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Over the years an uncontrollable amount of crimes among juveniles has become a vast problem over the United States. Crimes were once thought to happen in the urban city, but as of today this problem is not just for the inner cities. Violence has spread through the suburban areas. More people are spending a lot of money trying to control the issue on their own. People today have purchase everything they can to battle crime. Women are carrying mace; people are having alarms installed on their vehicles and homes. Residents are having burglar bars installed on their homes. Many schools have now place metal detectors at all entrances to try to manage the overpowering effects of violence. Nevertheless, these efforts are not enough to defeat the effects of violence. There is a lot of jail and court information to show that there is a wide variety of criminals in jail. There is no longer a conventional profile for a juvenile criminal. However, the majority of the criminals still come from the inner city. Due to a predictable rise in the number of 15 to 19 year olds, the situation will continue to get worse if better plans aren't found. The American juvenile justice system is believe to be the system that prevents juveniles from committing crimes, but the system was designed over 100 years ago to prevent negligible crimes from occurring. The current system throughout the United States allows juveniles to receive a less severe penalty than an adult who is convicted of the same crime.
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Juvenile Delinquent: Juvenile Crimes
The current system in some states throughout the United States does not allow juveniles to be prosecuted as an adult until they are eighteen unless a separate hearing is held to prove the juvenile should be prosecuted as an adult. The uncontrollable juvenile violence taking place in society today made it impossible to continue with the same system of justice.
Possible solutions to help the problem
To unravel the problems of teenage violence we need to reinforce legislature against the juvenile criminals, at the same time as adding some rehabilitation to the situation. Many states need to lower the age a juvenile so juveniles can be tried as an adult from eighteen (in most situations) to fourteen. I thought on the age of fourteen because of statistics show many murders occurred by juveniles under the age of eighteen, and not as many were committed by kids under fourteen. Numerous people have the observation that juveniles are not being lock up in America. This is simply not the case. According to LaCavo over the past years, there has been an increase of over 100,000 juveniles that have been locked up for committing violent acts, but many criminals continue to escape the police (LaCayo 12/2/94). There are four areas in the system to be worked on to improve the system those areas are to strengthen education, apprehension, judicial process, and the prison system. If these areas are enhanced, then the general juvenile justice system will advance.
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First suggestion is education. There is a essential dispute with not much opposition. The specifics support the information that a child with a quality level of education is as likely to commit a crime as a child without the education. According to Dillingham it is imperative because nearly one of every four inmates are in jail for a drug offense (Dillingham 6). Different programs need to be initiated while the children are in elementary school, because the high-risk kids are dropping out of school by the time they are in high school, when most of the serious drug classes are required. There should to be more money allocated to the poorer school districts to give their children a better opportunity. Youth in high-risk settings deserve more money because "youth from low-income families and neighborhoods are at greater risk of education failure than their more wealthy suburban counterparts" (National 7). After the children are in custody, we need to educate them in prison. A part of this proposal would identify for every juvenile convicted of a violent crime to pass the high school equivalency exam, G.E.D. before they can return to the public. For these reasons, we need to improve our education, especially in lower income areas, to help educate the children against crime.
The second suggestion comes in the form of apprehension. Town leaders should consider hiring more law enforcement. Cities need the extra law enforcement protection because violence is the number one concern of most cities. These law enforcement officers need to be placed in the urban areas. This is because crime is more prone to take place in the urban areas, which are mainly populated by minorities. In fact, African Americans are five times
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more expected to be victims of crimes than whites (Swartz 89). My basic belief in hiring more law enforcement officers to fight juvenile crime is "if there are fewer criminals on the street, then the improved society can function."
The third suggestion would have to do with the judicial process. The age a adolescent can be tried as an adult for violent crimes should be changed to fourteen. This would eradicate the great amount of cases that decide if a adolescents is fit to be tried as an adult, this also would help the courts operate more rapidly and cheaper. By sentencing these adolescents as adults, they would receive the same cruel sentences that adults would receive for the same crime. Also, give the judges the authority to prosecute to the fullest extent to the harshest of the adolescent to send a message to other juveniles. These legal changes should help the court system move quicker with more authority.
The final suggestion would be to construct a large adolescent prison to hold the criminals from the age of fourteen to eighteen. The separate prison would be used to separate the young criminals from the older criminals. This would be an effort to keep them away from some of the awful influences in an adult prison, in order to give the juveniles a better chance to recover themselves. The facility would be under the Department of Corrections, not the Department of Juvenile Justice. The department of juvenile justice simply does not work. It is too moderate on the criminals. According to Gil Garcetti, the district attorney of Los Angeles,
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the juvenile justice system should be replaced with one that protects society from violent juvenile criminals and efficiently rehabilitates youths who can saved and the system must be able to differentiate between the two" (Lacayo 12/2/94).
The facility would fundamentally a two-part facility. The first part of the facility would be the actual cells as a regular prison. This would be used to give the juveniles a good look at life on the inside. The facility would treat the juveniles just as they would adult prisoners, which would teach the juveniles the cruel reality of prison life. The second and equally important part of the facility would be a treatment center. These criminals are kids and still have hope for a better future. This facility would be used to try to educate the criminals on unconventional ways of life. It would educate them on many of the issues that the criminals are in the prison for such as drugs, murder, and rape. The facility would also serve as a high school for the inmates. They would be required to attend a ordinary amount of classes and receive their G.E.D., before the individual would be qualified to leave the prison. This facility would give the inmates the best chance to endure on the outside because they would be educated on the proper way to function in society, while still fearing life being incarcerated.
In order to give explanation for such an exclusive solution, each city will need to talk to their citizens. Almost three out of every four citizen think that crime is the number one problem facing their city (Swartz 90). The plans projected are strong, but they are essential. Youth are in the most dangerous group of citizens. Homicide rates have been obtainable in the age range of 25 and older, but there are still an increasing number of homicides taking place in the age group of 14-24 (National 4). To regulate or improve our education, funds need to be allocated from the richer school districts and transfer it to the less affluent districts. I think the general public would be willing to spend more, in terms of city taxes, for better security. This would create the addition of many new law enforcement officers that should be trained expansively in juvenile crime. The legal transformation would be the hardest to apply. However, one of the major reasons Governor-Elect George W. Bush's successes in defeating Ann Richards turned out to be his tough views on crime in Texas. The Governor-Elect had already planned ideas of strenuous fourteen year olds as adults (Hollandsworth 112). In order to give reason for the judicial proposes Texas need to make changes new legislation to put an end to the colossal amounts of appeals of the court. The court would then be allowed to operate smoother and faster. In terms of the death penalty, it would be implemented because juveniles do care about being killed. According to District Attorney Gil Garcetti when interviewing a child on the subject of murders, we asked if he (the child) could be killed for murdering one person. Garcetti replied, "No." The child asked, "How about two?" Garcetti replied "No." "Three?" "No." (LaCayo 12/2/94). Youth clearly fear the death penalty, and implementing it could help prevent ridiculous murders from occurring (LaCayo 12/2/94). No one ever hears about juvenile criminals being executed in the United States. Texas should make a statement by executing some of the cruelest juvenile offenders in the State. This is not an perverse suggestion. Texas leads the nation in recent executions by executing seventeen individuals last year, nearly half of the total number executed in the United States last year (Woodberry 24). Also, in order to help fund the proposed prison, Texas would need to generate some more money. However, the new crime bill , which has been passed through Congress allocates money for a large number of programs including the prison system (Crime Bill sec. 20101). This would help fund this enormous prison, but it would not be enough. Furthermore, Governor-Elect George W. Bush is already prepared to construct new prisons. He has said, "The main concern is building more prison facilities and getting these criminals off the streets" (Hollandsworth...p.112). There has also a proposed to cutting millions of dollars from drug treatment programs in adult prisons, some of that money can allocated to help prevent juvenile crime (Hollandworth 113). Some of these funds could be used to fund the new prison facilities. There would also be other options of raising money. This proposal would ask that all working citizens on probation to pay a monthly fine for their crime. If the citizens pay a fine of $30 a month, then Texans could produce $450 million annually (Finn 17). Bush had also vow to change the renowned Ruiz ruling, which makes the cost of operating prisons exceptionally high (Hollandsworth 113). The program is necessary because there are many resourceful ways of lessening the financial burden that this proposal would present to Texas' economy.
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In conclusion, there is a need to cut down on the violent crimes at almost any cost. The planned proposal will take millions of dollars and a extended amount of time to put into operation However, the citizens need the program because society cannot function with the overpowering amount of violence in today's world. The programs call for drastic changes in education, apprehension of juvenile criminals, the legal system, and the prison system. It is not difficult to anticipate to be economically able to hold a juvenile prisoner for a long period of time. Nevertheless with this program, the prisoners would be released on an inducement agenda. The prisoners would have to serve a practical amount of time in a stringent prison, but they would be eligible to be released at the earliest possible time, if they completed their programs. With humanizing these areas, we would still not be able to resolve the problem, but I think it would be the best program that could sensibly be implemented.
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