The Importance Of Juvenile Delinquency

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America’s youth justice system is broken and needs to be fixed. In 2007, there was an average of 60,500 juveniles sent to detention centers every night, either being held for a crime they committed, or awaiting their trial decisions, which could take weeks at a time. Compared to other countries, America has one of the highest number of arrests dealing with violent youth crimes (Mendel 1). Juvenile detention centers do more harm than they do good. Crime rates have not been proven to go down once juveniles have been put into a facility, meaning, crime rates remain the same even after youth delinquents are locked away. Being incarcerated as a juvenile makes a person more likely to be incarcerated as an adult. Juvenile detention centers should…show more content…
Some researchers believe that delinquency is a phase. Children either go through this phase and grow out of it, or continue to be a delinquent for the rest of their lives. Sara Mayeux, a researcher and writer on the subject of American criminal law, says, “Delinquency is a developmental stage, and we can either help kids through and out of it, or we can do what we’re doing now, which is intervening in a way that keeps them stuck there forever” (Mayeux 2). A better solution to helping children get through their delinquent phase is to allow them navigate themselves through it with guidance. A child can be punished for committing crimes, but they do not have to be sent away to a facility where they are likely to become even more violent and destructive to those around them. Sara Mayeux reiterates the fact that children do not need to be locked away to be guided through the delinquent phase, while making their own decisions, by saying…show more content…
There are multitudes of other options for dealing with the troubled youth other than locking them away so they do not have to be dealt with, and if the crime they committed is severe enough, they could just be sent away to an adult penitentiary. Detention centers do not improve the quality of the delinquent youths’ lives, nor does it improve the lives of those who surround them. “[Juvenile detention centers fail] to prevent juveniles from returning and encourages the acceptance of stereotypes related to criminality” (Mayeux 1). Correctional facilities are a waste of taxpayers money, and are ineffective to the youth of today’s

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