May 5, 2007
Every year about 250,000 youth are prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. Some states have a lower age for what they consider adults. Connecticut, New Jersey, and South Carolina try anyone age sixteen and older in the adult criminal justice system. Thirty four of the fifty states follow along the lines that once an adult, always an adult, meaning that if a juvenile is once tried in adult court any other offenses committed will be tried in adult court. There are about 27,000 youth in secure detention institutions on any day, which is an increase of 100% since 1985. The juvenile justice system uses many different techniques in sentencing juveniles. Some of which are used today and some of which have been proven ineffective or never thought would be effective against juveniles so they are not used in the juvenile justice system. (Fast Facts).
Split sentencing is when a person spends some of their sentence in jail and the remainder on probation. This is seen commonly in juveniles, and more commonly in minority juveniles. According to “Fast Facts,” “African-American (43%) and Latino (37%) youth are more likely than White youth (26%) to receive a sentence of incarceration, as opposed to a split sentence or probation.” A benefit to split sentencing is cost. We are not housing these juveniles for as long as their sentence. Another great benefit is that the juvenile get to return to the world. They spend their time incarcerated and then get to return to a job or school and still are under surveillance by their probation officer. Some disadvantages to split sentencing are that it may be that a longer incarceration time may show the individual what they will have to entail being pulled out of the community for an extended length of time. Longer incarceration time has shown to produce a drop in juvenile offenses over the past ten years according to many national surveys. If not enough punishment is given then...