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Whether the Law Should Deal with Juveniles in the Same Manner that It Treats Adult - Term Paper Example

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"Whether the Law Should Deal with Juveniles in the Same Manner that It Treats Adult" paper supports the stance that rehabilitation is the best option for children to decrease the risk of offending and re-offending; considering the state of prison and the impact of punitive measures on young people…
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Whether the Law Should Deal with Juveniles in the Same Manner that It Treats Adult
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Download file to see previous pages On the other side of the spectrum, there are those who propagate the use of rehabilitative measures to reduce the risk of offending and re-offending. They argue that treating children and young people as criminals may harden them towards society and law in general. These children would then have difficulty in healthy mental development.
The core issue that will be discussed within this paper is whether the law should deal with juveniles in the same manner that it treats adults or should they be treated differently considering their age. 

Current surveys on this topic reveal the effectiveness of rehabilitative programs to a great extent. In one survey conducted by Hagel (2002), it was found that 88 percent of young British males between the ages of 14 to 16 were involved in reoffending within a period of two years. A similar situation is found in other countries such as North America and Australia. This calls into question the effectiveness of punitive measures in this particular case. And thus the need for proper rehabilitative measures is felt.
Recent studies on punitive measures lead to the findings that they do not substantially decrease the possibility of re-offending. Criminals who spend more time in prison are more likely to commit crimes as compared to those who have not visited prisons or had been there for a limited time period. This has raised serious concerns regarding the effectiveness of punitive measures and thus focus on rehabilitative measures have increased; specifically for juveniles.

Laurence Steinburg, co-author of ‘Rethinking Juvenile Justice’ here brings into focus an important perspective. He points out that our criminal law is based on penal proportionality; meaning that the seriousness of the crime is directly linked with the number of years the offender spends in prison. Therefore serious crimes are treated more harshly. He goes on to say that juveniles should be held less accountable for their actions under this same concept. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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