No Matter How Loud I Shout

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The book, No Matter How Loud I Shout, takes an in-depth look at the juvenile court system in the state of California in the 1990s. Through a colorful narrative story the author, Edward Humes, paints of vivid picture of the how dysfunctional the system truly was. The main focus is on the various ways the system has failed many of the juveniles that it is intended to help. Peggy Beckstrand, the Deputy District Attorney, says it best “The first thing you learn about this place, is that nothing works.” (No Matter How Loud I Shout, 1996, p.31) The one beacon of hope the juvenile court has is Judge Roosevelt Dorn. Judge Dorn is known in the court systems as one of the toughest judges. He was known for harsh sentences and often trying children in the adult courts. However, Judge Dorn may seem cruel he is merely doing what he feels is best for the child. He sees the same cases and scenarios day in and day out. He knows that stability is the thing these kids need most. Through the eyes of the juveniles, they feel that they are a product of the states neglecting. Many, such as George Trevino, were shuffled from foster home to foster home. Having never received a loving and supporting home environment he was forced to turn to street gangs for a sense of community. It was no surprise that he ended up in the system early and often. For others it was the fitness laws that failed them. The fitness law states that any juvenile at or above the age of sixteen can be tried in the adult courts and sent to a federal penitentiary. However, a juvenile under the age of sixteen must be tried in the juvenile system and receive lesser punishment than those tried in the adult courts. In both instance the court fails juveniles. Too often ... ... middle of paper ... ...d time involved but in the long run keeping children out of prison and the adult system in general will save more money. This quote by Edward Humes sums it up the best, “The fundamental question Juvenile Court was designed to ask - What's the best way to deal with this individual kid? - is often lost in the process, replaced by a point system that opens the door, or locks it, depending on the qualities of the crime, not the child.” (No Matter How Loud I shout, 1996, p. 325). The courts need to focus on what is best for the child and finding punishment that fits the child not the crime. Works Cited Humes, Edward. No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996. Vito, Gennaro F., and Clifford E. Simonsen. Juvenile justice today. 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004. Print.

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