The pitfalls of trying kids as adults
As a newly busy attorney (as opposed to a seasoned busy law student), some news tends to fall through the cracks. I received the following comment on a slow news day a while back from loyal (or at least I hope loyal reader) and fellow blogger Avendora and am finally getting around to reading about it:
You might findthis to be worth talking about... http://blog.aclu.org/2008/08/14/new-report-shows-pitfalls-of-trying-kids-as-adults/
So lets talk about this. The article states a proposition I would have thought obvious:
"Youth transferred to the adult system are more likely to be rearrested and to reoffend than youth who committed similar crimes, but were retained in the juvenile justice system."
Your author apologizes for not putting that in block quote format. I haven't quite got the handle of the new typepad editor. Suffice it to say I suck at HTML, XML, and any other things that involve computing and language (though I can handle alta vista babelfish pretty well).
So why is this proposition obvious? People that have a support system tend to reoffend less. The criminal justice system as applied to juveniles has more of a support system than does the largely punitive adult criminal system. I liken this to kicking the chair out from someone who has put on a noose. By kicking the chair out from under these children, we are in essence saying, "I'm done with you; I don't think there's hope left for you."
Thank goodness there's people willing to work within the state on juvenile justice reform instead of taking a firm job. Yes, Shea-Dog, that is a bit of props to you, specifically!