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While some may argue that juveniles always deserve a second chance, they only ever get anything but second chances. If a juvenile commits a crime once, it is almost always guaranteed that they will commit the same crime, or a crime like it. In our generation today, it is discouraging to see how many people at young ages decide to live their life at others expense. When juveniles choose to take a path that leads them to state penitentiaries, life in prison without parole, or even execution is nobody but their own faults. Every action has a consequence. That’s the reasoning behind having the Juvenile Justice Department is to deal with these unlawful adolescents. When young offenders commit a series of crimes that are constantly running into trouble with the law, they are immediately put into Adult court where they are then subject to any punishment available.
In today’s society, we are constantly reminded of how fast juvenile crime rates are growing, with crimes being committed such as gang violence to school shootings. Most often times when looking at delinquents backgrounds, they consist of parents who are divorced and live in separate homes located in disinvested neighborhoods as well as having high rates of learning disabilities, mental health, and substance abuse problems. Trying to fix a juvenile who has already grown up in these situation, is far from easy, but not impossible. In Ken Stier’s article, “Getting the Juvenile-Justice System to Grow Up”, in Time Magazine, he affirms the fact that every year, some 200,000 youths are tried, sentenced or incarcerated as adults. He also discusses how many advocates and academics argue that juveniles are not being given enough of a chance to turn their lives around after committing minor offenses. In considering that juveniles have greater possibility than adults to make a change in their lives with the right help, counseling and rehabilitation.
To consider that society plays an important role in a child’s development and the way they are raised is key in determining punishment. If someone is raised in a violent environment where they physically or visually experience cruelty, they are more likely to do the same. We have to realize that the people around us influence our actions and our change of character. If the government, schools and local churches where to unite and truly help society’s dysfunctional homes and troubled teens there is a major possibility that crime rates will decrease, prison would not overpopulate, and teens would probably stay out of trouble if motivated to do so. The different situations are endless but to believe they should not be implemented into adult penitentiaries, especially those younger than eighteen is most important in helping delinquents become successful adults.
From birth we aren’t immediately created to be devious or malicious, but most often times outside influences help shape people to become criminals. The fact that humans adapts to their surroundings and are influenced by their upbringing is common sense because it can determine who he or she may be in the future. However in stating that being a juvenile is an excuse, it is doing just as more harm. There comes a time in our lives when we have to decide who we ought to be. Do we follow the violent ways of those who surround us? Or do we make a difference and stand out in the midst of immoral communities?
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