Engagements of young people usually between the ages of 10 to 17 years into criminal activities are known as juvenile delinquency (Kolivoski, Goodkind, & Shook, 2017). It also refers to those children that persistently demonstrate mischievousness or disobedience. On the other hand, the adult justice system is the trial of the lawbreakers who have already attained the age of 18 years and above. According to our case, Joey is a 15-year-old who was involved in a robbery with violence which ended up with the death of three people. In the juvenile court systems, there are those instances that could lead to Joey being treated as an adult and get referred to an adult criminal system.
Arguments for certifying juveniles as adults
One way that juveniles can be certified as adults is through a judicial waiver where some states allow the judges to convert the case into an adult system if they feel like (Jonson-Reid, Dunnigan, & Ryan, 2018). Another way is through the “ones an adult always an adult” rule. This rule applies in some states where if a juvenile had previously been convicted through the adult system (Guarino-Ghezzi, 2017). As we know Joey had been previously arrested ones in possession of cocaine though he was tried through the juvenile probation; hence this can be exempted.
On other occasions, the trial of a juvenile by an adult system depends on the type of crime that the minor had committed. Examples of these crimes include those of murder, robbery with a weapon, and rape. With this instance, the 15-year-old Joey can be tried and convicted in an adult system since his charges involved the murder of three individuals. Another instance where a juvenile may be treated as an adult is by the right file (Kolivoski, Goodkind, & Shook, 2017). This is where the prosecutor is given the powers by the state to decide whether the case should take place in a juvenile court or an adult court.
It is also important to note that not all juvenile cases are decided using the juvenile justice system. The law requires that everyone who was 18 years and below was to be tried and convicted by a juvenile court (Kolivoski, Goodkind, & Shook, 2017). However, as time passed by almost all states are giving the provisions where a juvenile can be convicted in the adult justice system. These provisions vary from one state to the other and examples of states that allow for the juvenile to be convicted in the adult systems include Illinois, Texas, Florida, New York, Tennessee among others.
An argument against certifying juveniles as adults
According to Guarino-Ghezzi, (2017), he argued that the whole concept of treating the juvenile and minors as adults in the criminal systems is wrong. This he said was because the minors mind is very young and tender and may not be in a position to make the right decisions at all times. He added that instead of having to convict them as adults it was better to offer to counsel to them which he termed as the best way. Joey in our case needs to be taught of the disadvantages of peer pressure from the likes of Carl.
One might also disagree with the treatment of juveniles as adults by the system. This he termed as making irrelevant the presence of the juvenile courts which are the ones responsible for convicting the adults. He also termed this as the deprivation of power form the juvenile court judges since converting juvenile cases to the adult courts would mean that they did not have the capability of convicting them (Ziedenberg, 2016). Joey should be considered as a juvenile since he is only 15 years old and the consideration of being treated as an adult should not be there.
The aim of the juvenile courts is always to rehabilitate the minors and turn them into useful people rather than having to punish them. Treating of the juveniles as adults by the system, therefore, works against the achievement of this course as argued by (Kolivoski, Goodkind, & Shook, 2017). Time should be given to the juvenile convicts like Joey to change their behavior while still at a young age until they achieve the age of 18 years where they are termed as adults. Just in the same way adults cannot be treated as juveniles by the system, it is the same way the juveniles should not be treated as adults while yet they are not.
The community should work towards the helping of the juveniles from indulging in criminal behaviors. This is because the societies are well versed with the members of the society and can establish the criminals quickly. Aggressive behavior in a child’s earlier life may cause problems in the classroom, and this may result in the child receiving unfavorable and poor evaluations from tutors as well as peers. Such behaviors are natural to note especially by close people such as parents and teachers. As a result, the teen develops terrible behaviors which may lead them into indulging to criminal activities. These cases have been on the rise in recent years, and an urgent course of action should be taken to try and stop them. Lastly, the whole judicial systems as a whole should come up with ways through which they can help minimize and rehabilitate the cases of juvenile criminals. At a young age, the possibility of them succeeding is very high than when they are already grown up adults.
Guarino-Ghezzi, S. (2017). Balancing juvenile justice. Routledge.
Jonson-Reid, M., Dunnigan, A., & Ryan, J. (2018). Foster Care and Juvenile Justice Systems. Handbook of Foster Youth, 456.
Kolivoski, K. M., Goodkind, S., & Shook, J. J. (2017). Social justice for crossover youth: The intersection of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Social work, 62(4), 313- 321.
Ziedenberg, J. (2016). You’re an adult now: Youth in adult criminal justice systems.