Boys among Men: Trying and Sentencing Juveniles as Adults

Boys among Men: Trying and Sentencing Juveniles as Adults

Boys among Men: Trying and Sentencing Juveniles as Adults

Boys among Men: Trying and Sentencing Juveniles as Adults

Synopsis

While they may once have been viewed as misguided youth, more and more juveniles are being charged as adults and sentenced to adult prisons. Myers questions whether doing so is an effective deterrent for young offenders, if rehabilitation is out of the question, and if youth and society are better served by sending children away to adult prisons rather than to juvenile detention facilities. These questions and others are addressed in this careful analysis of the history and evolution of transfer laws that are increasingly prevalent throughout the United States.

Excerpt

Cases like this seem to appear frequently in the news. A 10year-old faces murder charges in the shooting of his father in Harris County, Texas. The maximum 40-year term he faces is just another challenge in his already difficult life. The boy struggled through his parents' angry marriage, their long and bitter divorce complete with charges of sexual abuse, split custody and stepfamilies. He was on Prozac and being shuttled from one parent to the other when he pulled his mother's handgun from his backpack and shot his father, a prominent physician, in the back. In Texas, 10 is the earliest age at which a child can be officially charged with a crime.

The prosecution of children as adults is a controversial and emotionally laden practice born, many suspect, of get-tough justice and legislative responses to sensationalized media coverage of crimes. What is often overlooked is the much less dramatic accumulation of scientific evidence and data that chronicles exactly how this trend is playing out and what the unintended consequences have been.

This book is a classic example of reality not living up to expectations. It is a careful analysis of each aspect of the policy and its application. This study directs the reader away from the rhetoric and into the daily workings of the transfer decision. This is not only the most comprehensive and up-to-date look at the outcome of transferring juveniles to adult . . .

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