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Juvenile Violence is on the rise Juvenile violence has become one of the biggest problems we have in the United States. It is thought to be a big problem in the urban city, but it is not just a problem in the inner city. The problem has spread to the suburban areas as well. People are trying to defend themselves by purchasing everything they can to fight against juvenile crime. Women arm themselves with mace, they put car alarms and clubs on their cars, houses are equipped with security systems and steel bars , some of the bigger schools have metal detectors to control all of the school violence. (Defending 93). Even with us doing all of these things, it is still not enough to stop all of the violence that is going on around us. The court dockets shows that there is a large assortment of criminals in jail. It is estimated that there will be a 36% increase that the problem will get worse by the year 2008 for juveniles between the ages of 12 to 19 if we do not do something to stop it. To stop teenage violence we need to toughen the laws against the juvenile criminals, and to rehabilitate to them. The age needs to be changed to 14 years old for children who commit violent crimes. If a violent crime is committed the juvenile should be tried as an adult. Out of the 460 murders that happened in California, kids under the age of fourteen committed only seventeen of those murders (Black 2009). I know that there are a lot of people who think that these juveniles shouldn't be locked up in prisons. Due to the rise in juvenile crime rates something new needs to be done. Juveniles perpetrated 137,000 more violent crimes in 1994 than they did in 1985, and were responsible for 26 percent of the growth in violent crime during that period, including 48 percent of the increase in rapes and 35 percent of the increase in murders. In 1995, we had a record 1.7 million "delinquency" cases. " (Black 2009). My proposal is that we need to strengthen our education system, prison system, the court system, and how we apprehend juveniles. When these changes happen then our system will get better. Our juvenile crime rate will drop and our citizens can be safe.
The first thing we need to improve is our education system. Drug programs need to be taught in all of our school systems, it needs to start at a young age. Students don't drop our of school till at least the high school level. It is a known fact that people with a higher education make more money, and commit crimes less.
We also need to allocate money to the poorer school districts to give their children a fighting chance. Because adolescents that live in low income neighborhoods are at a higher risk than the juveniles in the suburbs" (Frontline 2009). After the kids are caught and sent to prison, we need to make sure they are educated them in prison. Before the juvenile can be returned to society, they will have to get their G.E.D.
We need to build a prison that would only hold juveniles from the age they were caught to the age of 18. The reason for this is to separate the juveniles from the older harsher criminals. In an adult prison they will learn bad habits from the adult inmates and some might even become the inmates "toys". The juvenile will be better off with criminals their own age and with rehab. The department of Juvenile Justice I think is to easy on juvenile so it just doesn't work. The prison then would be ran by the Department of Correction. This is the same system that runs the adult prisons. The prison would be set up just like the adults prisons so the juveniles would see what it is like. This might deter them from commenting another crime when they are released. The prison would also have a rehab center. In the rehab center they would go to school to earn their G.E.D and teach them skills that will help them when they are released. The hope here is that they would be scared to go back to prison and also learn life skills so they could function when released.
We also need to hire more police officers. We need to make sure that we put police place officers in urban areas because the crime rate is higher in the urban areas, due to the large population of minorities. African - Americans are five times more likely to be victims of crimes by their own race than whites (Kingston 2009) The age would be 14 for anyone who commits a violent crime. There would be no more trying to decide if the case should be held in an adult court. If they commit a violent crime, they would be tried as an adult and get a stiffer sentence. If the crime is violent enough than I think that the judge should be able to give the juvenile the death penalty just as if they were adults. This should make other juvenile stop and think before they commit a violent crime.
I know that my proposal is somewhat drastic but we need to make our cities safe for all of its citizens. For criminals age 25 and up the murder rate has dropped. The rate is going up for criminals ages 14 and up. (Frontline 2009). We need to improve our school systems, I think we need to use the money from the lottery. The lottery was started for that reason so why not use the money to better our schools. I know that I would be willing to pay more taxes in order to feel and be safe. Then we would put police officers that would be trained in juvenile crime into each school. Some of the other ways to raise money would be for all the people who are on probation to also to pay a weekly or monthly fine for the crimes that they committed. Think how much money that would be to go for paying for our safety.
Implementing this proposal would take a lot of money to get started but I think that the United States needs this. Our youth are getting totally out of hand. It would take years for this proposal to show any benefits. Problems like these are not going to be fixed in a day. This proposal I am sure would not be accepted by a lot of people. These people think that the program we have in place now like sending them to boot camp. The boot camps do not seem to be working. If these were working than we would not have such a big rise in juvenile crimes. When I went to school, I did not have to worry about someone bringing a gun into school. Today you hear about someone with a gun almost monthly. The children have been told that it is illegal to bring guns to school but you hear that even kids in elementary, and middle school doing it also. That is because the penalties are not harsh enough to deter these children from doing it. Children today are into drinking, illegal, and prescription drugs. Drugs leads these children to commit these crimes to help pay for their drug habits.
So in order to make the United States a safe place for everyone I think that if we would implement what I have proposed then we would all be better off. We need to stop all of the violence no matter what we have to pay in taxes. What are your children's or your life worth to you? We cannot continue to function with all of the violence we have today. My proposal does have some major changes that have to be implemented like the changes we need in our education system, the new prisons for juveniles with a rehab center, the need for more police officers in all of our cities, our court system, and how we deal with the juveniles. The new prison system would make the juveniles serve time for their crimes in a age appropriate prison. After they have finished the rehab, center requirements they could be released earlier just like the adult prisoners would get out earlier for good behavior. So by implementing what my proposal suggest then we could solve the problems that we have today with juvenile crimes.