Juvenile Crime Concepts Review
The article I selected is from The Crime Report and was published on November 18, 2019. The article focuses on the frustrations, risks and impact of teenagers that commit minor crimes and then become “trapped” in the adult criminal justice system (TCR Staff). What lead me to choose this article is that it had the full Texas report embedded in the article which provided additional real examples of people directly impacted by Texas’ failure to raise the age of juveniles being placed in the adult system (Texas Criminal Justice Coalition). This essay will provide a summary of the readings mentioned and provide some linkages to the learnings from the textbook and class learning.
The article in question, titled Teens Behind Bars: ‘I Felt Like I Was Losing My Mind, tells the story of three young men whose lives were disfigured by unusually harsh prison sentences and violent living conditions. All three men got convicted when they were underage teenagers for minor offences. Leon (names changed) was arrested on the grounds of marijuana possession when he was seventeen. During his seven-and-a-half years prison sentence, Leon was subjected to abuse and poor treatment from prison guards. His imprisonment made him miss out on significant events in his family’s life such as the birth of his baby brother. Leon could not call home to hear from his parents, and when he protested that unreasonable prohibition, he ended up in solitary confinement – a psychologically torturing experience for any person, not to mention a teenager.
Jose was sentenced to five many years in prison whenever he was 17. The court’s judgment was heavily affected by the proven fact that it was the particular teenager’s second offence. Similar to Leon, Jose was traumatized simply by what he encountered in prison. Right after release, he talked out concerning the turned system that does not work out to treat teens with fairness plus execute restorative instead of punitive justice. Finally, Jeremiah, who received a prison sentence for battery and aggravated assault, was pushed to the brink of suicide. At the age of seventeen, Jeremiah was put through the ordeal that is solitary confinement and was denied parole. The man reports that at some point, he was holding a blade in his hands, ready to take his own lives.
These tragic stories of young adults facing the harsh reality of the criminal justice system reveal the horrifying truth and inconsistencies in Texas legislation. As Texas Criminal Justice coalition reports, what Leon, Jose, and Jeremiah were confronted with in prison was far from rare or exceptional. In fact , in Texas, the use of brute force against prisoners is ubiquitous. As Texas Criminal Justice Coalition reports, between 2008 and 2017, Texas prisons saw a 50% upstick in the number of use-of-violence cases.
The overwhelming majority of teenagers recount prison violence as the most terrifying reality of confinement. As TCR staff reports, kids in adult jails and prisons are far more likely to be physically or sexually assaulted. What is even more concerning is that as opposed to kids in juvenile detention facilities, underage prisoners are 36 times more likely to commit suicide.
Apart from poor conditions and guards’ abuse of power, there are more problems to juvenile jurisdiction. As Jose pointed out in his story, teenagers are not given enough chances to remorse and rehabilitate. TCR staff argues that it is a great mistake on the system’s part because teenagers’ brains are characterized by higher plasticity and malleability. Misconduct at a young age does not have to define a young person’s entire life. It is considered that teenagers are usually corrigible: they may be taught in order to behave and follow the law. Because Fuller states, the system designed particularly for teenagers may remove the judgment around deviant conduct and begin an truthful conversation concerning the problem (48). Restorative proper rights has the energy not to only tackle the “symptoms” yet also locate the particular cause for wrong doings and eradicate this.
Another problem concerns 17 yr old teenagers in specific: because they are on the particular verge to be associated with age, they are usually treated unpredictably simply by the system. Tx Criminal Justice Parti reports that due to the fact of Texas laws, judges have the particular capacity to either deliver teenagers to teen courts or deal with them as grownups. Within the report, this says that presently there are practically simply no clear guidelines in order to handle juvenile wrong doings: incidents are handled on a case-to-case basis. What exacerbates the problem further will be that following the police arrest, some teenagers are not able to even reach in order to their families. Just in case they result in the adult proper rights system, they are usually defenseless and susceptible to abuse plus manipulations. Teenagers are usually actively harmed simply by current legislation whenever all they require is redirection within life.
Restorative justice strategy is the century-old concept that will has yet to become fully adopted from the Texas courts. The content Teens Behind Pubs: ‘I Felt Such as I Was Dropping My Mind’ catches three tragic tales of teenagers in whose lives were damaged by the program. Leon, Jose, plus Jeremiah received abnormally long and severe prison sentences with regard to minor offences plus were treated such as adults in courtroom despite being underage. All men had been traumatized by the particular experience, with 1 of them actually ideating suicide. The particular article and extra materials clearly display that the present system is unable to start since it does even more harm than great. Teenagers need in order to have an opportunity for rehabilitation plus not be uncovered to prison encounter, absence of lawful representatives, and guards’ violence.
Fuller, Steve. Introduction in order to Criminal Justice: The Brief Edition. Oxford University Push, 2019.
TCR Staff. “Teens Behind Bars: ‘I Felt Like We Was Losing The Mind. ’” The Crime Report: Your own Criminal Justice Network. 2019. Web.
Texas Criminal Proper rights Coalition. Seventeen within the adult Justice Program: Profiles of Individuals Directly Impacted simply by Texas’ Failure in order to Raise the Age group, 2019.