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Here in Canada, the Youth Criminal Justice Act provides a softer punishment to youth, depending on the crime and past convictions. If it's a first time serious offense, they get a punishment such a community service and get counselling.
I want to clarify my answer. I must have read the question incorrectly the 1st time. I believe we have a responsibility to help our youth be well and make better choices, regardless of the crime they committed. Children learn what they live.
I agree with you. Youth don't have the same mentality and worldview as adults. They still have time to develop and form opinions, ethics and morals. Therefore, to make them good citizens, we should treat them and train them, rather than jailing them.
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Larry Wall says
Your idea of how youth should be treated is perfect. I agree with you on every aspect of this.