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Crime by Juvenile Offenders, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 771

Essay

Introduction

Crime by juvenile offenders in the city has hit a record high due to the increasing level of youth crimes. Although Louisiana had built a juvenile justice system from the 1990s, it had not tailored the system to specifically meet the needs of the Juvenile offenders (Philippi, 2013). This has led to high rates of incarcerating juvenile offenders and cruel criminal management. However, efforts have been put in place to reform this system to make it better. For instance, from 2003 to 2005, there was the creation of community-based intervention programs, which significantly reduced the juvenile incarceration rates (Conroy & Philippi, 2013). Other programs were thereafter created, such as farm and church programs, but none addressed the issue of meeting the juvenile offenders’ needs. The system continues to face various issues, such as racial segregation and inequality (Whitney, 2012). Louisiana first developed a correction facility for the white male offenders leaving out the African American male offenders and the female offenders. A girls’ unit was later established but again closed for various reasons (Whitney, 2012). This shows that there were discrimination and unfair treatment for girls and boys of color. Berko (2019) also asserts that in New Orleans, 95% of the juveniles offenders arrested are black, and most are arrested for nonviolent crimes. Another issue in Louisiana, New Orleans, is the prevalence of mental illness among the juvenile population. There is little mental health care given to the young offenders in the juvenile system exposing them to mental problems. Also, the disciplinary measures put in place are overly punitive, which may be harmful to the children’s mental health (Berko, 2019). Also, the right facilities for female juveniles in the population should be established because they are most vulnerable. Another significant issue is non-secure and outdated juvenile systems. Whitney (2012) states that Louisiana has some non-secure facilities developed for the offenders. However, some secure facilities were developed, such as one in New Orleans, but over time, the facilities have become full and outdated, thus becoming dangerous. The final issue is a lack of medical covers and, thus, difficulty accessing medical care for young offenders (Vail et al., 2017).

Recommendations

  • A well-developed mechanism to deal with the glaring racism and inequality in the juvenile justice systems should be developed (Berko, 2019). All offenders should be treated equally based on the crimes they commit, and with the end goal of reforming them regardless of color or race.
  • Screening youths with mental problems within 24 hours upon admission to a juvenile facility. Screening tools should be availed in all facilities to identify these with psychiatric problems and be treated to minimize deaths (Underwood et al., 2016). The personnel should also be given adequate training and facilities to handle offenders with mental health problems (Whitney, 2012).
  • Some funds should be dedicated to building more secure and spacious facilities to hold increasing juvenile offenders.
  • Establish gender-specific programs and interventions for girls who have been arbitrated or judged. Such programs will give them a platform to engage in community programs rather than crime and offer necessary education and awareness (Barrett et al., 2015).
  • Provide all detainees with full medical covers. This will ensure that they obtain necessary and adequate treatment for all illnesses hence improving their health (Vail et al., 2017).

Conclusion

Theories influence these recommendations because they are behavior-related and characterized by anti-social actions. Understanding the various theories will help determine the various reasons for the juveniles to take part in crimes, which will aid in rehabilitating and reforming them. For instance, the strain theory will explain the circumstances that have led to certain crimes. By understanding this, it is easy and possible to know what to avail to the youths so that they can leave the deviant behavior. Also, the learning theory proposes that anti-social behaviors are used to influence crime. This theory will give an understanding of what to do to curb crimes.

References

Barrett, D. E., Ju, S., Katsiyannis, A., & Zhang, D. (2015). Females in the juvenile justice system: Influences on delinquency and recidivism. Journal of child and family studies24(2), 427-433.

Berko, N. (2019). With an overly punitive juvenile justice system, New Orleans is failing its children. The Tulane Hullabaloo.

Conroy, J. & Philippi, s. (2013). Evidence of Better Practice in Louisiana’s Juvenile Justice System.

Underwood, L. A., & Washington, A. (2016). Mental illness and juvenile offenders. International journal of environmental research and public health13(2), 228.

Vail, W. L., Niyogi, A., Henderson, N., & Wennerstrom, A. (2017). Bringing it all back home: Understanding the medical difficulties encountered by newly released prisoners in New Orleans, Louisiana–A qualitative study. Health & social care in the community25(4), 1448-1458.

Whitney, S. M. (2012). Juvenile justice in Louisiana: an exploratory study of trends surrounding juvenile incarceration.

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