There has been much debate regarding the juvenile justice system. People still question whether it is necessary to treat juvenile offenders like the adult ones. Some suggest that they require rehabilitation, not punishment as a stimulus to change their lives (Min, 2014). Others disagree and claim that strict punishment is the only effective way to deter potential offenders and teach juveniles to take responsibility for their crimes. As far as I am concerned, there should be a balance between punishment and rehabilitation. What these young people need the most is the guidance and support to find the new meaning in life and work towards the better future. At the same time, they should be aware that their actions have consequences, so I think that reasonable punishment is acceptable and useful in this situation.
To begin with, I should point that I do not believe that juveniles should not be held responsible for their actions. However, I think that the way the current system treats most of these offenders is somewhat deficient and inadequate. Juveniles cannot be punished in accordance with the principle of penal proportionality because they are irresponsible, immature, and susceptible to adult and peer-pressure (Scott, 2012). They are also short-sighted and do not yet realize the consequences of their crimes. Furthermore, the decision to place juvenile offenders in adult prisons has a destructive effect on their personalities and denies them the better future. The problem is that young people are susceptible to negative influences and tend to join gangs and use weapons to survive in the harsh conditions of a prison (Scott, 2012). When they are released, their criminal past and newly formed identity prevent them from building normal lives.
Rehabilitation is not only reasonable but also a practical solution to the problem because it both prevents re-offending and helps young people rethink and change their actions and behavior (Steinberg, 2015). I admit that some offenders like, for example, Sarah Johnson who plotted to kill her family or a church shooter Dylann Roof cannot be helped. Yet, I am convinced that the majority of young offenders still have a chance to build better lives and become law-abiding citizens. To summarize, I think that adult punishment should be used sparingly while the focus of the juvenile justice system should be on rehabilitating offenders.
Min, L. H. (2014). Juvenile justice: Where rehabilitation takes center stage. Singapore: Academy Publishing.
Scott, G. (2012, June 5). Prison is too violent for young offenders. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/06/05/when-to-punish-a-young-offender-and-when-to-rehabilitate/prison-is-too-violent-for-young-offenders
Steinberg, L. (2015, 6 February). Sentences should acknowledge juveniles’ maturity, and immaturity. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/06/05/when-to-punish-a-young-offender-and-when-to-rehabilitate/sentences-should-acknowledge-juveniles-maturity-and-immaturity
This is one of the samples our writing professional provided for your reference and use to see what a legal school essay should be. No doubt, legal writing is complicated and demanding, so think twice before postponing it until the very last moment and attempting to compose the paper overnight. Order a law school essay from our writers and receive a well-thought and researched paper. All writers in our team compose papers on Law of any complexity and deal with the toughest deadlines, so we can help you out in any most problematic situation! Rely on us in times of stressful studies and numerous exams and you will be on time with all assignment submissions.