Immature brains

A person who commits a crime after his eighteenth birthday, no longer falls under the juvenile justice system. As an adult, you are legally responsible for all your own actions. This must change, says the Council for Criminal Justice and Youth. The organization advocates in it’s Youth Criminal court proceedings report: “future-proof!”, for the introduction of a separate criminal justice system for young adults between the ages of 18 to 24.

The reason: neurobiological research shows that the brain is still developing at that age and therefore young offenders should not be tried under adult criminal law. The theory is: “Punishment only works for people who are sensitive to it.”  This proposal should be seen as part of the current “neuro hype”. The ongoing developments in brain research encourages us to think about our behavior and especially the assumptions in the law. If the new insights about the brain lead to specific changes in the legal system, it will be in this area.
Source:, March 29, 2011


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