Ecenbarger's Kids For Cash: Victimless Reform

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However, when emphasizing on the main theme of the devastation felt by the victims during the incarceration of the kids in the “kids for cash” scandal, the author juxtaposes repeatedly the victimized “good kids” with the “bad kids” that awaited them in the juvenile detention centers. Ecenbarger wrote that some girls were tough at the camp and were teenagers from the inner city convicted for violent crimes. However, others were also in the detention camp for stealing the credit cards of the fathers to purchase clothes and for bringing pocket knives unintentionally to school (Ecenbarger, 2012, p.9). Similarly, the author wrote that “there was no sinister gang that inspired Paige who is fifteen years old to throw a sandal to her mother when they had an argument…Paige did not understand why she was being interned at the detention camp with…show more content…
However, in overall the book of “Kids for Cash” is a riveting expose that brings out the need for reforms in the juvenile justice system that can be described as a system gone awry. The author incorporated seamlessly reform arguments and a plea for good practices by pointing out the things that did not work in Luzerne and suggesting what are known to work best with the kids. The book also examined adolescent’s psychological development and also provides critiques to policies of zero tolerance and the pipeline of school to prison. Ecenbarger (2012) believes that that evidence that support diversion and community-based services are much more effective in recidivism reduction compared to incarceration. Similarly, he considers research that illustrate the net negative effects of youth incarceration, arguments that discourage shackling, fiscal arguments for the reaction of incarceration of the youth, and the significance of due process protections and quality representations for the accused youths for the
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