Teenagers who commit crimes should be treated the same way as adult

IELTS Writing Task 2 with sample answer.

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Some people think that teenagers who commit crimes should be treated the same way as adult criminals.

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer:
Nowadays, it tends that adult crimes are being committed at a faster pace by teenagers. In many circles, it is argued that a same treatment as that for adults should be fair enough for young offenders who commit serious crimes. However, personally I think it is not justified at all that you hold an idea that a teen deserve the same manner and fashion as an adult does.

To start with, no child younger than 17 be trialed and sentence as an adult. At these ages, teenagers are likely to be considerably less culpable than their adult counterparts and substantially more vulnerable to the harsh condition of adult prisons. The case of Zachary Proper plays a good example here. The boy, who was charged with killing his grandparents and was sentenced to 35-80 years, committed suicide in an adult prison in Pennsylvania. Therefore, what I want to say that is we have to acknowledge that children must be prosecuted differently in the American legal system, recognizing the incomplete maturity, reduced impulse control, and reduced ability to understand long-term consequences.

While teenagers, particularly 18-years-olds, are obviously capable of handling many adult responsibilities, there are considerable evidences that shows young adults are not fully, emotionally mature. That is to say that teen’s intellectual ability approaches average adult levels around age 18, but at the same time, their psychological maturity is well below adult levels until the mid-20s. In fact, it is a third period in the maturation process where teens are no longer children, but not yet adults. Thus, youngsters are too immature to be subject to the adult criminal justice system.

In fine, we must fit the rights of children with public safety.  This is our prime importance obviously. But continuation of transferring teens like Zachary Proper to the adult criminal justice system simply invites another tragic incident. Zachary’s story tells us what happens to youngsters when we wrong-headedly treat them as adult. The tragedies will only continue if we do not begin to truly treat teens like teens!