government's case against an accused juvenile. Allowing the prosecutor to determine the court in which a juvenile is tried determines where the juvenile serves time if convicted. For some violent offenses, it is appropriate for juveniles to be tried as adults and to serve time in institutions if a judge so decides. However, it is wrong to try children ages 9-11 as adults. In addition, making juvenile records public forces children to live with their juvenile mistakes throughout life. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has made a positive impact on how juvenile justice professionals view, treat, and work with juveniles. OJJDP should be the highest of priorities for increased funding. Adults should also reflect on their own childhood and consider how they would have fared if negative factors had blocked them. They should think of the children now in their lives and whether they would like these children to be sentenced to adult court and adult prisons, with public juvenile records and less protection of their rights. The current focus on juvenile justice and punishment rather than juvenile education and mentoring is inappropriate. Youth problems will be solved only with unity on a higher purpose of doing better on the front end with child care, preschool, schools, churches, other institutions, and families.
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies; Juveniles in adult facilities
Index Term(s): Juvenile Corrections/Detention; Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile records confidentiality; Juvenile rehabilitation
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