Juvenile Offenders Essay

Words: 3223
Pages: 13

Tammy Stanley

JUVENILE OFFENDERS AND THE DEATH PENATLY Juvenile Offenders and the ideas of how to punish them for their crimes has been a national topic of discussion with just about everyone you meet. From the local politicians to the concerned parent who worries about their children. What punishment juveniles should receive has always been a sensitive subject. From state to state, city to city the views and opinions vary and varies on what should be the correct punishment for a juvenile offender. The juvenile justice system has changed throughout history, and one of the major changes was the Death Penalty being abolished in 2005 for juvenile offenders. Some not even old enough to vote, own a car, or could even buy

Beginning in 1899, individual states took note of the problem of youth incarceration and began establishing similar youth reform homes. So from the days on the reform era have the punishment of juveniles and the treatment of juveniles been in questioned. The face that there were people who wanted change for juveniles was clear that up until then the system was failing its youth in many ways.(12) Such early changes to the justice system were made under a newfound conviction that society had a responsibility to recover the lives of its young offenders before they became absorbed in the criminal activity they were taking part in. The juvenile justice system exercised its authority within a “Parens Patriae” (state s parent of guardian) role. The state assumed the responsibility of parenting the children until they began to exhibit positive changes, or became adults. Youth were no longer tried as adult’s offenders. Their cases were heard in s somewhat informal court designed for juveniles, often without the assistance of attorneys. (13-14)
Extenuating evidence, outside of the legal facts surrounding the crime of delinquent behavior, was taken into consideration by the judge. Early reform, houses were, in many ways, similar to orphanages. Indeed, many of the youth housed in the reformatories were orphans and homeless children. From this came the new and improved system, so they thought. The reformers and social rebellion groups approved of the house