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Juvenile Rehabilitation In Adult Prisons

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Imagine being a child imprisoned for committing a crime for which you did not understand the consequences. Alone and afraid, with only hardened criminals and psychopaths as adult role models, you live in fear. Through a vicious combination of physical, sexual, emotional, and mental abuse, there is no option but to turn back to crime as an adult, and continue the cycle. This is a daily reality for thousands of American juveniles. Yet, we continue to call it the juvenile justice system. Where is the justice in a system that allows juveniles to be made into victims of heinous crimes while not providing these children with necessary rehabilitation? Adult prisons are terrible environments for rehabilitation of juvenile criminals. Juveniles are at high risk for sexual abuse and suicide in prison. “Congressional findings in the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 posited that juveniles were five times as likely to be sexually assaulted in adult rather than in juvenile facilities - often within their first 48 hours of incarceration. Youth advocacy groups report that juveniles housed in adult facilities are 36 times more likely to commit suicide” (Parsell). This hostile environment leaves a lasting impression on a young prisoner's personality, making assimilation into…show more content…
Juveniles in prison face increased violence and sexual abuse, and are at much higher risks of committing suicide than juveniles in juvenile prisons. In addition, the number of released prisoners that turn back to crime is much higher for those that were juveniles in adult prisons. Juveniles will face the consequences of their actions in juvenile prisons, but will also be given a second chance to change their lives through rehabilitation. It is time to stop failing this nation’s juveniles and build a system that benefits not only these children, but society as a whole through the end of a vicious criminal
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