Essay 35 – Punishment for Teenage Criminals (Agree or Disagree)

Some people think that teenagers who commit crimes should be treated the same way as adult criminals. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Some people argue that punishment imposed on youth and adults who commit crimes should be the same. I completely disagree with this notion and believe that the youth who commit offences should be treated differently evaluating their circumstances of crime and their age.

To begin with, punishing teenagers in the same way as adults will prove detrimental as they do not fully understand the consequence of their actions. To elaborate, teenagers are not yet adults and it is scientifically proven that their brain is not yet fully developed and even emotionally not matured enough. Hence, they could be more prone to risky behaviour. For example, when teenagers are denied of pocket money, they may steal money. If these pupils are punished like adults with a short jail term, it may lead to in serious stage of depression and could be doomed by the society for their behaviour. In such cases, if the root cause is found and addressed through rehabilitation centres, it will provide a second opportunity for them.

Moreover, sending adolescents to prison or any other form of adult detainment will be harmful for them as they may suffer from abuse and violence in the prison and will have issues reintegrating into the society. To make it clear, the rules made in a prison for adults may not suit the teenagers and as a result they will find it difficult to cope with factors such as food, sleep and work hours. For instance, the legal system in India has juvenile prisons for young offenders who commit crimes rather imposing confinement in prisons.

To conclude, while punishing juveniles their age and maturity should be taken into consideration and as they need special care than adults. Measures like counselling and restorative justice should be provided to reform them instead of imprisonment, similar to adults.


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