In the juvenile justice system, juveniles are routine held in a juvenile detention center to help rehabilitate and gain retribution for their crimes. However, when juveniles are tried as adult in the criminal justice system they can be sent away to adult prisons. This is scary to think about. Putting 16 year olds in a prison that is flooded with dangerous criminals, instantly makes them the prey. This is like putting second graders in a class room full of angry high schoolers. Putting juveniles in adult prisons puts them at a bigger state of danger almost immediately.
Juvenile detention centers revolve their facilities around the idea that rehabilitation is key. By doing this they offer programs that adult prisons don’t. For example, juvenile detention centers help continue the juveniles high school and college educations. Being placed in an adult prison isn’t able to further help juvenile’s education to the extent detention centers do. By placing juveniles in these prisons they immediately heighten the juvenile’s recidivism rates in the future. Being around dangerous criminals all day normalizes the criminal lifestyle which in turn causes teens to believe that committing crime is okay. This results in juveniles continuing their life of crime once they’re released.
I believe it is extremely important that we keep juveniles and adults separated while they are serving their sentences. By continuing funding to juvenile detention centers and reducing the normalization of juveniles in prison we can help protect juveniles in the future. By implementing the programs offered in juvenile detention centers we can lower recidivism rates, causing juveniles to grow up being functioning members of society once they’re released.
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