Causes Of Juvenile Incarceration

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Juvenile Incarceration is an epidemic in America that has no chance of slowing down without the support and changes from the government. One problem contributing to this issue is that the justice system focuses mainly on punishing the juvenile offender through prison time, instead of taking preventative measures and supporting rehabilitation. Imprisoning juveniles is not only ineffective, as evidenced by the high recidivism rates, but it is also extremely expensive. The average annual cost of housing one juvenile in jail is $88,000. That number multiplied by the number of incarcerated juveniles, equates to an end cost to the government of approximately 21 billion dollars. Rather than trying to sustain these growing costs for incarceration,…show more content…
Factors such as, environmental, psychological, and social aspects are all possible contributing parts of the problem. One of the more prevalent reasons are socially related factors. These include family relationships, peer pressure, and gangs. Oftentimes, the combination of hormonal changes and a bad family life, are a good mix for trouble in a juvenile. If a child grows up in a home with “...poor parental management, poor supervision, [and] inconsistent discipline, they are at a greater chance of being involved in illegal activities. The way a family is constructed and runs contributes to the issue as well. For example, children who grow up in single parent households are (__twice___) as likely to become incarcerated than others who grew up in a two person one. If this household has a parent that is/has been incarcerated their chances of becoming incarcerated themselves has increased by (_____) percent. The toll of an incarcerated parent on their child is not favorable. Not only is the child at a disadvantage support wise, but also financially. This is further supported through demographics. As poverty increases for a family, so does the rate of incarceration. By being in a single parent home, with only one income, and an established predilection towards the prison system, the risk of incarceration is amplified. A key proponent that goes hand-in-hand towards juveniles becoming incarcerated is gang…show more content…
The people who are affected the most and the reasons behind their actions have been already established. The next step would be to tailor these programs and instill them. Although I know that funding these programs would come at a substantial investment in the beginning, it would pay off in more than one way in the end. As stated previously, the cost of incarcerating juveniles is 21 billion dollars. By making an investment in the future of incarcerated juveniles, and pouring an increased amount of money into preventative programs it will cut down the number of incarcerated juveniles in the future. This in turn reduces both the number of prisoners and the cost of caring/housing them. An estimated fifty to seventy-five percent of juveniles who are incarcerated become later incarcerated again. As states divert young people who commit less serious offenses from confinement and into alternative supervision and service programs in the community, they reduce the risks that such individuals will become hardened criminals as they grow up.” Creating more programs could have the impact of cutting down that statistic and not only make society more productive, but also use government money more effectively. There are some organizations and programs around the country that have already tried making a significant impact. For instance, The Youth Outreach Services (YOS) organization provides help to

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