Minimum Age of Responsibility #1

The following post will detail our group’s ideas about why children below 10 should not go to Juvy because of many factors influencing their decisions such as socioeconomic status, fault in parenting, etc.

Boys Behind Bars: Inside a childrens' prison | SBS News
A Juvenile Detention centre is Australia

Studies have shown the way a child is raised has extreme impacts on their personality, mental health, and how they behave. The earlier a child enters the justice system, the more likely they are to have repeat interactions with it. Children are greatly impacted by their environment and the way they are raised. Being punished harshly or being separated from society in juvenile detention centers, with other offenders, has been shown to make children more likely to rebel and commit crimes in the future. It isolates them from the rest of the world when they are still learning how to be a part of it, not giving them a chance to improve and show they have learned to be better. Sending a child to Juvy early on has a negative effect bringing them up in a bad society.

However, if interactions with the justice system were positive, the child would learn and have support rather than be damaged. (This follows the idea that support is better than fear when it comes to teaching/ruling/parenting.) The Royal Commission into Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory found that the NT youth detention system was likely to leave many children and young people more damaged when they leave than when they entered the system. By sending a child to correctional classes they can learn why what they did was wrong, to stop them repeating their behavior in the future, while still maintaining a relationship with their family and a connection to the outside world.

People are told about the law from a young age, and that we need to obey it because of moral obligation. If children commit crimes that go against certain morals, like animal cruelty, the parents should take the most responsibility for not teaching them it is wrong to hurt others. 

The key issue is that we are all different. At the age of 4, most kids know it is wrong to steal a car whereas some kids believe it is right at the age of 10. The environment a child is brought up in seriously impacts their actions against/with the law. Kids who are young and who have not been taught how to be law-abiding should be counseled and taught correctly not out in prison with a negative experience.