Juveniles Being Treated Like Adults

In Blue Assembly, a bill was brought up on the California judicial system which prosecutes minors similarly to adults without giving them the same rights that adults enjoy.

Under our current laws, minors do not have the same rights as adults when consenting to sex, but can be tried as adults when committing a crime.

Perlstein says that recent juvenile court judges moved some teenage cases to adult courts, because the law states the juvenile court system is not properly equipped to handle such cases. This situation is only applicable to 16 and 17 year olds, yet how different are the acts committed by a 15 and 16 year olds? Why can the juvenile system handle one but not the other?

Under the current laws, a person 16 years or older have alternate criteria making their courts unfit to judge the case.

The bill states that in order to ensure fewer cases get moved away from the juvenile court system, the legislature needs to cut down on the list of factors. This will give judges less to consider, which in turn will send fewer cases out of the juvenile courts.

Perlstein closed on saying that California has elected politician after politician that promised to be tough on crime, and the results are showing themselves.

This resolution’s purpose is to be fair on crime and focus on rehabilitating and educating minors in the juvenile court systems, not sentencing them to the same punishments that adults have to face.

Legislative analyst Samara Yarnes stated that, “this bill will result in more minors in juvenile detention centers, and this will cost the state of California money because the cost of housing a minor in a juvenile detention center is $266,000 per year. This is compared to the price of housing a minor in a adult prison, which is $70,000 per year.”

Yarnes went on to say that there is a likelihood of California saving money in the long run because of the higher rate of recovery from people in the juvenile detention center, compared to the adult prisons.

Delegate Damian Lopez brought up that this bill has a great opportunity to fix our broken criminal justice system. He says the justice system currently a problem with prosecuting minors, especially ones who committed non violent crimes.

The bill will not send juveniles into the court system where they can be tried as actual adults, but into the juvenile courts so they have a chance to be rehabilitated.

Author: Bill Yang

EPIC- Murrieta/Temecula