The there. Once out, they don’t have an

The United States imprisons more children than any other country in the world. Some of these children have been incarcerated in adult prisons for many years. They are subject to sexual assault and mental illness due to being incarcerated with adults. Once in prison they spend most of their lives there. Once out, they don’t have an education and it is hard for them to find someone that wants to employ them or someone that wants a relationship with them. 13 year old children have been tried as adults and are sentenced to multiple years, a life sentence, or sentenced to death without considering their age and the what led to the offence. Many people believe that a juvenile should be tried as an adult so they understand the consequences of their actions but juveniles are too young to understand the consequences of their actions. They don’t know what they are going to face behind bars. Children can be tried and punished as adultsfor a broad range of offenses, including nonviolent crimes. Many children who are incarcerated in adult prisons are sexually assaulted. They are integrated with murderers, rapists, gang members, and drug dealers who are violent and looking for anything to get them through their sentence. Children who are put into a prison with these criminals are commonly seen as an easy prey. Throughout the United States, hundreds of children are incarcerated each day, and nearly 5% of these children are sexually assaulted. 2% say they are assaulted by another inmate and 3% say they are assaulted by staff, but not all rapes are reported, so these statistics could be a lot greater. Survivors of sexual assault don’t report all abuse they have endured because of fear of further assaults. Some children don’t report their abuse because they could be scared of authority figures. Often times children are assaulted within the first 48 hours of them being in jail. According to the Equal Justice Initiative, a company committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States,”Children are five times more likely to be sexually assaulted in adult prisons than in juvenile facilities” (1). This is not acceptable seeing how we have functioning juvenile facilities in each state but we choose not to use them. They are also beaten by inmates and staff, sometimes until they are unconcious or their bones are broken, for something as simple as stealing food from another inmate. These juveniles don’t have the strength to get through their prison sentence. One way adult prisons try to keep juveniles safe is to keep them in solitary confinement. They are locked up for almost a day in a tiny cell, alone, with nothing to do except think. It leads to them becoming emotionally unstable.  Due to the assault some of these children are facing, they often develop mental illnesses. These illnesses could be anything from depression to bipolar disorder to schizophrenia. Younger children don’t have a lot of experience dealing with their problems. They often act impulsively, recklessly and irresponsibly because they are so young and their brains aren’t fully developed. In prison these behaviors result in harsher punishments which then in turn worsen their illnesses. It is a vicious cycle that can lead to suicide or a short sentence turning into life. Juveniles have a higher suicide rate than adults, “Tragically, youth housed in adult jails are 36 times more likely to commit suicide than those in juvenile facilities” (Curley 1). Stuart Grassian, a psychiatrist and a former Harvard Medical School teacher found in one study that roughly a third of solitary inmates were psychotic and found that solitary can cause a psychiatric syndrome, Some effects are hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, obsessions, hypersensitivity to external stimuli, and difficulties with memory, thinking, and concentration.  Children should not be put in adult prisons for many reasons including the fact that they have a better chance in life if they are put into a rehabilitation center. There are less harsh punishments and they have the opportunity to receive the education they need to succeed after they are released.