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Federal law states that youth transferred from juvenile facilities to the adult system must be separated by sight and sound from adult inmates, but many states have either refused to comply with these laws (and forfeited federal grant money) or stated that they will comply only to stall on progress.There are numerous federal and state laws granting all juveniles the right to education, which apply to youth in correctional facilities.
The majority of youth prosecuted in adult court are charged with nonviolent offenses.And the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 asserted that children are five times more likely to be sexually assaulted in adult prisons than in juvenile facilities, often within the first 48 hours of their incarceration.Further, youth in the adult system are subject to mentally harmful practices and have less mental health services available to them than in the juvenile system.Most juveniles tried as adults, and/or placed in adult facilities, are being denied education and subjected to various dangers, both of which can lead to permanent setbacks and high rates of recidivism.The majority of states have already started passing reforms to make it more difficult to prosecute juveniles as adults, but there is a long way to go.The issue of course goes beyond a denial of education and other much-needed rehabilitative services.Youth in the adult system are at extreme risk for sexual victimization, more than “any other group of incarcerated persons”, according to the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission.Many juveniles are placed in isolation, which can severely exacerbate or even cause mental disorders that have the potential to affect them for the rest of their lives.Tragically, youth housed in adult jails are 36 times more likely to commit suicide than those in juvenile facilities.In fact, until the end of the 19th century, juveniles in the United States who became involved with the criminal justice system were treated in the much the same fashion as adults. Juvenile Justice System - Contemporary Juvenile Justice System and Juvenile Detention Alternatives. Following events such as Columbine the American public began to demand a re-evaluation of the juvenile justice system in this nation. By the fin de siecle, reforms had been made to adjudicate youthful offenders in separate channels from adults. What many people do not know is that the American juvenile justice system has undergone many changes over the past 100 years. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(2), 228.