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Juveniles

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As I entered the juvenile detention facility on 150th, I began to wonder about the female detainee I was going to interview regarding placement. I am sitting in a locked room with a desk, two (2) chairs and a large plexie glass window. As the staff arrived she was accompanied with Farouka (the name has been changed to protect confidentiality). Farouka is a 14-year-old Caucasian/Hispanic female small in stature, wearing county "blues" (issued clothing). She appeared fearful and teary eyed. She has been detained and adjudicated due to strong-armed robbery. Farouka was involved with two other young people in robbing another 14-year-old in front of a 7-11 convenient store. They beat and kicked the victim and stole approximately $20.00 in cash. The convenient store clerk had interrupted the crime. As a result of the beating the victim was taken to the hospital.
During the interview Farouka was very unclear of her punishment (group home placement for 12 months) and felt it was too harsh. Her reasoning was because it was her first offense. However, Farouka had been expelled from school due to fighting and required to go to continuation school. There is a history of truancy, out of parental control, drug and alcohol abuse. It is clear that due to her many questions she was unable to deduct the reasons behind her consequence. It is because of the circumstances and situations, similar in nature to that of Farouka’s our government has been forced to re-evaluate juvenile crime in America. Although trends in America show that society wants to try juveniles as adults for violent crimes, rehabilitation for the majority of our youths is the best solution.

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Due to the evolution of increasingly dangerous and serious violent crimes committed by today’s youths, law makers have been put in the position according to Schwartz, to "give our communities a false sense of public protection" (CQ Researcher, 1994). This is done through the creation of legislation aimed at punishing juveniles for the crimes they commit. However, it is clear that trying juveniles as adults does not address the crime rate or why violent crimes are committed, because it is simply a quick-fix policy that only surfaces around election years, implying that "it’s political" (Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, 1996). Secondly, the majority of crimes ...

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... information was known before the infamous strong-armed robbery, it could have been prevented through early intervention. Farouka could learned new behaviors and gained tools, which should could live a more positive and productive life.

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References
Biden, J. (1998, Winter). Attacking Youth Violence. Criminal Justice Ethics, v17 il p.2(1).
Glazer, S. (1994, February). Juvenile Justice. CQ Researcher, v4 p.171-183.
Hollin, C. (1990). Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions with Young Offenders, Psychology Practitioner Guidebooks. p.7.
Howell, J. (1997) Improving the balance between child development and juvenile punishment in a comprehensive strategy: a comment on Vila. Politics and the Life Sciences. V16 nl p.2894).
Lew, B., Hicks-Marlowe, J., Reid, J., Patterson, C., & Weinrott, M. (1991). A comparative evaluation of parent training interventions for families of chronic delinquents. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, v19, p15 (19).
Mowatt, R. (1996, January 11). Harsher penalties urged for juveniles in California. Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, p. 111K6230.
Valentine, V. (1998, October). Youth Crime, Adult Time. Emerge Magazine, 48-52.
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