Saving the Incarcerated: What to do With Juvenile Offenders
Incarcerated teens spend unnecessary time in prisons, and by the time they get out, most find it hard to jump back into life. What do with juvenile offenders has been a controversial issue for many years, because many people have debated whether children under 18 should be tried as adults and put in the adult jail system. juvenile are easily influenced and still learning right from wrong, so rather than spending meaningless time in jail with adults, juvenile should be able to partake in programs that rehabilitate them and help them to prevent future crimes.
Not only in adult jails but also juvenile facilities, children are put at higher risk of sexual and physical violence because they are so vulnerable. In many jail systems, authorities find it easier to put young felons in solitary confinement away from adults to try and and “protect” them but it makes them more likely to commit suicide and gives them anxiety plus can increase any mental disorders that they may have already had. This means the jail systems threaten the lives of juvenile, the guards and administration are not able to protect them there needs to be an alternative solution to jail because incarceration is to dangerous for these vulnerable juvenile whether they act tough or not.
Most children cannot be held accountable for their actions so convicting them as adults seems unjust. Studies show that the brain does not fully develop until the ages 20-25. This is why teens are not seen as adults until after 18. Children are not able to fully execute a crime the way an adult would, if most teens that commit crimes thought about their consequences and realized that they will have to waste some of their life in jail, they would think twice about doing so. As a juvenile we are dealing with peer pressure from society so our actions are very influenced by things going on around us.
A cost effective solution is needed in order to save taxpayers money and provide an education and rehabilitation for juvenile offenders. In many cases juvenile that have served their time are finding it hard to adjust to school or get a job like most adults. Especially nonviolent crimes, they are spending months to couple of years in jail where there are no opportunities for them to learn from their mistakes and quickly make better decision for themselves and community. An example of an alternative program is, after a sexting incident in Ohio, the county put together a program that allows juvenile to partake in a six month program to learn sexual boundaries and other educational skills over the course of time.
This topic is important because it is sad to see today’s youth being locked away for a long time not able to prosper when they finally get out of jail. A mother in Chicago told the story of how her son was arrested for a nonviolent crime and was beaten up by a group of gang members, the guards were not equipped to protect him. If a child killed my mom of course I would want them to be put away for life, but you have to realize that children are still developing and that they deserve a second chance to help them from committing more crimes.