The youth control complex is a form of social control in which the justice system (the prison system) and the socializing and social control institutions (school system) work together to stigmatize, criminalize, and punish inner city youth. Accordingly, these adolescents’ are regarded as deviant and incompetent to participate within U.S. society. On that note, deviance is created based on socially constructed labels of deviances; otherwise, deviance wouldn’t happen without these labels. Once an individual engages in a deviant behavior, it results in a response, often times, some type of punishment from the justice system. The youth control complex creates social incapacitation (social death) among juveniles. This ubiquitous system of social …show more content…
Rios argues that when someone is socially incapacitated they lack social acceptance in both schools and the labor market. The social incapacitation these young people experience comes from criminalization, which is disguised as a protective mechanism. An example of one of these types of mechanisms is zero tolerance policies that paints everyone as bad, and tends to take shape under protective techniques for potential victims. In this case, the youth control complex is understood to be necessary, as it is disguised as a protective mechanism for social order. The fact of the matter is that it’s a tragedy for everyone rather than only the individuals experiencing the immediate effects of this form of …show more content…
For example, police and probation officers become involved in non-criminal justice matters at schools and in the community, often times by advising parents and students on academic matter. According to some of the boys in Rios book, probation officers served the purpose of punishing them by branding them criminal in front of the rest of the community, which prompted victimization by peers, stigmatization in the community, and rearrests for minor infractions. Eventually, the youth learned to manipulate the system and increasing recidivism. Rios also notes that some youth were being incarcerated through false accusations, police “step-ups”, entrapments, and forced testimonies that led many of the boys to declare a vow against everyone providing information to police, even when they were the victims. Also, the gang database accentuates criminalization, as it permits police to keep track of most at-risk juveniles and impose tougher policing and harsher sentencing.* In other words, police roles leak into other aspects of juvenile’s lives, which have led to an increase in criminalization. As a result, for many of the juveniles’ detention facilities have become preferred social settings because they provide the structure, and discipline, they don’t receive from their families and the
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The book Punished: Policing the lives of Black and Latino boys by Victor Rios is about the Latinos and African Americans in poor parts of the city joining gangs, do violence, and ending up in prison. It is also add how the police are handling the situation differently in these areas. The researcher is Victor Rios and the goal is to change how the police should handle in these poor communities and to have trust to prevent a crime that is unrelated with African Americans and Latinos. Additionally to develop new programs to help these young people out of prison to be productive, to be part of society, and to create a brighter future for these young people and their community. This is
According to Stephen B. Bright, many of the men, women, and children sent to prison in the United States everyday, are processed through courts without legal representation that is indispensable to a fair trial, a reliable verdict and a just sentence. We see many examples of this everyday. “A poor person arrested by police may languish in jail for days, weeks or months before seeing a lawyer for the first time” (Bright 6). Once convicted a poor person can face years in prison, or even be executed without ever having a lawyer present. The concepts of crime can be defined differently in different societies and can be classified according to race ethnic, gender, sexuality class, and religious identifications (Bright 6). Common targets of this “poverty-to-prison” cycle can be seen in When a Heart Turns Solid Rock by Timothy Black. The book shows how schools, jobs, the streets, and prisons have shaped the lives and choices of poor Puerto Rican boys at the turn of the twenty- first century. Rather than using a model of urban poverty that blame the poor for their poverty, Black instead focuses, through ethnography, on the social forces that affect the individual lives of three urban Puerto Rican brothers: Julio, Fausto, and Sammy. As viewed in the book, many targets for the prison system are poor African American and Latino men. People that come from poor neighborhoods are at a higher risks of being incarcerated.
Since I am a minority I was already a bit accustomed with the inequalities or wrongdoings that occur to those of a minority group. Before reading this book I used to think that those who commit crime or engage in delinquent behavior are considered “lazy people” or people who just want “the easy way out;” or maybe they just weren’t trying hard enough to attain that “American Dream”. After reading Victor Rios’s book I realized how much the system has an impact on your future depending on where you come from. Right in the beginning Victor Rios mentions the “youth control complex.” The youth control complex is this idea that the system criminalizes young people for acting in everyday behaviors. (2011; pg.xiv). They are criminalized through schools, families, police officers, probation officers, community centers, the media, businesses, and other institutions. (2011; pg.xiv). These institutions are supposed to be
In the book Punished by Victor Rios, he presents the argument that the consistent labeling by every state run institution that cast young Latinos as criminals or cast “at risk youth” expected to commit crimes is symptomatic of the social structures that creature the criminalization process of young Latinos. Non-state institutions as well as parents, who often seek help from them, are often advised to become policing agents at the encouragement of the authorities, hence becoming part of what Rios calls the “Youth Control Complex” that focuses solely on punitive measures. Parents often feel compelled to obey the dominate discourse provided by the youth control complex which sends the message, “Your child is a deviant, your child needs to be scrutinized and policed, and when your child acts negatively in any kind of way, such as dressing like a ‘thug,’ you need to call probation and police.” (Rios , p. 83) Labeling such as this creates over policing which in turn creates a symbolic violence in the criminalized youth.
Rios, Victor M. Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys. New York: New York
The inappropriate or unnecessary use of incarceration is “expensive, ineffective, and inhumane,” and initiates a “cycle of juvenile reoffending” (Bala et. al, 2009). A study conducted by Mann (2014) exemplifies this cycle of youth reoffending. The youth interviewed demonstrated that despite a stay in sentenced custody, the threat of future punishment was not enough to deter from future offences. Cook and Roesch (2012) demonstrate that youth have developmental limitations that can impair their involvement in the justice system; for example, not understanding their sentencing options properly or their competence to stand trial. Therefore, deterrence as a justification for youth incarceration is ineffective, as incarceration proves to be not a strong enough deterrent. Alternative methods such as extrajudicial measures and community-based sanctions were considered more effective (Cook & Roesch,
In his observation of the boys, he finds that these boys are criminalized by many social forces besides the police. “I found that schools pushed out boys who had been victimized.” (pg. 6). Many boys feel that their school system blames them for crimes that have occurred in their area, or as a danger to other students in the classroom. These boys think that these experiences of victimization are part of their street life. Rios says that if the institutions of social control believe that all young people follow the code of the street, then programs and interactions with margined youth’s will be based on this false information. This dishonest perception of youth is what leads to their
Today, we live in a society faced with many problems, including crime and the fear that it creates. In the modern era, juveniles have become a part of society to be feared, not rehabilitated. The basis of the early juvenile justice system was to rehabilitate and create safe havens for wayward youth. This is not the current philosophy, although the U.S. is one of the few remaining countries to execute juveniles. Presently, our nation is under a presidential administration that strongly advocates the death penalty, including the execution of juveniles. The media and supporters of capital punishment warn of the "superpredator," the juvenile with no fear, remorse, or conscience. Opponents of this view encourage the idea that another death is only revenge, not deterrence. We will examine the rights allotted to juvenile offenders, and the punishments inflicted upon them for violations of the law.
Thus, the shifting perceptions of the justice system has transformed what it means to be a child and an adult due to their pervasive, and punitive approaches to crime and delinquency. Although adolescents today enjoy many new freedoms and greater time to experiment, those that don’t conform to “normative behaviors” and engage in socially constructed definitions of delinquency, often end up under the firm hands of the juvenile justice system. Despite the creation of this phase in an adolescent’s life, the injustices within the adult justice system have breached into the juvenile system, thus, blurring the lines of what it means to be an adolescent in modern times. Thereby, the adolescent stage is constantly being manipulated to conform and match the social construction of crime and delinquency, and the rise in the practice of trying juveniles as adults within the court system and mandating life sentences is evidence of this
The book "Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys" is written by Victor M. Rios, who was a former gang member in his hometown and later turned his life around. He went to Berkeley and earned a doctorate in sociology. This book explores how youth of color are punished and criminalized by authorities even under the situation where there is no crimes committed and how it can cause a harmful consequence for the young man and their community in Oakland, California. The goal is to show the consequences of social control on the lives of young people of color and try to remind the authorities. This is important Since society plays a crucial part in shaping the lives of people. And the authorities have biases towards them and mistreat
The adjustment from incarceration to society causes a series of problems, making rehabilitation difficult. When the juvenile’s leave home to be detained, all ties with society, the support systems they had, the gangs they associated with, school they attending are no longer in close proximity, which is essential for successful rehabilitation (James, Stams, Asscher, Katrien De Roo & van der Laan 2012). Another problem association with the reintegration is that juveniles are in a particularly fragile state in that they are not only transitioning from society to detention, but from adolescence to adulthood, both of which are overwhelming adjustments. Research has shown, however, that if youths stay out of trouble within the first few months
Each year, hundreds of thousands of youth enter into the justice system. Incarceration is not designed to properly meet the needs of youth nor strengthen their development. Research indicates that relying on punishment and incarceration, rather than rehabilitation, is harmful to youth and may
As stated by Bartol and Bartol “Juvenile delinquency is an imprecise, nebulous, social, clinical, and legal label for a wide variety of law- and norm-violating behavior” (2011, Pg 139). The juvenile delinquency term has come to imply disgrace in today's correctional institution. Our government is up hold to procedures and expected to come with a solution to solving the delinquent problem. An underage offender can be labeled a delinquent for breaking any number of laws, ranging from robbery to running away from home, and especially being involved in school violence. The following situations faced by correction officials when dealing with juvenile delinquents will be examined. Three main areas (child development, punishments, and deterrence tactics) will be briefly analyzed to give adequate explanation of the issue.
The forgotten few: the juvenile offender population. Seldom thought about, but yet are the foundation and underpinning of the origin of the crime in the United States. This is an inquiry as to what has been done to the adolescents and children with regards to sanctions that have not yet been really brought to light. The problematic history of juvenile offenders is one of the United States dirty little secret. The literature shows the nations children who deviate from the norm are presumed to be deviant and treated like its adult criminal population. Teenagers, kids, adolescents are presumed to be treated as if they are of age. What is lost is the cognitive development and nourishment when such negative actions occur. The basic and fundamental formative academics that have shown effectiveness are not being implemented into the sanctions for these juvenile offenders. There is a linear correlation between low education obtainment levels, mental illness and juvenile offending and recidivism. This is a significant dynamic risk factor that has the potential to eliminate the deviance of the youth in the nation. The development of our youth mentally can indeed have lasting positive effects for sustaining positive results during their rehabilitation stints and most importantly decreasing recidivism.