During colonial times, children were considered “property of the parents,” (Hinton, Sims, Adams, & West, 2007), therefore, parents were allowed to “classify their children as stubborn and seek state punishment, including capital punishment” (Hinton, Sims, Adams, & West, 2007). The critical issue that arose with that was that children were no longer viewed as small and innocent; they were considered adults. But what happens when offenders, regardless of whether they are children, juveniles, and/or adults are given the opportunity to partially or completely bypass certain sanctions of their punishment?
The more issues that society has with prisons overcrowding, the higher the expenses are for taxpayers. Community corrections programs are therefore frequently used as a method to reduce the overall percentage of the prison populations. These programs offer supervision that “oversee offenders outside of jail or prison, and are administered by agencies or courts with the legal authority to enforce sanctions” at a significantly lower cost than incarceration (Community Corrections (Probation and Parole), 2015). Although statistics vary, it is believed that approximately two-thirds of the people who could be incarcerated for a crime or offense committed, are actually given a positive alternative option. Typically the people who are given the opportunit...
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... example, the legal consequences of being seen as an adult thereafter can have a powerful effect on juveniles. Most states now have laws that read: “once and adult, always an adult.” It is believed that public safety is undermined when a juvenile is tried in a criminal court. Usually it is believed that “transferring juveniles to the criminal justice system is […] more severe [in] punishment and less [concerned] with rehabilitation” and, therefore, “will result in reduced crime and greater public safety” (Young & Gainsborough, 2000). Instead, the transfer policy has been proven to have quite the opposite effect.
Similar issues occur when adult non-violent offenders are held in correctional facilities throughout their entire sentencing. Long-term effects alter the adults’ behavior, causing him/her to have significantly higher difficulty in reintegrating to society.
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