The book Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, by Nell Bernstein is a compelling expose on the inherent evil of juvenile detention facilities. In her eye-opening account of the danger that lies within locking up this nation’s youth, Bernstein utilizes a plethora of rhetorical strategies to urge her audience to recognize and act on her claim. In writing this account on the heinousness of juvenile detention centers and why the system as a whole must be reformed, Bernstein uses personal cause and effect examples, studies and statistics, as well as concrete refutations to advocate the world for change.
There are indication that most criminals have a juvenile records in the US, indicating that crime manifests from a tender age. Therefore, to reverse the incidence of crime, it follows that the best strategy is to reduce the criminal orientation in the juvenile offenders as opposed to hardening them and preparing them for criminal careers. The case of the Crossroads Juvenile Center demonstrates the willingness of the juvenile justice systems to make these changes on the children.
The face of American crime has evolved from adults to the not so innocent faces of adolescence. In today’s society, it is not uncommon for people to fear just walking into public places because they don’t know what horrendous actions may occur due to the indifferent, disrespectful actions of some of America’s youth. Parents are often hesitant to send their children to school because they feel that they cannot trust their child’s fellow classmates. This lack of trust and apprehension was evident in Wisconsin, where two thirteen year old girls attempted to murder one of their fellow classmates. Their reasoning was that they were trying to imitate a fictional character that they saw on the internet. These two young girls were tried as adults
This issue led to what is now resulting in mass incarceration. Mass incarceration has been shown to affect mostly poor and minorities. Individuals living in poverty are not afforded the same royalties as those who are not in poverty. They are more willing to commit crimes because of their lack of fortune. The crime rate is more prone to be in urban communities, which hold a significant number of minorities. Within the urban communities, negative perceptions are magnified. Adolescents are more prone to be a product of their environment, especially those whose parents are incarcerated. Because of this trend adolescents are being incarcerated at an alarming rate and sentenced to adult facilities. Lambie & Randall (2013) states, the United States have imposed harsher penalties on serious young offenders, and have consequently increased rates of incarcerated youth and made it easier for youth to be treated and incarcerated as adults within the justice
While the courts were ensuring that the Bill of Rights applied to young people as well as adults, juvenile crime was rising in America, making it a serious national problem. Between 1960 and 1973, juvenile arrests for violent offenses and other crimes rose by 144 percent (Roth, 2011). Youth 18 and younger accounted for 45 percent of the arrests for serious crime and 23 percent of arrests for violent crimes (Jones and Krisberg, 1994). Burglaries and auto theft were found to be committed overwhelmingly by minors (Jones and Krisberg, 1994). The peak age for arrests for violent crime was discovered to be 18, and the peak age for property crime was 16 (Jones and Krisberg, 1994).
justice model, the crime control model, and the balanced and restorative justice model. The Parens
Basil, Williams, Clover, Daniels, Robertson, Edwards, and Smith (2009) found that children who are abused are more likely to abuse their own children.
Two other theories are discussed in chapter 12 regarding drugs and crime: drug enslavement theory and general deviance syndrome theory. The book states that according to drug enslavement theory, “Drug users are forced into a life of crime because they cannot afford to pay for their drug habits unless they use crime to get money for their next fix” (Thio, 2013, pg. 311). The book states that according to general deviance syndrome theory, “The high correlation between drug use and crime does not mean that drug use causes crime because most drug users with a criminal record have committed crime before using drugs” (Thio, 2013, pg. 311). Both theories suggest that using drugs and committing crimes are related. Therefore, if marijuana use is legalized, the assumption can be made that there would essentially be some kind of decline in crime in regard to marijuana charges. This would, in turn, shift the idea of marijuana use as a negative, deviant act to the view of marijuana use being a more positive impact for
The Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention and Protection Act (JJDPA) was established in 1974 and was the first federal law that dealt comprehensively with juvenile delinquency to improve the juvenile justice system and support state and local efforts at delinquency prevention. This paper will assess the JJDPA and summarize its purpose and implementation and enforcement. Next, there will be a discussion of the historical context of the policy; followed by a focus of the latent consequences. Finally there will be a vignette as to how this Act has affected a person or family as well as personal reflection toward the policy.
In the United States prisons there are two thousand juveniles serving life without parole before, the age of eighteen. Only one of a few countries in the world allows children, to be sentenced to prison without release. And, the United States is one of them holding young teens accountable for their actions. But, there is accordance with age, stage development and how their cases should be dealt with in court. There are an estimated twenty-six percent of juveniles sentenced to prison for life convicted with felony murder. There is fifty-nine percent serving life without parole with a first time sentence. For example, there are twenty-six states that sentence life without parole being mandatory for anyone. So may feel, there is a racial issue
In order to prevent individuals from committing crimes its best to keep these individuals preoccupied with important things. For example, from my own personal experience I joined the wrestling team to keep me busy and to help keep me in shape. But it also taught me self discipline and determination. In addition it saved me from a bad path I was heading to. If the city provided funds for kids to join school groups and provided money for programs, more kids would be off the streets and doing something productive. It’s really hard to understand our standpoint if they don’t know the city we come from or our hardships that we endure due to low income and violence. In the article“Dehooding the hoodies; Youth work. This article talks about the system is failing to give teenagers the help they need to avoid committing crimes. It is plausible that if the city put more interest in preventing crime, there would be less depressive kids, or kids committing crimes. We must also put into consideration what happens to the young criminal after they come out of jail. In addition, in the article “Delinquent youth in corrections: Medicaid and reentry into the community,Gupta Ravindra talks about how the juvenile delinquent isn’t given mental help to be readmitted into the community. Thus leads to the assumption that
The book provides various opposing viewpoints regarding the cause of juvenile crime and how the criminal justice system should treat juvenile offenders. Each argument highlights the main risk factors for juvenile crime. For example, gang plays a large part of juvenile violence. Some teens become gang members because they feel a sense of belonging and protection. Therefore, the community should focus on building strong relationship and positive role-models. Other critics claim adult prison is not appropriate for juvenile offenders and should find better alternatives.
A theory that explains juvenile delinquency is the Psychological theory. This theory focuses on the personality of the offenders rather than biological or social situations. This theory easily explains juvenile delinquency when looking at the three interrelated parts of the personality- id, ego, and superego. The id is the part of the personality that is supposed to destroy aggression which usually controlled as a person grows and learns social norms and rules; however, an over aggressive person may have an under regulated id which could cause them to be violent. The superego gives you feelings of guilt and knowing right from wrong yet some might not have that. The psychological theory shows that when looking at different aspects of the personality, everyone is wired differently and that could be the cause of the delinquent behavior.
Juvenile Delinquency is a phenomenon that affects communities worldwide according to media reports, both print and electronic, where worrying images of youths involved in behavior outside societal norm has been highlighted. This issue has been studied by researchers locally, regionally and internationally where results has shown that delinquency has been influenced by a number of factors such as age, gender, race, family circle, environment, socioeconomic status et cetera.
Siegel, L. &. (1988). Juvenile Delinquency: Theory, Practice and Law (3rd ed.). United States of America: West Publishing Company.