Trying Juveniles as Adults, Article Review Example

The article “Trying Juveniles as Adults: A Jurisprudent Science Perspective” (2007) by Eric Drogin supports the idea that juvenile criminal offenders in most cases should be treated in a different way than adults by the criminal justice system. Drogin’s article references current findings and dispositions in clinical and forensic psychology in order to bolster the argument that juvenile offenders are most effectively and justly treated by applying standards that are tailored to their specific conditions and needs. One of the points that is made in the article is that the current standards and guidelines that have been set by the American Bar Association are not only fair and accurate, but that these standards are actually substantiated by forensic psychology. One of the main reasons that the article cites for the need for a separate standard for juveniles is due to the unique psychological profile of juvenile offenders. Drogin suggests that clinical psychology and forensic psychology not only support the extant guidelines of the Bar Association, but that those guideline actually serve to make the work of clinical and forensic psychologists more meaningful and more effective.

A core idea that is forwarded in the article can be paraphrased by reference to the first “pillar” of the American bar Association’s guidelines regarding the treatment of juvenile offenders. Drogin cites the complete list of guidelines, and the first point that is mentioned is, in general terms, a good summation for the article’s central argument. this point affirms that: “youth are developmentally different from adults, and these differences should be taken into account” (Drogin, 2007, p. 410). what this assertion basically implies is that, with very rare exceptions, juvenile offenders should not be subjected to the same processes and standards in regard to the criminal justice system. The fact that juvenile offenders should  be treated differently than adults is verified by the current findings of clinical and forensic psychologists. In short, attempts to try juveniles as adults is viewed, in most cases, as an unjust process.

Whether or not one agrees with Drogin’s argument, the fact remains that Drogin’s perspective articulates the findings and beliefs of  clinical and forensic psychology. This means that if clinical and forensic psychology are admitted as components of criminal trials and tools of evaluation in regard to offenders, then those same applications must be used in making a determination as to whether or not juveniles should be tried as adults. In most cases, according to Drogin, juvenile offenders require a set of  standards and guidelines that is different than those which are applied to adult offenders. The reason is that the chances of rehabilitation and re-education are much higher among juvenile offenders when these particular standards are used. trying juveniles as adults is viewed by Drogin as being necessary or indicated only in cases that involve acts of extreme threat and violence.

Drogin insists that the work of clinical and forensic scientists not only reveals the efficacy of the American Bar Association’s point by point guidelines regarding juvenile offenders, but indicates that juvenile defenders stand in a completely different relationship  to the criminal justice system than adults. He writes that “the recent application of mental health science to analyses of transfer practices comports with the American Bar Association’s perception of what is just” (Drogin, 2007, p.444). All in all, the article’s emphasis is placed on having compassion and understanding for juvenile offenders and to finding a way to serve justice while simultaneously decreasing the potential for repeat offenses and minimizing the potential for violent crimes  that might be committed by juvenile offenders.  Because of these facts, the article should be viewed as being both balanced in its approach and solution-oriented, with a view toward maintaining justice and effectiveness in regard to the treatment of juvenile offenders.




Drogin, Eric Y. (2007) “Trying Juveniles as Adults: A Jurisprudent Science Perspective”

Journal of Psychiatry & Law; Fall; 35. p. 407-416