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Kids Who Commit Crimes: Should They Get Punished?

I read tons and tons of articles about kids who steal, vandalize, rape and kill who get off scot-free because 'they're just kiiiiids' or 'boys will be boys'. I say bullsh*t - kids shouldn't get off with a slap on the wrist just because of their age. Has anyone read the recent news story of the 9-year-old and 5-year-old who broke into someone's home and stole gifts? And near the bottom of the article, it said 'the names won't be published because of the kids' ages'.

I personally feel any kid who commits a crime like this or worse should have his or her name published so they can be shunned, ridiculed, and, most importantly, so people know who they are so they can protect themselves and their stuff. This 'protect the children' crap needs to end when said children start raping people or stealing cars or possessions.

I also think these kids need to be punished - teens who commit m*rder shouldn't be stuck in juvy until the age of 18 and turned loose on the world with a clean slate. A kid who commits a major crime should be tried as an adult and punished as such - if he becomes some fat man's b*tch in the slammer, then so be it. Having his backside reamed a few dozen times a day will make Junior think twice about stealing his neighbor's car ever again.

Just my two cents. What ar eyour opinions? Should criminal kids be punished in the same way as adults?
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replied December 30th, 2007
Most Diplomatic Poster
ok. i know a few 9 and 5 year olds. if they don't know good from bad behaviour it's the parents' fault and i think the parents' should be punished first. a kid like that needs to be taught somewhere and at that age shunning and ridiculing is only going to make a bad thing worse. figure out why they aren't being parented properly and work on fixing that. i am all for them making restitution somehow when they are older but at 5 years old??? come on. teenagers should be given major counselling and life skills training and education, boot camp style if nothing else works. a lot of kids are either looking for love and attention or have behavioural problems from their parents' substance abuse or just haven't been taught anything. at 5 years old you can't blame a kid for having bad parents but there is still time to try to fix things before they grow up.

i'm not saying don't do anything to them but their punishment should help them see what they did wrong and show them another way to act. shame and ridicule are probably things they are already familiar with.
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replied December 30th, 2007
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California Youth Authority
Is the place where young men are sent up to our area from mainly the L.A. area. These kids are from homes where their parents for the most part couldn't care less for them.

Was in Ross one day and the lady in front of me had a broken finger in a small cast. I talked to her. She is a guard out there. She said these kids are from the worst of circumstances, parents on drugs, never cared for these kids and they wind up in gangs, trouble and worse.

We live in a beautiful area, but I have never once gone by that place and seen those kids out in the yard playing any kind of sports. It is a prison. And, it is a school.

Some of these kids actually find their own respect, they give it and they get it back, and with the small town that we live in, they are permitted priviledges to be out and volunteer at community events. Good for them.

What 5 or 9 year old should be the parent here? Where are their parents? These children deserve a childhood. Maybe I am just living in a world where I grew up with my parents loving and protecting me. Honestly, can we expect small children to provide things for themselves?
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replied December 30th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
For the serious crimes you listed, of course the kid should be punished. It bothers me too when a kid gets off for murdering someone in cold blood because s/he's "just a kid". Now, under 6 or 7 years old, yeah, a kid probably doesn't fully understand what he or she is doing and thus punishment in a severe form just isn't appropriate. Like shoving a dog's nose into his poo hours after he does it when you get home, punishing a young child won't work because they just don't understand FULLY why they are being punished, and it will do more harm than good. Younger children do not have fully developed ethical systems, so that's why discipline for younger children involves controlling them as opposed to "reforming" them. That's my observation, anyway. Yeah, you're telling them that the activity was bad, but they don't totally get it.

And children who kill abusive parents shouldn't be punished either, but I'm a bit of a vigilante at heart.
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replied December 31st, 2007
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Love
Is what it is called. You don't control children nor do you reform them when they go bad.

Take responsibility before you bring a person onto the earth. In a perfect world, all children would be wanted and loved. But, we know we don't live in that fairy tail world.

It seems that a better system of justice would be for parents who have failed their children should be the ones to stand before the justice system and be responsible for their own failures as parents for their children. Failure to give support and love to their children. Children come in to us on a clean slate. Unblemished. It is what they experience here at our hands that turns them into what they become.
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replied December 31st, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
So.
Two young children; one of them a mere 5; broke into a home to steal gifts. Ok. Definately some punishment is in order since I doubt, having had two children, that a 5 year old thinks of ways to break into homes there is a ringleader there.
My eldest got busted for shoplifting when she was 8. She wasn't prosecuted because the law determined she was to young to be able to committ a crime.
She was still punished because I knew at 8 she knew stealing was wrong.

As for Cambions wish for jailhouse rape for young criminals..that is revolting and let me reiterate: THE JOB OF CORRECTIONAL STAFF IS TO PROTECT THE INMATES FROM EACH OTHER.
In other words..we don't let that happen. We'd never put a young person in a cell with a known pedophile or a assaultive inmate. Do you really think we are that stupid or pay so little attention? Give the staff some credit here.

No prison is not the best answer all the time. Clallam Bay in Wash State has a juvinile facilty on the grounds of an adult facility for severe juvinile offenders.
So you want to house young criminals with their older counterparts hmm?

Trying Youths as Adults

By the summer of 1999, 41 states had made it easier to try young offenders as adults. OJJDP reports that 25 states and the District of Columbia (including Michigan) have no minimum age for trying young offenders as adults. According to OJJDP, 200,000 minors entered the adult criminal court last year.

A study by researchers Donna Bishop and Charles Frazier showed that youths tried as adults were rearrested twice as quickly and a third more frequently as youths with similar backgrounds who were retained in the juvenile justice system.

Of those who committed new crimes, the youth who had previously been tried as adults committed serious crimes at double the rate of those sent to juvenile court.

The states which send more youths to the adult system than any others-- New York and Florida -- continue to have the highest and second highest rates of youth violence in the country, respectively.

Research by Jeffrey Fagan of Columbia University has shown that youths housed with adults are 5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted, twice as likely to be beaten by staff, and 50% as likely to assaulted with a weapon, than youths housed with other juveniles.

OJJDP funded research has shown that youths housed in adult institutions are 7.7 times as likely to commit suicide as youths housed in juvenile facilities.

I'd call that sort of thought aiding and abetting myself..
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replied December 31st, 2007
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The parents should be punished for being lousy parents, but then the kids will probably still get off the hook because, if their parents didn't care to raise them to not steal/rape/kill, they certainly will not be punishing the kids themselves (since telling kids "no" seems to be the equivalent of child abuse now). Then this leads to the pweshus widdle sociopaths thinking they can be little a**holes and will get away with it.

Soo, there needs to be punishment all around - perhaps in the form of family prisons? And I don't mean cushy prisons with cable, gyms and game rooms - I mean everyone locked in a cement cell with nothing but a toilet. Leave the parents and the kids to fester for a few years - chances are, the parents will kill the kid that got them into that mess. Or maybe take the kids away and put them in an orphanage or foster care and try to let people with more than two brain cells raise them.

Quote:
Research by Jeffrey Fagan of Columbia University has shown that youths housed with adults are 5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted, twice as likely to be beaten by staff, and 50% as likely to assaulted with a weapon, than youths housed with other juveniles.

OJJDP funded research has shown that youths housed in adult institutions are 7.7 times as likely to commit suicide as youths housed in juvenile facilities.


I say good on that, then. Maybe if Junior gets beaten and raped on a daily basis without his mommy to run to or tell everyone "He's just a widdle child" and bail him out, he'll learn not to do anything illegal. Even if the staff is top-notch, they can't keep all prison brutality from happening - and tossing a teen into a prison with adults is like tossing a chicken into a lion's den. Much screaming and fun will ensue, and it all can't be prevented. Personally, I think it would do the little criminals a world of good to get smashed across the head by a guard or sexually asaulted by another inmate a few times - it will show them what they'll have to deal with if they steal, kill, rape, or commit any other crimes that are more hardcore than puffing on a joint at a party.

No one will miss the little pricks if they off themselves either. I know I sure won't miss a handful of teen robbers and rapists if they commit suicide.
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replied December 31st, 2007
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Unfortunately its not 100% nature or 100% nurture. Parents are not ultimately responsible for their kids actions because kids are individuals with free will. PArents can try and try, and sometimes kids defy them and do what they want. I didn't have a perfect upbringnig but I know I did a lot of things my parents frowned on. We all did as kids. Many of us got lucky and got through without having something horrible happen like a drunk driving accident or something. As a teen, I would not have expected my parents to be responsible for my actions. And I know they would have MADE me make amends in whatever way was deemed appropriate.

I don;t think kids should be tried as adults. If we don't allow them adult priveleges, they should not have to pay adult prices for breaking laws.

I thihnk many teens who enter the system learn to be crooks a lot sooner than they would have on the outside, at least that's what I have come to understand from a few people I know who have been in the system.

I think restorative justice is a lot more effective when dealing with juvenile offenders. And a heckuva lot of counseling.

I do know where your frustration comes from Cambion. My neighbor kid broke into our house while we were gone on vacation a few years ago and some of the things that were stolen were irreplacable. Most of it got pitched into a lake. they took my husband's military rifles, his martial arts equipment and a bunch of jewelry. His mother protected him, made excuses for him, and they never ever ever paid their restitution to me. It makes me furious. That is a good case of an enabling mother. I'm still kinda mad about that cause we had taken this kid and his brothers camping, canoeing, to the drive in, etc. I was not thrilled at her lack of parenting in that case. But I don't think all parents are like this. In this kids case, he was perhaps slanted that way and his mother just enabled him to become a little Snot head. Some kids do all this without any knowledge of the parents. Some kids do this becaseu their parents were too hard on them. Being a parent is a major balancing act. You have to teach them to want to behave appropriately, not just because you said to.

I think each case should be examined thoroughly and there can't be any blanket laws put in place to addreess these issues.
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replied December 31st, 2007
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We All Have Horror Stories
Of a bad kid in the neighborhood. Ours was the kid next door whose mother married my husband's best friend from college. They moved next to us. Not long afterward, different houses in the neighborhood kept getting broken into. It wasn't just that this kid could break in (he was 12 or 13 at the time) but what he would do. He would reach into a bird cage and twist the head off the canary, or he would tear up my son's cub scout shirt into shreads and leave it on the garage steps coming into the house, or he would go after the President of our local college's children's rabbits. You get the picture.

When my son was in first grade, this kid would follow him to school with a chain and acting like he had a knife. We would call the Sheriff who came out. I was so upset and really afraid for my son who said this boy would double up his fist and then punch him in the stomach. Mark said, "don't cry Mom, he didn't REALLY have a knife."

Then came home one day to see the next door house (their house) burning to the ground. This boy claimed he was a hero saving his baby brother from the house. Only thing was this kid also had been riding his bicycle with his little brother and over some pretty rough terrain when the little brother fell off, had major brain damage. He barely survived.

Finally, my husband and I had a talk with the father of this kid (step-father) and he said he loved the mother and couldn't do anything with the kid.

Social Services and the Sheriff's Department said this kid could go before a Judge and be just this perfect blond clean looking kid and always managed to get off.

Finally they moved. Thank God.

Only to have their new neighbors in Saratoga, come to our door to tell us that now all of them were getting broken into.

Did I forget to tell you this boy also broke into our daughter's bedroom and tried to rape her?

He finally wound up in prison in Florida.

But, the grief that kid caused all of us is unbelieveable. When our new neighbors moved into the house the family had rebuilt after the fire, in this boy's room all the way around the wall was written, "please help me." There were bolts to keep him in and the mother used to say, "there is no way Billy could have done that because I was up last night at 12:30 (after midnight) scrubbing the kitchen floor. Please!
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replied January 1st, 2008
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Here is an eye opener for you cambion:
I have an inmate in my unit whose father is a assistant DA, his mother is a cop and he is in prison. We protect that information to protect him. Now part of his profile is a basic rundown of his life.
Nice upper middle income family; working parents; no abuse, nanny the whole deal. Yet this person decided one day to take off in a car that didn't belong to him with his friends; crash the car..oh ya.. they were drunk too.
NOw he is in prison.

You want to lock up his parents?
Good grief..
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replied January 1st, 2008
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Roberta, it sounds like that child most certainly had conduct disorder, and in adults that is antisocial personality d/o.

People with this disorders have no conscience, and as I learn more about them I start to think they need to be under close supervision at all times. Hitler probably had this. Mao, Napoleon, Ted Bundy, etc.

Yick.
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replied January 1st, 2008
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Birch
He had an older sister who was the greatest kid. Honor student. the whole nine yards.

This boy apparently was repeatedly beaten by his father even when he was in the crib (according to his mother who kept making excuses for him when he did really bad things to people).

The girl graduated from college and married into a wonderful Jewish family. She developed cancer and died before she was 32 years old.

Yet, the boy had a free reign to inflect pain and suffering on anybody around him.

The Sheriff's Deputy took us under his wing and would patrol our house.

Funny thing, before this boy would go off on a tangent, he would call our house. The phone would ring and nobody there. At the end, I just let it ring and ring and finally answered after about 20 minutes. It was this kid and you can't believe the hate and anger he threw out there. He needed help there is no question about that.

He was reaching out for help in making those telephone calls even when he wouldn't say anything. I always felt it was him and I just couldn't give it to him. I wonder why I was asked to do this thing when I just could not help him. He scared me.

The dead rabbits, the dead canary, the torn up houses, I just knew this was a seriously sick kid. Then, the time he molested a little six year old girl by making her take her clothes off and making her stand in a corner for hours. The family moved. They were neighbors on the other side. Out of 22 houses on our street, 18 were broken into by him.
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replied January 1st, 2008
Experienced User
Older than 11 --- responsible for his actions. Robert thats sad kid. You know girl that was touched?
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replied January 1st, 2008
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Don't Know All He Did
But the girl's parents actually allowed this kid to babysit their daughter. She was just a little girl. When they got home, their daughter told them he had made her stay in the bathroom, take off her clothes and stand in the corner. I don't know what he did.

This family immediately put their house on the market and moved. Bought another home before that one even sold. They were out of there within days. This was a very traditional family.

If this kid was capable of killing animals, who knows what he was capable of. Even though he scared my daughter, she was bigger and stronger than he was, smarter too. He also knew better than to mess with my husband who was a very strong man, emotionally and physically.

It also got to the point where we just couldn't live there anymore. Too many painful memories associated with that family. It turned out that it was a blessing to move on to a new home and now here to this place which I thank God for every single day of my life.
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replied January 2nd, 2008
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Quote:
I have an inmate in my unit whose father is a assistant DA, his mother is a cop and he is in prison. We protect that information to protect him. Now part of his profile is a basic rundown of his life.
Nice upper middle income family; working parents; no abuse, nanny the whole deal. Yet this person decided one day to take off in a car that didn't belong to him with his friends; crash the car..oh ya.. they were drunk too.
NOw he is in prison.

You want to lock up his parents?
Good grief..


Perhaps the reason the idiot ran off with someone else's car was because he probably was raised more by nannies than his parents. You know, the parents who should have been telling him what was right and wrong; it's not up to a nanny to instill those kinds of values in a kid. So, yes, the parents should at least be fined for not doing the job they signed up for by conceiving the stupid !**@!.
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replied January 2nd, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
I agree with Cambion that too much 'parenting' is left to people other than the parents these days. Nannies and childminders are no match for the love and discipline of a mother and/or father.
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replied January 2nd, 2008
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Goes to the Heart of the Matter
Cain and Able. You can have one good kid and you can have a bad kid. You just never know how that is going to play out.

Jincks is somebody I am going to listen to and respect. She is the one actually spending her life in there with people on the inside of prisons.

You can have parents who believe they are doing the best possible for their children when they have to work. I believe that Jincks' example here is to show these working parents had somebody there for their son. How many working families leave their children home alone to fend for themselves?

Kids can do stupid things. They feel they are invincible, that nothing will ever happen to them. But, unfortunately, life is not so kind and, yes, terrible things can and do happen to not only them but to others as well.
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replied January 3rd, 2008
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I think that the kidsshouldbe held accountable although i agree that it is the parents responsibility to instil right and wrong *edit for profanity my youngest is only 5 and she knows it is wrong to take things that don't belong to her and to harm others let the punishment fit the crime no matter what the age of the offender if the parents don't give a crap then yes punish them as well but the offender should never go unpunished
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