Jamal and Tito should be considered juvenile delinquents, first and foremost, because of their ages (twelve). There are three categories of juveniles in New York based on age: 1) a juvenile delinquent who is accused of a crime and falls between the ages of seven and fifteen; 2) a juvenile offender who is an adolescent, aged thirteen through fifteen, and charged with a felony or other violent crime; 3) a youthful offender who is at least sixteen to eighteen years old.
Even though Jamal and Tito both committed violent crimes, neither one has yet reached the age of thirteen. For this reason, they should not be considered to be juvenile offenders, who face the possibility of being tried as adults. Aside from their ages, Jamal committed an assault, and Tito's crime was not premeditated. Based on their ages, intent, prior records, and the law in New York, Jamal and Tito should be tried as juvenile delinquents and not go to jail. Instead, the court should decide if they need treatment, supervision, or if they need a new home and placement through social services.
Besides, in 2017 the age of criminal responsibility was raised in NY. As a result, sixteen and seventeen-year-olds who would automatically be tried as adults are now being tried in the juvenile system. This change also strengthens the argument for prosecuting minors (much younger than 16), such as Tito and Jamal, within the juvenile system rather than as adults in the criminal justice system.