A lot of people are saying they were married, mature, moved out of home at 17, 18, 19. I think in general, most teenagers are matured at that age.
But children who come from very abusive and neglectful homes (the overwhelming majority of juvenile offenders) are not at the same level. They literally haven't had the nutrition, the love, the nuturing, the boundaries, the education, the support that is essential to having a developed brain. In so many ways, those kids are delayed by 3, 5, 10 years. I dealt with 16 year olds who still wet the bed, could barely dress themselves and needed the coaching through each task my 3 year old requires. They were physically 15 year olds or larger, but psychologically, they were literally toddlers. Angry, angry toddlers. I don't believe the justice system should have a cut-off that applies to most mature teenagers, I think it should be fair to the individuals who are actually committing the crimes. A life sentence for an 18 year old, who is literally functioning with a brain of a 10 year old is not okay. It's terrible what they have done and they should be punished. But it's absolutely not okay to try them as adults: when they aren't.
Sorry to double post, but one 15 year old juvenile offender didn't know what an orange was.
He lived in Australia and had no idea what an orange was. He had never once used a toothbrush and didn't know how to do it. He had eaten out of garbage bins most his life. He couldn't write his own name.
I can't stress to you how unlike a normal 15 year old he was. He was literally a toddler. There is no way he should be treated as an adult for his actions, no way.
I think it depends on the circumstance
Murder: probably max 15/16
Pregnancy: 16 max
It could be earlier my 12 yr old sister knows right from wrong but I couldn't guarantee she would understand the consequences
There's way too many factors for me to name an age.
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I think we should always be held responsible for our actions. There may be reasons why people do things but we teach people, especially youth, if we excuse them from doing silly things that we can do whatever we please.
My DS is sent to buddy class if he disrupts the classroom. This is being held accountable for his own actions at age 6 and I have absolutely no problem with this.
I think that people of sound mind should always have consequences for their own actions.
Re the child support discussion I have to say I don't agree. I think teen boys who get a teen girl pregnant should be held accountable in the same manner as adult non custodial parents. If they think they are mature enough to have sex they can deal with the consequences.
If he is a student with no income, like any other non custodial parent, he won't pay CS. If he works after school at maccas earning $100 a week, he should hand over 14%.
An 18 year old might be a uni student with no income. He won't need to oay cs because he is studying for better employment opportunities which will be better for the child. 18 isn't a magic cut off age, no income is no income and a 17 year old apprentice should be held financially as responsible as a grown man otherwise we ARE teaching him that he can go out with his mates, blow his cash and have minimal responsibility toward this child.
I will be teaching my son that life isn't a free ride. If he gets a girl pregnant and they break up he is still responsible for creating that life.
If there are mental impairments they need to be considered at ANY age.
When teen pregnancy is involved...that is where I FULLY believe that the parents should be held responsible for the actions of the child (if they live at home)...as in the parents income should be assessed and they have to pay child support. How they get that money earned back in their home is up to them.
Once the child lives out of home, they would have some form of income and that should be used for child support.
Vicpark...do you honestly believe that a single parent lives a life of luxery because their "ex" pays child support?? Seriously? Also, it is much easier for the boy to carry on and go to school...if they have not got custody of the child...the girl needs to find childcare, the girl needs to keep going on sleepless nights, the girl needs to find ways to study around the baby. It is def not an equal field at all!! That said, yes, she needs to take responsibility...but she is also a child!
I think the problem is...people see someone getting a "different" punishment and think they are not being held accountable.
People can be held accountable without going to adult prison!
I think the earlier the beter. I think the sooner kids learn from natural consiquences the beter as that is life in the real world.
I think 18 is "definitely an adult" (unless there's some sort of disability or something, of course) but from about 15-ish to 18 is a bit of a grey area where I think the judge should be able to choose whether the perp is a child or adult. It depends what the crime is too.
Murder - as in, intentionally killing someone - is something I think a 15-year-old could be convicted as an adult about. A 15-year-old who hasn't been living under a rock knows that murder is wrong, and that normal people don't murder others.
Theft or something like that... yeah, kids know it's wrong, but they can be a bit stupid and think it's not such a big deal... especially as when you're that age you don't have access to large amounts of money (generally) so don't really understand it all. I dunno, I think a kid stealing some crap, and not physically harming anyone in doing so, could be treated like a child.
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