Find your subject
in our database of
Spark your creativity...
an impressive essay!
How should a juvenile criminal be prosecuted? That is the question at hand. Right now most juvenile crime cases are currently handled by the juvenile court system. If given permission, juveniles can be tried as adults, but current laws prohibit juveniles from being housed with adult criminals. So most juveniles convicted as adults are housed in juvenile facility until they reach the age of 18. There are about 100,000 juvenile offenders annually who are on probation in California. The majority of these offenders are on formal probation, which means that they appear in front of court to resolve their cases. In most informal case, they not need to appear in front of the court, because the probation department is able to directly impose needed sanctions. After the completion of informal probation, juveniles have their records wiped clean.
For proposition 21 the government has come up with an initiative, which would try offenders as adults rather than juvenile. Proposition 21 would require juvenile offenders 14 years or older to be charged as adults. It would eliminate informal probation, and further limit confidentiality for juveniles who are charged with or convicted of specified felonies. Proposition would require that certain juvenile crime offenders be held in a local or state correctional facilities rather than in juvenile facilities. Prop. 21 would designate certain crimes as violent and serious, thereby making offenders subject to longer sentences.
These are the ideas of Proposition 21, but as with many propositions, it does not come cheap. Prop. 21 would give the State of California an ongoing cost of more than 330 millions dollars annually, due to higher cost of the adult court and prison system. Also the state would have to pay a one-time cost of about 750 million dollars due to construction of new facilities. This is one reason why opponents say Prop. 21 should not pass, because of the cost. In this essay we will talk more about the pros and cons that we have mentioned already as well as a few more issues.
Proposition 21 was proposed so that fourteen year olds and older would be tried as adults for serious crimes. If proposition 21 passes it is going to send thousands of fourteen to sixteen year olds to state prison. Right now the cost of vandalism, in order to be considered a felony, is fifty thousand dollars, and if proposition 21 passes the cost is going to be reduced to four hundred dollars. Proposition 21 does nothing to protect our communities, and all it does is incarcerate children. Rather than decrease, if proposition 21 passes, crime rates are going to increase.
If passed, prop 21 will incarcerate many juveniles with top-notch criminals. These children will not be given the opportunity for rehabilitation like in the juvenile system. Without treatment and education, the only thing a juvenile can learn while incarcerated with adult criminals, is how to become a better criminal. These teenagers will not be given the opportunity of rehabilitation and will come out of jail only tougher. Our nation also has a tragic record of sexual and physical assaults on juveniles incarcerated with adult criminals. Adult criminals will then take advantage of these teenagers.
What proposition 21 is also going to do is reduce the cost of vandalism as a felony to four hundred dollars. Right now the cost of vandalism, in order for it to be a felony is fifty thousand dollars. So this means that if a person just happens to write, "I love Judy" on a tree, it will be considered a felony offense and the teenager will be taken to jail. This also means that the three strikes law is going to be in more use because of the fact that more felonies are going to be committed. If a person steels a pack of gum and gets caught that will be considered a strike because it would be a felony.
Proposition 21 was also established to supposedly make communities safer, but in reality it is doing nothing for them. This proposition is not going to stop kids from joining gangs or even committing crimes. It's a fact that, as a child, a person does many immature things that he/she regrets in the future. Some of these kids go a little overboard but recuperate through rehabilitation. If Proposition 21 passes it will deny these people from receiving rehabilitation and instead they will be put in state prison.
Crime rate will also increase if proposition 21 is passed. This Proposition was also proposed so that crime rate would reduce, but in reality it will only increase. Many teenagers will go to prison for silly things like for example shoplifting. Shoplifting is a crime but it is not serious enough for one to be put in jail for. This will increase the statistics because there will be more teenagers put in jail because of this law. If proposition 21 passes it is also going to increase the population of criminals sentenced to life in prison because the three strikes law is going to be
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
Names referenced in this report
Jones, Maggie, Maggie Elvey, Richard, Judy, Beiser, Karla Solheim, Vince,
Organizations mentioned in this report
government, American Civil Liberties Union, California Department of Justice, League of Women Voters, Stratton Community Center., California Department of Corrections, California Youth Authority, LA Weekly., CDC,
Locations talked about in this paper
Southern California, California, Los Angeles, United States, Sacramento, Orange County, San Francisco, CYA, San Jose, San Diego,
Keywords referenced in this paper
proposition 21, adult, criminal, crimes, California, three strikes law, crime rates, juvenile court, youth, prop 21, the juveniles, the proposition, violent crimes, a crime, index crime, voting rights, felony, criminal records, initiative, Los Angeles, probation, this one, gang, confidentiality, 14 years, Little crimes, Civil Liberties, gang members, liquor store, youth offenders, felonies, local governments, American Civil Liberties Union, California state, prison system, incarcerate, employers, burglary, court system, criminal history, prison guard, Southern California, a minor, shoplifting, These children, twenty one, so young, university system, petty theft, prisons,