New York: stop putting 16-year-olds in adult prison and trying 13-year-olds as adults!

Yuval Sheer from The New York Center for Juvenile Justice sez, "Every year in the state of New York more than 40,000 youth are arrested and prosecuted as adults. The state views 16- and 17-year-olds as adults for criminal law purposes, and it also prosecutes children 13-, 14-, and 15-year-olds as adults when they are accused of certain crimes. Prosecuting children as adults undermines their unique potential to overcome adversities and learn from mistakes made at a young age. Children tried as adults are exposed to a lifetime stigma of a criminal record and denied opportunities to receive age appropriate support. Furthermore, in New York, 16- and 17-year-olds are held in adult facilities."

This video asks a simple question. How can minors who are not allowed to even get a flu shot without their parents consent in New York, suddenly become adults when they make a mistake at a young age. It is a collaboration between Judge Michael Corriero, who presided over the cases of youth in New York’s adult criminal court system and T.J. Parsell, a filmmaker who at 17 was tried as an adult and incarcerated in an adult prison. The video was conceived by a group of young students who participated at the summer program of the New York Center for Juvenile Justice, an organization founded by Judge Corriero.

The New York Center for Juvenile Justice

Notable Replies

  1. Why does it seem that the folks who argue that "kids" are not mature enough for sex-ed/etc, are usually the ones in favor of trying the same kids as adults?

  2. Why stop there? How about we prosecute voters for every crime committed by the politicians they vote for? They have more direct control over who they vote for than parents have over their kids.

    Parents do not possess some magical panopticon that enables them to monitor their children's thoughts and behaviors 24/7. Parents are not the only influence on kids' behavior there is also their peers, their communities, the media and society as a whole. Even kids that have good and involved parents can get involved in criminal behavior or just find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Blaming the parents seems more like an act of blind vengeance and collective punishment than justice...not that I'd ever accuse the NY court system of justice.

  3. SamSam says:

    It's just despicable. A 15-year-old is not a fully-formed adult and they do not have a fully-formed adult brain. I mean then from a strict neurobiological perspective. The parts of the brain that are responsible for forward thinking and governing behaviors are not mature yet, no matter how bright your 15-year-old is.

    Trying a 15-year-old as an adult is exactly the same as trying a mentally-handicapped person as if they weren't mentally handicapped.

  4. Obviously a very disturbed 12-year-old, but culpability exists on a sliding scale along with freedom and responsibility.

    Our society has deemed that a 12-year-old child is not mature enough to care for their self, drive, drink, smoke, vote, consent to sex, etc. even if they demonstrate a level of maturity far beyond their years. If a child can't be treated as an adult for doing good things then I don't see the logic in treating them as an adult for doing bad things.

  5. miasm says:

    Without this picture, your argument seems baseless and without conviction.
    But this one, timely and important posting of a screen of Tommy-Lee staring in disdain; absolutely and unequivocally strengthens and projects your sad philosophy of retribution and hatred.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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