Juvenile Offenders and Rehabilitation

Read the two scenarios below. In light of these scenarios, discuss whether the assumption that juveniles are especially amenable to rehabilitation because of their age and perceived openness to learning new ways is true.

In your opinion, should the right to rehabilitation be reserved for juvenile offenders? Provide a rationale to support your opinion. Do you think that it is more difficult to deal with individual offenders, as opposed to framing a response based on the status of a number of offenders – whether they are juveniles or adults? Why?

Scenario 1:

Peter is a 20-year-old who has just been arrested for assault as a result of a fight at a bar. It is his first criminal offense of any kind. A short time before the fight, he had been hired to drive a forklift, and he really does not want to lose this good job.

Scenario 2:

Paul is a 16-year-old who has just been arrested for assault because of his involvement in a fight at his school. It is his third violent offense, and he has already been on juvenile probation and received mandatory counseling for anger management. He is failing at school and is unlikely to graduate.


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