Juvenile Crime Prevention
For centuries people have created the rules of morality, which have been changed during the history of human beings modified and adjusted to contemporary societies, putting the bricks of civilization one on another. Unfortunately, the more complicated civilization becomes the more extreme the violence becomes. A disturbing percentage of American children perform serious criminal offenses and are becoming a threat to the society. Juveniles are getting involved in the criminal world more and more, consequently forcing the government to take measures to now deal with higher rates of juvenile crime. Proposition 21 is especially effective with gang-related criminals, because gives the state the ability to try children as young as fourteen years of age as adults. If I had the opportunity to vote I would be for Proposition 21. Even though teenagers’ brain is not ready for this law, more and more violent crimes are committed by teenagers, which proves that the law before Proposition 21 didn’t have the potential to prevent this progress, w
As the reader could see from this essay I am in favor of Proposition 21, because “Youth should not be an excuse for murder or rape” (Argument 2). I assume this proposition was mostly directed to gang-organizations, since they are mostly the ones that are a growing threat to the society of California. The previous law can’t be applied any more, because there were other issues addressed creating it. Time factor plays a big role comparing the two laws. Now, only rehabilitation is not enough to straighten things out. The fear of getting just few years in a prison-like place doesn’t make the criminals think thoroughly enough not to commit crimes. That’s the reason I find the current law, a combination of correcting and deterring programs, be the way of fighting against the criminals who have yet not reached the age of maturity, but they are already involved in gang felonies. I can’t be totally sure but I suppose that whoever can be returned to the right path, he will, given the chance not to be punished until the limit of felonies, which is three. On the contrary, the ones who are over the borderline, are less likely to be straightened, so the best way to protect the society from suffering from other violent acts committed by the offenders.
According to the article “Argument in Favor of Proposition 21”, the latter “Doesn’t lock up kids for minor offenses, place minors in contact with adult inmates” (Argument 2). This fact refutes Michael Bochenek’s example brought into the article “ California’s Proposition 21”. A kid who was sent to an adult prison as the result of the existing law states that “Being here with adults, that ain’t going to rehabilitate me, it’s just teaching me to be a better criminal” (Bochenek 1). I can’t find out which argument corresponds to the reality, but I think even if the children are sent to adult prisons now, it will change by the time the controversies on Proposition 21 get milder. I hope that as soon as more and more people are convinced this law is effective, there would a better use of the resources targeting the rehabilitating programs.
One of the objectives of Proposition 21 is to rehabilitate and educate the teenage offenders who have not committed serious crimes but have performed not an exemplary and appropriate way of behaving. These children need a place to learn to distinguish the bad from the good, so when they are released they can be better humans. Some, including the people whose opinions were introduced in an article written by Alex Kotlowitz in The New Yorker magazine, argue that Proposition 21 would be “The general loss of faith in children and the rehabilitative idea” (Kotlowitz 1). I disagree, although I can never know how the system really works, and if the appropriate measures have been taken to try to educate and rehabilitate the ones who can be.
The development of the human brain is a dreadful factor in the issue of the punishment of juvenile crime. An opponent of Proposition 21, Kate Fogle, in her article named “Choosing Which Story To Tell” argues that the brain of a child under 18 is not fully developed and that “Setting the legal majority at 18 reflects the actual capacities of young people rather well” (Fogle 1). Also, the results of a research, shown in the article “ Foundation criticizes trend of trying kids in
Some topics in this essay:
Crime, California, Criminology, Pete Wilson, Alex Kotlowitz, Crimes, California Youth Authority, Criminal Law, Florida, Punishment,
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