The 57 Bus Essay

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Crime runs rampant. This is common knowledge. You hear about the old lady who was mugged walking through a subway station. Or the bank in your neighborhood that was broken into. The child that went missing a town over. The man who was shot and killed last night. The house that was set on fire. Everyday, a person willingly chooses to make somebody else’s life a living nightmare. The question remains, how do we stop this within our country? The answer, however, is quite simple. In order to eliminate crime, we must recognize the negligence that lies within the juvenile prison system. These major criminals often started out in the juvenile system, so if they receive the help they need as teenagers, we can curb the negative behavior and diminish …show more content…

In the nonfiction book The 57 Bus, a teenage boy named Richard becomes a product of his environment and makes a decision that leads to his imprisonment. He grew up in the side of town filled with murder and gangs. In his town, it would’ve been a challenging accomplishment to just graduate high school. This environment likely influenced his risky behavior. When he was sent to prison however, the center he was located in placed a large emphasis on self reform. They didn’t just let him deteriorate in a cell. They introduced him and his mother to a method called Restorative Justice, where the participants simply just share their feelings to reconcile over a situation(Source 1). Sending someone that young and impressionable to prison will often just turn them into, yet again, a product of their environment. However, in this book, the Restorative Justice program along with the education he is receiving allow Richard to excel. The 57 Bus clearly proves how it is possible for incarcerated teens to excel when in a facility if they are given the proper help to recognize where they went wrong. Giving these kids a chance to reevaluate their choices and recognize where change should be made, and then make the change, is extremely beneficial. Many of these teens also suffer from mental illnesses, which typically become a large reasoning behind their choices. As of 2013, 70% of detained youth have some sort of mental disorder(Source 6). If the detention centers they are being housed in had some sort of mental health resources or workers who could help, they may be able to figure out where the negative behavior stems from. Many people, especially those who are in jail, don’t have access to mental health resources such as a therapist or some sort of counseling. Some

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