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In cases of Juvenile arrest, rehabilitation, not punishment should be stressed

Uploaded by Sloth44 on Nov 08, 2001

Why would our government try to hurt kids? Well, kids are being hurt right now. In America, rather than rehabilitation, punishment is being emphasized for juveniles who commit violent crimes. This way of thinking must stop with the addition of rehabilitation and prevention programs for juvenile offenders.

The FBI reported that the 5% of juvenile youths sent to adult prisons were eight times as likely to commit suicide. It has also been evident that those kids incarcerated with adults are also more likely to become repeat offenders. Legislation pending in congress now is debating whether to have children as young as 13 prosecuted and sentenced as adults for certain crimes.

However, if a 13 year old is imprisoned, how can he become a functional member of society upon his release? How will he create a positive lifestyle for himself? The real question is: How can he turn in any direction other than that of crime? He simple will not be able to. If a child is sent to a prison to stay in a cell for hours at a time, the only life he will know is the life he came from, not the life that could be his. When you lock up a 13-year old with a hardened adult criminal, he gets more than a cellmate, he gets a role model. Also, a prosecutor shouldn't have the privilege to decide what court a kid is placed in. A prosecutor has a built in bias; the decision should be left to a judge who would look in the best interest of the convicted person.

The goal of juvenile detention should be to rehabilitate and develop the individual. For example, Texas, a state notorious for being tough on criminals, since incorporating rehab opposed to imprisonment recidivism among teens is down every year since 1993. Appropriate educational skills need to be taught. Children need to be put in touch with their feeling through counseling. Juvenile offenders need to be exposed to role models from within their community and without. A sense of hope should be instilled so that the young offender is not resigned to the fate of a "second or third class citizen." Also, in a study conducted nationwide by the Justice Policy Institute violent youths go through treatment opposed to jail are 73% less likely to be rearrested than those without treatment.

More important than efforts to rehabilitate the offender would...

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Uploaded by:   Sloth44

Date:   11/08/2001

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   3 pages (596 words)

Views:   1689

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