Kids who commit terrable crimes are being tried, convicted and sentanced as adults all over this nation.
Kids 12 - 17 years old. Murderers, Thiefs etc.
Do they deserve to be tried as adults and sent to Federal Prisons with adults ?
Transfer to Adult Court/Trying Kids as Adults
Over the last ten years, nearly every state has changed its laws to make it easier to prosecute youth as adults. As a result of these changes,
significantly more youth are tried as adults in the adult criminal court and held in adult correctional facilities. Youth tried in the adult criminal
court face the same penalties as adults, including the death penalty or life without parole; will receive little or no education, mental health
treatment, or rehabilitative programming; will obtain an adult criminal record which may significantly limit their future education and employment
opportunities; and are at greater risk of rape, assault and death in adult jails and prisons with adult inmates. The negative impact of these expanded
state transfer law changes has most seriously affected African American, Latino and Native American youth.
Major findings show that:
Most determinations to prosecute juveniles as adults were not made by judges (15%), but instead by prosecutors or legislatures (85%).
Overall, 82% of youth charged in adult courts were minority youth.
Minority youth were disproportionately charged in adult court. For example, in Jefferson County, Alabama, African American youth accounted for
approximately 3 out of 10 felony arrests, but represented 8 out of 10 felony cases filed in criminal court.
Nearly two-thirds of all youth who were detained pretrial were held in adult jails where previous research shows that youth are at serious risk of
rape, assault, death, and suicide.
White youth are twice as likely as African-American youth to be represented by private counsel. Youth who are represented by private attorneys were
less likely to be convicted and more likely to be transferred back to juvenile court.
African-American (43%) and Latino (37%) youth were more likely than White youth (26%) to receive a sentence of incarceration (as opposed to a split
sentence or probation).
Children in Adult Jails
Research demonstrates that children in adult jails and lockups are five times as likely to be sexually assaulted, twice as likely to be beaten by
staff, 50 percent more likely to be attacked with a weapon and eight times as likely to commit suicide as children confined in juvenile facilities. In
addition, the research shows that transferring children from juvenile court to adult court does not decrease recidivism, and in fact actually
In Ohio, six adult prisoners murdered a 17-year-old boy while he was incarcerated in the juvenile cellblock of an adult jail.
In Florida, a 17-year-old mildly retarded boy who had pleaded guilty to sexual battery was strangled to death by his 20-year-old cellmate. Both the
youth's attorney and the sentencing judge had tried unsuccessfully to get the boy into treatment rather than prison.
In Ironton, Ohio, a l5-year-old girl ran away from home overnight, then returned to her parents, but was put in the adult county jail by the juvenile
court judge to teach her a lesson. On the fourth night of her confinement she was sexually assaulted by a deputy jailer. More than 500 children had
been incarcerated in the jail over a three-year period, many for truancy and other status offenses (which would not be crimes if committed by adults)
(See Doe v. Burwell).
In Boise, Idaho, a l7-year-old boy was held in the adult jail for failing to pay $73 in traffic fines. Over a l4-hour period, he was tortured and
finally murdered by other prisoners in the cell. Another teenager had been beaten unconscious by the same inmates several days earlier. More than 650
children had been held in the jail over a three-year period, 42% for traffic offenses and l7% for status offenses (See Yellen v. Ada County).
In LaGrange, Kentucky, a l5-year-old boy was confined in the adult jail for refusing to obey his mother. Soon after he got in the jail, he took off
his shirt, wrapped one sleeve around his neck and the other around the bars of his cell, and hanged himself. Jail records showed that l,390 children
were held over a four-year period, most for minor and status offenses (See Horn v. Oldham County).
In rural Glenn County, California, a l5-year-old girl was taken to the local jail for staying out past curfew. After several days, she had a detention
hearing, but was not released. When she went back to her cell, she hanged herself (See Robbins v. Glenn County).
In Knox County, Indiana, a l7-year-old girl was held in the county jail for shoplifting a $6 bottle of suntan lotion. Despite a history of emotional
problems, she was put in an isolation cell. Several hours later, she committed suicide by hanging herself (See Wilhite v. Kirkham).
Here's a good site, with individual cases listed for reference of Kids tried as adults...
So, whats your opinion, Should this happen, should this be legal. What are your arguements for or against this ?
I don't agree with it. I don't think that Kids should be tried as adults, I don't think they should be in "adult" prisons and treated as adults
while there. It's wrong in my eyes.