Teen Violence Is Spreading — страница 2

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in hopes they will reform, or in some cases protect them from the violence that they were living in before. On the down side, many black males have been removed form the culture and tossed into prisons. Nearly 25 percent of black males nationwide are in some stage of the legal process, either awaiting trial or in prison already. All of this is just another genocide of black males. The government keeps them unemployed and pushes them into becoming crack dealer and prostitutes to survive. Someday, if they don’t give them what they want, which is only equality, they’ll take it themselves. Role models have changed throughout the years and so it has changed the way they juveniles act. The role models of today are the people who drive expensive cars, wear designer clothes, and

expensive jewelry. The role model of the past was the churchgoing, Christian, with the stable life; they are no longer looked at as idols of the teenagers, they are more often shunned. Last year, nearly 1400 cases of residents assaulting each other were reported in detention centers where the children wait for up to 21 days for trials and commitments. This is a 348 percent increase from 1986. This figure does not include long-term commitment programs which are supposed to help rehabilitate kids. As many as half of the children in the system have mental heath problems or are too violent for these programs in which they are placed. Overcrowding is one of the key ingredients feeding the violence in delinquency programs. Overcrowding of the facilities is inflaming violence with some

of the facilities housing nearly twice as many as authorized. Cramped quarters, a result of rising crime and changing rules of confinement, leads to clients sleeping in hallways and fighting over beds and chairs. This, in turn leads to more violent flare-ups. At any one time, there could be 70-80 children in a facility built for 45 people; this of course will cause problems. “You’ve got to hurt somebody to get respect. Otherwise, your time here will be hell,” says one inmate of the juvenile detention center he is in. In the right setting, anyone can be pushed to blows. In the centers, there are beatings, rapes and even deaths. He says, “I understand what I did wrong (which was murdering his abusive stepfather, to protect his mother) and now I’m paying for it. I realize

that I if was old enough to do the crime, than I am old enough to do the time.” At what age do children develop a moral sense, and understand what it means? Younger and younger, children are being tried as adults in our courts. This raises the question; at what age can we expect a youngster to understand moral choices and consequences? The juvenile system was set up under the premise that juveniles are not as mature as adults are and cannot be held to the same standards as adults. But as juveniles are committing more crimes, the push is on to try younger children as adults. This means that longer prison terms will be enforced, in adult prisons, where the emphasis is on punishment and not rehabilitation. They punish for the act already committed but don’t try to prevent

further acts of violence that the juvenile might commit. What can parents do to ensure that their children grow up with moral values and a conscience? They have to be there for their children. They need to always be around and give as much support to them as they can. Live the right values. It’s not what they teach that the child learns, the child learns from watching what parents do; for example if a parent went out and got drunk or stoned, the child is going to perceive that as being ok, and go do it. You have to “practice what you preach.” Treat your child, how you would want him to treat others. Lastly, instill self-esteem. The more you can help your child feel as if he is worthwhile, the more he will be willing to do good to others and help others feel as though they

are worthwhile.