Law on Minors
April 13, 2010 9:38pm CST
At least two fellow mylotters had started discussions about police arrests and jail detention of minors in the United States. I was apprehensive about the details of the discussions because here in the Philippines we have a law on minors that states no minor could ever be detained nor sued in the court of law, no matter the crime. So our youth had become snatchers, hold-uppers, thieves, and yes, even rapists and murderers and the police and the victims could not do anything about it. The most that can be done is to turn the offenders to Social Welfare. Then these criminals can go scottfree after some time. But in America, 12 year old school children are apprehended, handcuffed and interrogated all because a boy scout forgot to unload his pocketknife from his jacket and eventually brought it to school or one had written a shooting story for a classroom essay (Reader's Digest May 2007). This is done because of zero tolerance even amongst children. The law on minors in these two countries are both questionable. How do you think must we treat the kids?
14 Apr 10
Here in India too the children aren't handcuffed.If the offence they have committed happens to be a grave one then they are sent to a correctional home.Here there are three categories for minors children below seven are normally not sentenced as it is believed that they aren't capable of comprehending the seriousness ogf the crime.Between 7 and 14 they are sent to correctional homes.Above 15 also they are sent to these homes but there is a possibility of them being sentenced.I feel these kids should be counseled and removed from the environment which is making them committing these crimes.
16 Apr 10
ma'am eileen. We don't have laws against minors here in the Philippines but repeated offenders are sent to the social workers office and some of them are sent to juvenile institutions and some have their parents called for guidance. But some street children don't really have their parents so they are the ones sent to juvenile centers for rehabilitation.
• Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines
15 Apr 10
personally, i am not with the juvenile law in our country. you are right to say that the most that can be done is to turn the offenders to social welfare agency. minors do not only get into these bad acts/crimes but we cannot put away the thought of they might just be used by big time criminals to do those crimes and they can always do those acts, without being jailed, if not they are not turned to the social welfare. one thing i guess, the government still do not have enough facilities to cater them all. the law could be good but still lacks strength.
15 Apr 10
Personally I think that something needs to be done about the laws where you come from, and I mean that with no offence meant. I say that because if there are children running around doing these crimes, then something has to be done and it isn't being done by the sounds of things. Things in Canada are a little different. If a child is under the age of 18 they usually get tried in a junior court from what I understand. Personally I think that the punishment should be dependent on what crime is committed. If a child commits murder, that to me implies that the child isn't mentally healthy and that they should be detained and reformed. I think that there are a lot of countries around the world which are way to easy on children just because of their age. I believe that if a 13 year old child brings a weapon to school with the intention of doing harm, they know exactly what they are doing. Our schools educate these children far to good for them to say that they don't know what they are doing. I think that this is an great discussion because there are not a lot of people who are aware about these kinds of things. Great work.
• United States
14 Apr 10
yeah here in the state they dont play with minors. sometime its dumb things. but if a minor steals, assult, rape or kill they will go to jail. and depends how bad it was they can be charge as an adult and they are sent to a presion with adults but minors here in the state are doing more and more worst crimes
14 Apr 10
Hi eileenleyva, Minors should never be treated as adults but everything possible must be done to rehabilitate them. I think that we are putting far too many people in prison when we need to spend a lot more money on rehabilitation. It is pointless to arrest a young person,hold him a few weeks or months and then send him/her back to the same situation that she/he was in before. Our young people are the future,don't keep sending them back to the same situation, and don't put them in prison. Invest in their future now. Blessings.
14 Apr 10
Hi eilenleyva, such a good question! Hope others answer it seriously enough. :) I think part of the unacceptable behavior comes because what is right and what is wrong is not taught from early stages. I think we have the reality shows where we applaud minor's talents in singing and dancing. A similar thing should be started very early on in children's lives around the kindergarten so that they start competing on being right. I too feel America is too litigant, somethings simply dont make sense or have ceased to be relevant. And in so far as Philippines is concerned, that is indeed a scary situation. Out here, in India, it is a different story. Many of the minors who are given to crimes are kids who left home and are left with no other alternative, or whose parent or guardians or owners are making them do such things. People tend to beat up such children when they get caught, leaving less for the law to do.