Custom «Teens in Jail» Essay Paper Sample
According to the Free Online Dictionary, a teen refers to “…any individual whose age ranges from thirteen years to nineteen years...” It also refers to the numbers which run from 13 through to 19. In addition, the Free Online Dictionary refers to a teenager as being a juvenile that is between the onset of puberty and the stage of maturity, or simply a young person who is not fully developed. It also defines a jail as being “…a place for the confinement of individuals in lawful custody or detention, especially when waiting for trial under local jurisdiction…” or simply put, it is a detention in jail. It is not a good idea to put the teens in prison. It should neither be assumed that the best thing to do whenever the teens commit a crime is to be punished, but not to be put in jail. This paper, therefore, seeks to ascertain why putting teens in jail for small non-violent crimes only ruins their lives rather than enhance it (Miller E, et al 179).
Preventative approaches rather than curative approaches should be applied with a view of reducing instances of both violent and small non-violent crimes in the society. Help should be provided to the teens with a view of making them grow up into the responsible adulthood. This is because given the fact that the teens are young people who don’t know how to differentiate the right from the wrong, putting them in jail is like punishing innocent minds who can’t comprehend their crimes in totality (White 339).
It is also a fact that most of the teens that are put in jail can’t understand the law, and thus, when they do some mistakes; they can’t realize. Some of such mistakes are against the law and could easily lead them to jail. The governments all over the world should, therefore, foster such young people or teens and not jail them for minor offenses or crimes. In most circumstances, most of the teens are not aware of the crimes they commit, until they are put in the jail. The truth dawns on such youth who can only be found crying because of the pathetic situation they found themselves in when put in the jail. For instance, in the book of “Monster”, Steve asserts that the best time for crying is at night, when all the lights in the jail have been put out, while someone is being beaten up, while he screams for help. Given the fact that most of the teens put in jail are still young, they get so scared and scare the jail, because they don’t want to get themselves into prison (King 20).
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Given the reality that the teens will obviously interact with other adults while in jail, these young people will, for instance, train with bad adults, while not knowing their real intentions. Eventually, the adults in the jails will utilize the teens into doing something wrong, and thus, landing them into more problems. The teens have young minds, and thus, they lack the reasoning capacity to discover, if indeed, other people were using or utilizing them. Due to this fact, the teens should not be put in jail, because of their young and limited reasoning capacities. Instead of jailing the teens, the government should focus on avoiding the causes behind the crimes committed by the teens. This can best be addressed through the Youth Criminal Justice Act or the YCJA, which was introduced on the 1st of April 2003. This was a legislation that was aimed at balancing the legalistic structures of the Young Offenders Act through addressing the social needs that underlie the causes of crimes committed by the young people, and in particular, the teens (Williams 133).
The Youth Criminal System should play its role vibrantly in preventing the criminal acts through addressing pertinent issues which underlie the teens’ offending behaviors. This can best be done through the rehabilitation of the teens, and eventually, reintegrating them back into the society instead of taking them to jail. In order to avoid taking such youths to jail, such youths or teens should be subjected towards meaningful consequences for the offenses that may be committed by them, so as to protect the public through the long-term protection strategies. Failure by such systems to perform the work they are entitled to has been attributed to the numerous crime rates among the teens. Due to such reasons, the teens should not be sent to jail because of the inability of government systems to efficiently perform their functions or tasks. Instead, such systems should be held accountable for their deeds, and therefore, look for amicable solutions for solving the problems faced by teens, instead of using jails as a place for resolving the teen-related problems (Jacobs 43).
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Young people or teens should not be put in jail for small crimes that are non-violent in nature, as this will greatly ruin their future lives. Instead, the society should aim at dealing with problems or causes which initially make such teens be put in jail, since it has been discovered that such causes are so simple, and thus, can be solved amicably before some crimes are committed. For instance, some socially constructed school violence can be controlled, if all stakeholders understood the concept of socially constructed violence. Understanding what constitutes socially constructed violence will make such individuals coming from different or various social locations, social class, gender, age and race have varied perspectives regarding what is violent. Structural and personal forms of violence faced by administrators, teachers, students and staff where teens spend most of their times should be discussed, and amble solutions devised, so as to avoid situations where the society will assume that the best place a teen found in any action of wrong doing should be placed is the jail. All stakeholders should, therefore, work hand in hand to ensure that cases where a resolve is made to put any teen in society to jail are greatly minimized or reduced (Williams 133).
Putting teens in jail for non-violent crimes can greatly ruin their future, because the young people’s minds are normally affected psychologically, once they are put in jail, and this can negatively impact on their concentration in class. Given the fact that most of the young people or teens put in jail are barely through with most of their schooling, experiences prevalent in jail negatively affect them, and thus, lower their rate of concentration in the class work. This eventually leads to adults who are not well-educated, and thus, lack the meaningful jobs. The prevalence of illiterate adults in the society can be attributed to the teens who failed to concentrate fully in class, because of ordeals that were prevalent in jails. As a result, such individuals may resort to violent crimes like, for instance, car jacking, robberies and even murder, in order to make their ends meet. While governments may seem to like the notion that by putting the teens in jail for small non violent crimes they have committed will greatly enhance their future lives; this indeed is the opposite, since their future will be eventually ruined on a long-term basis when they fail to secure the meaningful employment. They will instead resort to violent crimes to cater for their families, once they reach adulthood (Crosby 48).
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It can be well ascertained that, indeed, putting the teens in jail does not only worsen their dreams in life, but also ruins their future lives. It is through the article that it can be argued that, instead of putting the youths who in most cases don’t understand their crimes in jail; governments should instead make efforts at addressing the root causes behind the crimes committed by teens. For instance, rehabilitating the teens addicted to drugs will address the long-term problems of committing both violent and non violent crimes in the society, and therefore, greatly enhance their future lives. Putting teens that are addicted to drugs in jail, instead of putting them in rehabilitation centers to help them cope with such vices, actually worsens their situation and ruins their lives. This is because once such teens are put in jails, they will interact with other hardcore criminals who may eventually teach them how to abuse hardcore drugs and other bad vices, and thus, eventually put their lives at more risks than they were before they were put in the jail (Broach 1).
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Putting the teens in jail for simple non-violent crimes can ultimately result in their future lives being ruined. This is especially true in the aspect that, given the fact that most of the teens are young people who are still young in mind, subjecting them or putting such individuals in jail will make them see it as facing their future, instead of seeing it as facing their perceived charges. As a result, such teens will become demoralized due to the conditions that they have been subjected to, while in prison. The youths or teens should not be jailed for committing the small non-violent crimes, because since by jailing those, their general reputation, image and overall standing in the society is affected. This will make the society see jailed teens as being immoral, and thus, will shun or avoid them. The stigma of having been to jail hounds such individuals for the rest of their lives, and thus, makes it very difficult for them to interact and intermingle freely with the society (Siegel 270).
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Young people should not be put in jail for committing the small non-violent crimes, since what they need is help, but not punishment. Punishment will greatly ruin the future of such teens, instead of enhancing it, since instead of concentrating and learning new ideas which can be beneficial to their future lives through interacting with their fellow mates, the young people are instead secluded in a place reserved for wrong doers, and thus, they lack an opportunity of learning any positive outcomes. Eventually, such an environment deprives the teens of an opportunity of having a good foundation, on which they can be able to build their future lives (Bernstein 14).
In conclusion, all nations in the world should aim at addressing the root causes for the cause of crimes committed by the young people or teens, and seek for the relevant mechanisms or strategies to address them. Instead of jailing them as a way of punishment, states should instead seek to help the teens through helping them to tackle the problems that afflict them, and provide the necessary guidance and counseling to enable them grow up as morally upright individuals. Jailing the teens, instead of rehabilitating them, not only ruins their future, but makes them be hardcore or hardened criminals who can eventually pose possible risks to the society, once they are released from jail. Given the fact that various studies conducted have indeed proved that rehabilitating the teens or young people for that case makes them become upright citizens in the society, as opposed to jailing them, than all countries worldwide should embrace positive approaches, aimed at helping the youths, instead of punishing them (Zinn 307).