Treating juvenile offenders as adult criminal is never a feasible thing to do. But it is now being seen that within the framework of the U.S. criminal justice system the tendency to sentence juvenile as adult criminals is rampant. And the primary challenge involved in such kind of approach is that though most of the young offenders do not tend to be adult criminals in the future, the excessive sentencing of juvenile offenders as adult criminals is actually changing these odds and it is now observable that juveniles, who have been tried as adult offenders, have become more prone towards committing crimes after their release (Maroney, 2007).
There are myriads of disadvantages of treating juvenile offenders as adult criminals. The primary disadvantage is that if a juvenile offender is tried in a criminal court for adult offenders, there are more chances for them to be put to severe sentencing which include life sentences without parole and this is because "Judges in adult court do not have the wide range of punishment and treatment options that are available to juvenile court judges - such as imposing a curfew or ordering counseling instead of jail time" (Michon, n.d.). Moreover, it is a proven fact that "A conviction in adult criminal court carries more social stigma than a juvenile court judgment does" (Michon, n.d.), and it should be remember that such social stigma ultimately ruins the chances for the respective juvenile convicts to lead a proper crime-free life in the future.
It is to be remembered that though the Supreme Court of the United States did outlaw the death penalty for juvenile offenders in 2005 still now there are ample provisions for the judges to sentence the juvenile offenders to a life without parole (Nicolet, n.d.), and such a sentencing is nothing less than putting the juveniles to death. Hence, it is observable that still now the U.S. administration should have to take myriads of important steps to revamp the entire juvenile sentencing policy and it is due to the fact that presently the juvenile justice system along with the juvenile sentencing policies are erroneous, unethical, and shameful when compared to some other developed countries of the world. It is to be remembered that "When we consign our youth to the adult system, we are throwing away even that glimmer. Juvenile sentences, in contrast, shield our youth from the unique dangers of adult facilities and preserve the possibility - however slight it may seem - of rehabilitation" (Maroney, 2007).