The Juvenile Penalty

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In "The Juvenile Penalty", Kurlychek examines the distinction between young adults and juveniles in regard to the criminal system. This study is a pertinent one because the number of young adults tried in courts of law has increased significantly during the last decade.


Kurlychek, however, fails to present an analysis that enables the study to be applied universally.
When demographics are taken into consideration, "The Juvenile Penalty" presents a study that is far from authoritative. The data for the paper was culled from Pennsylvania's Commission on Sentencing and focuses on the 33,962 young adults, between ages 18 to 25, and 1,042 juveniles that were processed in Pennsylvania's adult criminal justice system over a 3 year period from 1997 to 1999. Not only is there the possibility that Pennsylvania might be a unique case in terms of how adults and juveniles offenders are viewed, the article mentions that the majority of juvenile offenders are black and male but fails to take into consideration the role that of racial demographics. Both the sex and race of the offenders and persecutors may play a role in the differing treatment between young adults and juveniles. Additionally, Kurlychek decided to begin investigating cases in 1997, when the treatment of juveniles in Pennsylvania law courts changed significantly. Additionally, if the short three period, in which the cases occurred, was lengthened, the paper's argument would be greatly strengthened. ...
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