Alonza Thomas V. 21: Juvenile Justice System

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At the age of 16 years old Alonza Thomas, a typical teenage boy, was given a 13 year sentence for second degree armed robbery. It all started when he ran away from home; his mother was upset with him so he left to avoid dealing with the problem. He met someone while trying to find a place to stay and he offered him a place to sleep and some hot food. When Alonza had finally decided it was time for him to go home and face his mother, they demanded that he repay them somehow. They held him at gun point, making it apparent that they weren’t going to back down if he went against what they wanted. The repayment came in the form of a job, the robbery that ended up sending him to an adult prison. Alonza Thomas stated how they had made him feel that he had choice, “he came back out with a gun. And he said, “You think you’re gonna eat my food for free? Live in my house and just walk out? And things that come free like that? No, nothing’s free.” He said, “No, you’re gonna have to rob this store.”” Under a new law established in California, Proposition 21, more juveniles would be allowed for adult sentence. This law was created to help ward off gang related …show more content…

He does not possess a GED or a high school diploma; he also missed out on many experiences that could’ve helped prepare him for his adult life. Instead of doing what most his age would be doing, going to school and socializing with similar individuals, he went to jail and had to suffer isolation and socialize with people who couldn’t be considered the best of role models. Rather than changing him for the better, like prison in meant to do through processes of re-socialization, it broke him as a human-being and could have potentially made him a genuinely violent criminal. After returning home from his sentence he suffered emotional and mentally, getting defensive easily and quickly losing hope for his future

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