Treat Juveniles as Adults: General Perception of Southern Nonmetropolitan Residents

Mokerrom Hossain, Virginia State University

Recent studies show that juvenile crime has risen in proportion to overall crime rates since the mid-1980s. Nationally, juveniles arrested for violent index crimes increased 60 percent since 1987, and the estimated number of juvenile arrests for year 2000 for most serious offenses, was 2,369,4000. In year 2000, there were an estimated 1,200 juvenile arrests for murder. Youth under the age of 15 accounted for 67% of all juvenile arrests for arson in year 2000. The involvement of juveniles in gun violence is also relatively high in U.S. The firearm homicide rate for children under 15 years of age is 16 times higher in the United States of America than 25 other industrialized countries combined. The prosecutors are under pressure to treat these youths as adults in adult courts. This study intends to measure how the nonmetropolitan residents view the separate juvenile justice system and treating youth offenders through juvenile justice system, which according to many is a too lenient system. This study will interview a sample of nonmetropolitan residents and measures their attitudes about the juvenile justice system. It will measure people's attitudes and ideas about how society should punish juvenile offenders.

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Updated 05/20/2006