Kids and Crime
In response to the article on crimes committed by children and what the government plans to do about our young offenders, there are a number of reasons why I would both agree and disagree with minors accused of certain crimes being tried in adult court. First of all, children under 10 who commit serious crimes such as first-degree murder, manslaughter, and attempted murder should be dealt with in a much more delicate manner. The children should be taken out of their environment and placed in a specialized home with others like themselves. They should not be sent to an institution were they do not receive any attention or kindness but a home like environment. This might help them to gain whatever they did not have in their previous environment and for them to learn about the seriousness of the crime they committed, and to behave. I think that children under 14 should be put in custody but not into jail with other adults. By placing them in custody, they should be sent somewhere they can be rehabilitated. By rehabilitated I mean they need to learn the difference between right and wrong, and to work with others their age. With the right supervision, guidance, and care from experts, they should hopefully be able to regain their self-control and act in a positive manner towards others. In other words this would help them gain what they missed out in their previous environment. Often when children are this disturbed at such a young age, something must have happened to them or others around them as they were growing up.
Anne McLellan s bill the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is very appropriate. She suggests that children 14 years and older will be tried in adult court and will be given longer sentences. The 13-year-old Alberta boy who recently aimed a rifle at the head of an 11-year-old and pulled the trigger will not be tried in adult court or given an adult sentence under Anne McLellan s new bill. I think that giving adult sentences to children is unacceptable, because children are still growing up and trying to learn what is right and wrong. I am not suggesting that they were right to do what they did but they don t deserve to go to jail for life. These children are obviously very confused, lost, and troubled. If they were to be put in jail for life they would probably come out with the same or even worse attitude then when they entered. I don t think that prison sentences for teenagers between 14 and 18 should be more than 10 years; because of their age there may be hope that they can change.
The Reform party has said that it should be the courts decision if he should be tried in adult court, which I agree with. Perhaps the best solution would be if the court decided according to each case. In summery, younger children should be given an opportunity in a correctional environment to understand that their crime was wrong so that hopefully they will never repeat.