Essay, Research Paper: Juvenile Crime


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Thirteen dead, over twenty wounded in a suburb of Denver Colorado, from a threat
far greater than any Iranian terrorists. The threat is from within, the threat
is our children. Youth Violence is a more common occurrence than the media would
like us to believe. Similar instances have happened many times before: in
Paducah, KY, three students were killed by a fellow student during a morning
prayer circle(Leung). Also in Pearl MS, two were killed over a simple breakup
(CNN), and in Springfield, OR, a sixteen-year-old killed one youth and
critically wounded twenty-three over the alienation from his schoolmates
(Barnard). Not to mention the sad atrocity in New Jersey where a young teen
couple threw their newborn kid into a dumpster on a subfreezing night(Bad
Seeds). This kind of delinquency is a problem, luckily all problems have
solutions. Unfortunately the proper solutions are simply overlooked for the
similar programs that address the problems cheaper. So the public believes that
this type of treatment will do. However, we need something new, something
radical to curb the growing violence among the youth in America. Society needs
boot camps. Not just any type of boot camp. Those have been tried, and in some
places, they worked, but not well enough. For any juvenile treatment to work
research shows that it must address three basic needs of all children (NCCP): 1.
A locus of control. 2. Significant adult role models. 3. Significant
accomplishments. While many of the instituted plans have included some of the
above goals they have not included all due to the cost of implementation. The
problem affects kids of ages as shown in a survey taken in 1992, sixty-five
percent of kids ages seven to ten feared they would die young, while that fear
was shared by forty-two percent of eleven to seventeen year olds. (NCPC Report)
With the arrest rate of juveniles increasing significantly during that time
period, I don’t blame kids for being scared. (Canada and the World) I have the
solution, and recommendations for the implementations of what I like to call,
“self-sustaining” boot camps. They will be self-supporting and cost very
little maintenance fees save those for the main initialization process, which
can be taken out of the government slush fund. Crime has increased greatly over
the past ten years with an increase of over seventy-five percent in arrests of
juveniles. (Current Events 2a) This increase is unacceptable. It shows just how
little we have done to curve the growing problem of youth crime in America.
Society today seems to have developed a not my child kind of outlook. It is no
longer the Hispanic-American male age fifteen to eighteen that are committing
all the crimes and causing the increase of violent crimes by eighteen percent
from ’91 to ‘92. Nor, were they the ones mainly responsible for the
increased arrests for homicides to 14.5 of 100,000 children in 1993.
Surprisingly, children under age fifteen are responsible for thirty six percent
of the crimes. With this age group committing thirty-six percent of the forcible
rapes, and forty-five percent of the larcenies. While the leading race
committing the crime is the Caucasians. They committed seventy percent of the
total crimes and fifty-two percent of the forcible rapes. (FBI Uniform Crime
Report) These statistics show how people today have turned a blind eye to the
real problem and ignore the basic needs that a youth tries to fulfill through
the crimes. If we continue to let this type of violence grow unchecked, it will
rage from what could be considered a small ember, to a mighty conflagration of
violence and anarchy by the middle of the twenty-first century. We look around
us now and shake our head, telling ourselves that it’s not our problem, or
that the kid has bad parents. If we let this continue we will be condemning
ourselves to our fate. Yet, “self-sustaining” boot camps are the way to get
through the darkness, and a way to take back our streets and once again feel
safe. It is cost effective and capable to turn or kids into responsible adults.
There is one major problem that holds this plan back, and that is money.
Whenever a new program is started more money has to be spent on it then on a
program already in effect. However with the type of boot camp I recommend
implementing would be of significant enough saving to fund the program. The
price for keeping a single juvenile incarcerated for a year in a detention
facility is approximately $47,400, While a year for a juvenile in a boot camp
situation would be $33,480. That amounts to a yearly saving of over $14,000 per
child. (Zaehringer 6) We would be able to use this money to start up new boot
camps or for prevention measures. Earlier I wrote of the three things needed to
prevent juvenile crime. The self-sustaining boot camp does all of things needed
to prevent juvenile crime by the NCPC model. Self-sustaining boot camps will
provide locus of control with the kids providing for themselves and others. They
will learn how to farm and do other more applicable skills such as plumbing and
electrical. They will use these skills in the everyday upkeep and maintenance of
the facility. This way they will be able to feel like they have responsibility
and that they are responsible and people depend upon them, giving them the locus
of control. It will give the kids a sense of accomplishment when they see the
food they planted on their plates and the roof that they built over their heads.
The prison will be self-sufficient will self-sustaining for the same reasons.
The boot camps will make the money to pay the guards, teachers, and
administration staff by selling the excess food to a farmer’s coop. And
selling things like plates and such that the juveniles make. All of the items
that the prisons would sell would be to distributors at competitive market
prices. Later in the boot camps this will add the chance for some of the kids
who have been exceptionally cooperative and show great progress to be
controllers, and accountants, giving the kids an even greater sense of
responsibility. After the kids got out of boot camp, they would be required to
return to the boot camp to give talks on how their lives have changed since
going through the program. The graduates would also be required to give peer
tutoring, one hour for every day they were incarcerated, as a way to give back
to the camp. This would give the kids who get out a reason not to do it again
because they would see how their freedoms were actually stilted and it will help
the kids in the camp by giving them a role model, a person who has been through
similar things and came out on top. To get into such a facility, the juvenile
would have to fulfill certain requirements: 1. The juvenile could have no more
than 5 misdemeanors and one felony, 2. The juvenile must enter a plea of either
no contest or guilty, 3. Must not have gone through the boot camp program more
than twice already 4. The juvenile’s parent or guardian must sign away their
right to sue incase of injury or other incidents, 5. Considered a juvenile
within the states they reside, and 6. They must be able to cope with the
camp’s atmosphere both physically and mentally {a judge will determine this.).
(Zaehringer 4) In this Boot camp there will be a set schedule beginning at 8:00
am and ending at 10:00p.m. During the day, time will be allocated to working at
their jobs, learning new skills, meal times, and general education. The inmates
will have free time in the evening from 7:00pm to 9:30pm when lockdown will
occur with lights out at 10:00. Discipline will be tough with a zero tolerance
policy and punishment similar to those in a military boot camp. During their
stay at the camp, inmates will be pushed to their limits emotionally and
physically so that they can be rebuilt into model citizens. Many people today
are afraid of the power that is needed to stop the surge in juvenile crime. They
worry that if we give the camps power over kids that they will be beaten and
possibly molested by the older kids in the camp. However this is a fallacy and
in fact a majority of society want a “get tough” policy. (Current Events 2a)
Of course the guards and such would have a lot of power, but it is necessary to
discipline the kids properly. Did we have death by homicide as the second
highest killer of juveniles (Reporting on Violence)? No, the people back then
were strict and stern in the way they made and kept the laws and rules.
Today’s guards and teachers need similar discipline to curb the violence.
Another problem that society has with boot camps is that if it doesn’t solve
the problem, all we will do is create smarter more disciplined criminals. Now
that is a high possibility, but with the proper attention from the camp
administration those who seem to be like that shall be pulled aside and given a
thorough mental examination. This shall prove whether or not the are truly
criminalistic or just genetically not able to curb the aggression that they
feel. If they were the latter, they would be put into contact with mercenary
guilds across the United States for further training and later employment. The
final argument that some of the population has against boot camps is their
militaristic nature. Beside the above stated problems with turning out a fine
tuned criminal, others believe that the inmates will simply bottle up their
anger and aggression inside during their sentence and release it out in society
when they have been released. This will hopefully stopped by the peer tutoring
and mentoring that the inmates will have during their sentence and will continue
to have after prison for the determined time by being another role model. The
idea of a “self-sustaining” boot camp may seem like an empty dream, but the
reality is that boot camps work, and this type would take it to the next step.
Can we do what is necessary to stop juvenile crime? Or our we going to be
drowned in the waves of juvenile violence.

Bibliography“Juvenile Boot Camps: Cost and Effectiveness vs. Residential Facilities”
Koch Crime Institute White Paper Repot Jul. 1998. Online. Internet: WWW.
Address: default.htm. Jul. 1998
National Crime Prevention Council. “Fast Crime Facts” National Crime
Prevention Council. Online. Internet: WWW. Address:
CNN and Assoc. Press. “As many as 25 dead in Colorado school attack”
Apr. 1999. Online. Internet: WWW. Address:
index.html Apr. 1999. ---. “Outwardly normal, school killer was plagued by
anger, voices” Nov. 1999. Online. Internet: WWW. Address:
Nov. 1999. Barnard, Jeff. “Suspended student kills one in high school
cafeteria; two dead at his home” The Oregonian May. 1998. Online. Internet:
WWW. Address: May. 1998.
United States. FBI. FBI Uniform Crime Reports Data Online Internet. WWW.
Address: Lueng, Rebecca.
“Paducah Remembers” Dec. 1998. Online Internet: WWW. Address: Dec.
1998 Barr, Stephan. “Bad Seeds” NJ Monthly Dec. 1997. Online. Internet: WWW.
Address Dec. 1997
United States. National Institute of Justice. Office of justice Programs. U.S.
Department of Justice. Boot Camps for Juvenile Offenders: an Implementation
Evaluation of Three Demonstration Programs. By Blair b. Bourque, Roberta C.
Cronin, Frank R. Pearson, Daniel B. Felker, Mei Han, and Sarah M. Hill.
Washington: OJJDP Jan 1996 United States. National Institute of Justice. Office
of justice Programs. U.S. Department of Justice. Desktop Guide to Good Juvenile
Detention Practice. By David W Roush, Ph.D. Washington:
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