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Should Juveniles be tried as Adults

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This paper approaches the conception of the juveniles locked up with adults from a correction perspective. It primarily addresses various issues correctional agencies are likely to face while dealing with the youth. From the youth perspective, the paper gives an illustration of the more therapeutic interventions as detected from juvenile detention centers. The relationship existing between youth and staff is instrumental though very lacking in adult facilities where staffing ratios are relatively smaller. The paper further analyses the services available to the youth in adult facilities vs. the services required by the youth and the capability of the adult facilities to offer such services.

Topic Identification

The selected topic for this research is: Should Juveniles be tried as Adults? The basis of selecting this topic is embedded on the fact that youths are known to commit only a considerable portion of the country’s crime. The conflict arises where some countries and states have high records of crimes committed by youths, whereas in other nations, the rate is too low that it does not suggest if the youth should be treated as adults. The second basis of the choice of this topic is that some of the crimes committed by the youths are equivalent (similar) to those crimes committed by real adults. Since the gravity of the heinous crimes is same, it puts a question as to whether both groups should face the same treatment and trial in courts of law.

Thesis Statement

It is increasingly becoming common for juvenile offenders to end up in the adult criminal system. The underlying rationale for transferring youths to adult courts is that minors should be subjected to suffer “adult time for adult crime.” Juveniles who commit complicated crimes tend to possess adult maturity of competency and judgment, a factor that has triggered the possibility of high increase in the figure of juveniles being transferred to adult court.

Major Characteristics of the Audience

This research paper compiles recent case law that related to the issue of juveniles convicted as adults. The paper targets those interested in the emerging area of the law where there is remarkable movement, both in our understanding of the improvement issues of youth and how this improvement affects issues such as punishment, culpability, treatment, vulnerability, and reentry for youth convicted and sentenced in the position of adults.

The Scope of the Paper

  • The paper starts with looking at the impact of violence; this first section determine if transfer policies and laws reduce interpersonal violence and considers the possibility of transfer motivating juveniles to commit crime. In the results section, the paper argues that there was more subsequent violence associated with youth-housed with adults.
  • Next is the aim of the paper; which is, to explore the effects of instituting and sentencing juveniles as adults.
  • Next, is the section that addresses reforms that have been instituted in response to the rising rates of youth crime, majorly including provisions that transfer an increasing number as well as range of adolescents to criminal courts for purposes of adult prosecution.
  • Next section contains the evidence that has been researched to conclude that these assertions are wrong. In this section, it is found out that transfer policies push mot minor and non-threatening offenders to the adult system. There is enough credible evidence that suggests that punishment and prosecution in the adult system tend to increase the likelihood of recidivism, thus offsetting incapable gains. These transfers also expose the youth to heightened vulnerability to various undesirable outcomes and experiences.
  • Finally, is conclusion and recommendations. Here, the paper proposes that future research should be done in order to include comparison of experiences of white and non-white youth, consider the experiences of larger samples and describe control for prior family histories in research studies.

Research Questions

  1. Can a juvenile who commits a heavy criminal act be rehabilitated?
  2. Should juveniles be exposed to death penalty?
  3. Does subjecting juveniles to adult court cause more incidences of crime?

Research Plan & Methods of Researching

The paper will base its research majorly on sociological studies that have shown that an individual’s surroundings play an instrumental effect on their development.


Bishop, Donna. (2000). “Juvenile Offenders in the Adult Criminal Justice System.” Crime and Justice: A Review of Research 27, 81

Holtzman, Anthony. (2004). “Juvenile Justice? The Increased Propensity for Juvenile Transfer to the Criminal Court System in Pennsylvania and the Need for a Revised Approach to Juvenile Offenders.” Penn State Law Review 109, 657.

Kupchik, Aaron. (2007). “The Correctional Experiences of Youth in Adult and Juvenile Prisons.” Justice Quarterly 24:2, 247-270 (June 2007).

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