No Prison Time for Juvenile Crime and Violence

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No Prison Time for Juvenile Crime

Students are shooting up schools across the country. Kids as young as twelve and thirteen are being convicted of murdering their peers. Right here in Hanover, two teens have been charged with the murders of Dartmouth professors. Although juvenile crime across the country may not be on the rise, high publicity, headline-grabbing juvenile-perpetrated homicides certainly are.

Prosecutors, attempting to satiate public demand for "justice," have begun trying these juvenile offenders in adult courts and sending them to adult prison. But is it really fair to send children into a penal system like ours, which ignores rehabilitation and is almost exclusively focused upon retribution? Is it right to essentially give up on these children at such a young age? Is this aggressive prosecution tactic in the best interest of the juvenile defendant or the community as a whole? No.

Most studies and statistics suggest that sending juveniles to adult prisons increases recidivism rates among those teens transferred. Jeffrey Fagan, who spearheaded an extens...

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... Responsibility must be instilled on these kids, and punishment must be administered, but dooming children to hard time is hardly justice. When kids perpetrate violence they must be punished, but these kids also deserve a second chance, and this country has the means to support that second chance. No 12-year-old should spend the rest of his or her life in jail; no 13-year-old should spend time in an adult prison; and no 14-year-old should be denied a reasonable chance to turn his or her life around. This country must strive for something better.
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