Turns out, it is all about how their brain develops.
In the past ten years, scientific research has revealed that the brain doesn’t finish developing until the mid-20s. A young person’s brain is actually different than an adult’s.
What difference does that make?
The Supreme Court has ruled that it makes youth less culpable for their actions, and means that young people must be treated differently than adults under the law in a number of cases.
Above all, however, this new research shows that adolescence is a window of opportunity. Young people are capable of amazing growth and change, when they have the right supports that help them transition to a healthy, safe adulthood. Youth may make mistakes and bad choices, but if we structure our services for them correctly, not only will they be better off but so will our society as a whole.