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Juvenile Justice consists of many controversies surrounding the criminal’s sentencing, age, teen brain development, and overall their actions. People argue that teens shouldn’t be tried as adults because research says “the frontal lobe which inhibit our violent passions, rash actions, and regulate our emotions, are vastly immature throughout the teenage years” (Thompson 7). They prefer teens to have a second chance in life with the right social skills and rehabilitation help in order to achieve the overall goal to be a better person later in life.

On the opposite side they want juveniles to be tried as adults and sentenced them to adult prison. Once a teen commits a crime they don’t treat them as kids anymore instead as an adult, they think there’s no chance for them to change through rehabilitation process. They should take responsibility for their actions and serve their sentences in adult prisons. The problem with this controversy is that juveniles are receiving life sentences mostly twenty plus years, more than they have been alive.

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Even though teens should take responsibility for their crime they shouldn’t be tried as an adult because they deserve a chance to change their whole life around and receive the right rehabilitation in a safe environment.

People who disagree that teens can’t change believe their sentence is deserved because they committed a crime it leads them to think the juvenile is a “serial killer in the making” (Jenkins 7). That is not the case for every teenager, a juvenile will not become a criminal by one crime.

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In order for a teen to become a criminal he constantly has gotten in trouble at school, on the streets, and committing numerous crimes. It’s true that juveniles at their age are able to comprehend the consequences of their crime, but many are mentally ill teens with abusive parents in need of professional help. In the article “Finds On Teenage Brains” talks about how the teenage brain loses brain tissues, lost brain cells that control impulses, risk taking, and self control. Although crimes by juveniles are not committed by mistake teens are not in control and thinking about what the consequences would be in the future, they are still growing and their brain is maturing. Granting a professional rehabilitation program gives them the possibility to change but it won’t be in adult prisons.

In addition, teens should be able to receive a second chance to turn to the right path with the support of people who want them to change, achieving a bright future and not a criminal one. Most of the juveniles committing crimes usually come from struggling unhealthy living environments meaning parents are constantly arguing, juvenile might be unstable from their mind, and not getting the amount of attention from their parents. In the article “Greg Ousley Is Sorry for Killing His Parents. Is That Enough” talks about how Greg Osuley had a conversation with his mother telling her that “he was scared, that all he ever thought about was murder and suicide” (Anderson 5). Ousley came to his parents for help but they didn’t seem too concerned to help with his mental illness. The mother responded by saying “you’re watching too many movies” (Anderson 6). He felt like no one was there to help him with his way of thinking and decided to murdered both his parents. Ousley is one of the few who rehabilitated himself in adult prison because he wanted a better life. Not many juveniles turn their lives around in adult prison because the opportunity to change is lower than in juvenile prison. Juvenile prison mainly to help teenagers make the right choices and give them the help they need, they don’t just throw them in jail and forget about them. If a juvenile wants to change they should give him the opportunity to do so.

Furthermore, individuals think that a teens behavior justifies that they will always be a bad person in the future, the same exact people want them to be put away and have no connection with the outside world. A person’s youth does not say anything about their future but it is the best moment of their lives to rehabilitate. Locking away juveniles in adult prison doesn’t fix the problem because eventually when they are done serving their time there’s a high chance they will be tempted to commit more crimes. So it’s best to help them at a young age rather than having them later sentenced again for another crime. Gail Garinger states that “It’s impossible at the time of sentencing for mental health professionals to predict which youngsters will fall within that majority and grow up to be productive” (Garinger 9). They should give every juvenile the opportunity to change because there’s no way to know who will outgrow crime, the only way to find out is by seeing who is trying their best to rehabilitate and take advantage of the help given.

Cite this page

Juvenile Crime: Second Chance in Life. (2020, Sep 16). Retrieved from

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