Negative Effects Of Juvenile Incarceration

1444 Words6 Pages
Childhood is generally associated with an age of innocence and a time without serious problems or worries. However, for thousands of children in America, this innocence has been taken away from them. Instead of having time to learn from their mistakes and develop naturally, they are placed in an environment that is harmful to their growth. Currently, in the United States around 60,000 children and teenagers under 18 are incarcerated and around 10,000 are in adult jails (“America’s Addiction to Juvenile Incarceration: State by State”)(Lahey). These children go through very different experiences than their peers outside jail walls, face many challenges during their time in jail, and have difficulty adapting upon release. Placing children and teenagers in jail results in negative effects rather than rehabilitation. The juvenile justice system in America is complex and varies from state to state, but the overarching purpose is to rehabilitate youth offenders. It processes nearly 1.7 million cases a year and overall handles most of them the same way (“Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System”). When those under age go to trial, their sentence often is decided by how likely they are to be rehabilitated and learn from their mistakes (“Juvenile justice”). Their cases are judged differently from those of adults, and juveniles are not charged with crimes, they instead commit “delinquent acts” (Michon). Most crimes committed by children are
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