Crime & Law Enforcement Issues & Death Penalty/prosecuting juveniles


What are the arguments for and the argument against prosecuting juveniles as adults when they commit serious offenses?

Hey, thank you for submitting your question to me. You bring up a very interesting question, one that has had much debate over the years. On one side of the debate, you have people who have seen juveniles commit such violent 'adult-like' crimes, that they believe that there needs to be a more harsh punishment. When a juvenile criminal case is transferred to the adult courts, this is referred to as the juvenile being deemed as 'delinquent' and known as the 'get tough' philosophy.

On the other side of the debate is the fact that the 'get tough' treatment, in fact, causes many juveniles to actually re-offend a second or third time and end up back in the adult system again.

A key factor that separates both sides is that the concern for delinquent juveniles re-offending again is backed up by statistics as well as actual studies that have been done. Basically, there are studies that show, in general, that juveniles who are punished as adults have a much higher chance of re-offending & re-entering the adult system again, whereas, there are no studies/statistics that prove that the get tough program actually works. It shows that more harm is actually done to the juvenile than good, by trying them as adults. Lastly, due to all of that, it is thought that the drive to try many juveniles as adults is fueled mostly by emotions.

I hope I've answered your question fully. If not, please let me know. And, please do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have any other questions. Thank you. Oh, please remember to rate my answer after you've read it, it's appreciated.  

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Patrick Malloy


I can answer questions relating to arrests, arrest procedures, domestic situations, traffic citations, auto accidents. i cannot answer many questions regarding other types of law rather than Criminal Law and/Police related questions.


Throughout my 18 year career as a police officer in Philadelphia, I have worked both uniform and plain clothes in a variety of assignments. I don't know it all, but I surely can give expert advice on most issues. And if I don't know something, then I simply tap the vast array of resources that I have at my disposal.

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5.

Training Credentials: Tactical Response Situational Training, Mental Health, Criminal Procedure, Vehicle Law & Code, Crime Scene Investigation, Court Testimony Procedure, Police Safety Coordination. Hostage Negotiation.

Awards and Honors
Several Departmental Commendations ( Arrests for crimes such as Homicide, Bank Robbery, 'Most Wanted', Shooting, Domestic Assault and other types).

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