in Prison and their after effects of Treatment
3. Causes of the juvenile criminality
4. Consequences of juveniles’ imprisonment, its effect and
possible improvement of the situation
This paper discusses the problem of juveniles in prison on
the basis of several articles that focus on this problem.
The analysis of articles permits to find the principle causes
and consequences of juveniles’ imprisonment and its influence
on their own lives and lives of their families.
Nowadays the problem of crimes among juveniles becomes more
and more important. The rate of crimes committed by juveniles
is gradually growing and naturally, such a statistic could
not fail to disturb not only specialists but also the whole
society since it indicates at a deep-rooted problem within
the society. It is also the problem of the future of the society
we live in since those who were imprisoned, being at the age
of juvenile, tend to repeat their mistakes and often continue
to commit crimes after they are released from prison.
What is more important is that the juvenile criminals produce
a significant and in the majority of cases extremely negative
impact on their families. Consequently, they influence not
only their own lives but the lives of their children and their
wives since a particular ambiance of prison shapes characters
and personalities of criminals, particularly if they a young.
Actually, the younger a person is the more significant will
be the impact of the environment, particularly such specific
as that of the prison.
Thus, in terms of this paper the problem of juvenile criminals
would be analyzed and the causes of their antisocial behavior
would be found out and the degree they influence on the future
families, particularly children, would be discussed. So, briefly
speaking the aim of this paper is to find the causes why juveniles
are so often imprisoned nowadays, and the consequences of
such imprisonment for themselves and their families and children.
On analyzing these facts it would be probable to find some
solutions or at least it would be possible to work out some
suggestion or recommendation in order to solve the problem.
Causes of the juvenile criminality
It is obvious that in order to solve any problem it is necessary
to know its causes. Naturally, a growing quantity of crimes
committed by juveniles is a real problem now and for its solution
we have to know its causes.
Actually, there are a lot of materials discussing the causes
of the juvenile criminality and I would particularly dwell
upon the articles “Analysis of 112 juveniles who committed
homicide: characteristics and a closer look at the family
abuse” and “Characteristics of adolescent felons in a prison
treatment program”. By the way, the latter article deals not
only with the causes of crimes but also analyzes possible
solutions of the problem and special programs aiming at decreasing
of rate of the juvenile criminality.
So speaking about the causes the authors of the article “Analysis
of 112 juveniles who committed homicide: characteristics and
a closer look at the family abuse” basically focus on homicides
and explain such crimes mainly by the ill treatment of children
within families or in the result of family abuse. Actually,
what they intend to point out is that juveniles behavior and
psychology is formed under the influence of their environment,
particularly of their families. For instance, it is estimated
that “a poor home environment appears to be an important risk
factor in the genesis of violence, and the majority of youths
who commit homicide report coming from violent or disorganized
families” (Cornell 1993, p.128). Consequently violence in
families results in the antisocial behavior of juveniles in
the society. At this respect, the fact that juveniles often
commit crimes against people who are older than them is quite
remarkable and is interpreted as an intention to revenge for
the abuse juveniles suffered either from their fathers, mothers
or both parents.
However, the authors go further than simply explaining crimes
of juveniles by family abuse. Among other causes may be named
social and economic position of juveniles, their educational
level, etc. but anyway the main idea of the article is that
violence breeds violence and family abuse results in antisocial
behavior of juveniles.
Actually, it is hardly possible to argue with the authors
of this article, since the influence of family is really great,
particularly at a very young age. At the same time it should
be given more attention to the social environment juveniles
live in because at the adolescence the role of peer groups
is much more higher for a person than the role of parents,
who, nonetheless, form person’s views, attitudes in early
childhood that naturally influences his or her further development.
So, I would say that this article seems to be a bit incomplete
or one-sided since the root of the problem are much deeper
than simply family abuse and there are many other reasons
which make a person commit crimes.
A bit more profound seems to be the article written by Russell
Eisenman, “Characteristics of adolescent felons in a prison
treatment program”. Among the causes, which engender the juvenile
criminality are named some more, quite logical causes. For
instance, we may agree that there is a kind of anti-social
orientation that makes people to behave in a wrong way and
commit crimes. Actually, at this point there may be found
some common traits with the article discussed above. It means
that such an anti-social orientation may be formed within
a family, or as a result of a wrong set of values. Often juveniles
simply do not believe in the possibility of fair and prosperous
life since in their own lives they often face violence, abuse,
manipulation by people, etc. All these facts lead to the development
of anti-social orientation of a personality.
Furthermore, among other causes of crimes that are named in
this article is ‘not knowing how to be anything else’. Obviously
it is again a result of social environment that juveniles
lack models of proper, normal social behavior. Naturally,
in such circumstances when people do not see any possible
way out from the difficult socio-economic conditions they
live in but to commit crime as the most appropriate model
of social, or it would be more correct to say, anti-social
Also the article indicates at a significant role of peer groups
that has mentioned in the previous article but basically in
the context of family abuse. By the way, “Characteristics
of adolescent felons in a prison treatment program” also pays
much attention to the family background that is undoubtedly
a serious condition of the future behavior of a person since
“juveniles convicted of homicide more frequently have criminally
violent family members than juveniles convicted in nonviolent
crimes” (Bohm 2001, p.195). As for peer groups the article
draws our attention to gangs that is also a very important
factor. As any other social being, humans depend on their
social environment. Moreover, they want to be a part of a
community or a social group. In the majority of cases of juvenile
criminals, they are members of different gangs and often commit
crimes under the demand of their gang’s interests.
However, what is more important that the article suggests
to create special programs to solve the problem of juveniles
hat are already imprisoned. They are highly recommended to
be treated differently. They need to feel themselves as individuals
that are different from criminals that are around them in
prison. Probably if such recommendations were fulfilled juvenile
criminals would not probably repeat mistakes they have once
In my opinion, this article is quite reasonable and analyze
the problem of the juvenile criminality in the complex, i.e.
it not simply looks for causes but attempts to find some solution.
As for me, basically I agree with causes of criminality listed
in the article, but the solution suggested has to be more
concrete and it should not simply some experimental programs,
it should be some solution that is based on a scientific study
of the problem and it should take into consideration psychological,
social and economic aspects juvenile criminals lived, live
and would live in future.
Consequences of juveniles’ imprisonment, its effect and possible
improvement of the situation
On analyzing the causes of crimes, committed by juveniles,
it is necessary to find what happens to them after imprisonment
and how does effect their own lives and lives of their families.
In order to understand the ambiance of prison and its effects
it is very useful to analyze the article of Anne, M. Nurse
“The structure of the juvenile prison: constructing the inmate
father”, and the article of Jane L. and Carol A. Ireland “How
do offenders define bullying? A study of adult, young and
juvenile male offenders”.
The former article basically deals with the relation between
imprisoned fathers and their families, particularly with their
children. The author emphasizes that very often fathers and
children are separated by prison. There are several factors
that influence such separation. What is particularly important
in this problem is the fact that a lot of young fathers are
in prison and often they have not even seen their children
in their lives or if once they have seen them, prison separate
them for the months and years of fathers’ imprisonment. Among
the causes of such a situations are named problems with long
distances between fathers and their families that make it
very difficult and in some cases practically impossible for
family to visit a criminal regularly. Furthermore, a father
and can see his child only if the mother agrees and admits
it, otherwise he can’t see his own child at all. Finally,
the conditions in which a father meets his child and vice
versa are inappropriate for normal communication between a
farther and his child.
As a result, the problem that has been mentioned in previous
articles arises. Children been deprived the possibility to
see and communicate with their fathers that are in prison
form their own model of behavior and often they follow the
examples of their fathers who, after their return to families,
also produce quite a negative impact because they spent a
lot of time in prison and their views and behavior greatly
depend on “the social models they acquired in prison” (Bohm
2001, p.239) that are basically anti-social.
Thus, juveniles, being either separated from their fathers,
or having fathers who are either in prison or were released
from it, tend to commit crimes and are more predisposed to
such behavior than others. In order to solve this problem
the author suggests to improve the position of fathers, particularly
young fathers. It is recommended to provide a special education
for young fathers and stimulate the inmate support of fathers
that is quite a rare but extremely helpful thing.
I believe that such recommendations are worth noting and they
even may be useful but in real conditions when a person’s
freedom is strictly regulated it is very difficult to provide
an inmates’ support. On the other hand, a special education
for fathers is really helpful though until the situation concerning
the communication of fathers and children is not improved
even such measure would be practically useless because on
releasing, especially after long terms, fathers see practically
Finally, the last article I would like to dwell upon is the
article “How do offenders define bullying? A study of adult,
young and juvenile male offenders”. This article reveals the
difference between juveniles that are in prison and those
who lead a traditional life, who goes to school, etc.
The article underlines that even traditional notions existing
both in schools and prisons differ significantly. Particularly,
the article discusses the notion of bullying. As the authors
found out this notion is quite different from what is understood
by this word in school. In prison it is not regular but rather
accidental thing and is treated by juvenile criminals as childish.
In my opinion it is quite symbolically and signifies the gap
that exists or we may even say that is artificially created
by conditions of life in prison. It means that in prison juveniles
have different relations and naturally it would necessarily
influence their future behavior. Furthermore, it may influence
the relations within their families as well because as it
was revealed by the author of the article “The structure of
the juvenile prison: constructing the inmate father”, there
occurs a shift in a person’s behavior, particularly in relation
between sexes. The same situation is observed in the case
of juveniles who also live practically in the similar conditions
that all other prisoners do.
So, I would emphasize that this article implies a very important
idea that juveniles in prison live a different life that would
necessarily influence their future life and the life of their
families as well since they would rather tend to extrapolate
the relations they get used to in prison to their families.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned it is possible
to say that the problem of juvenile in prison is very important
and it should be solved as soon as possible. However, there
is no general receipt to improve the situation it is necessary
to study the problem carefully and find a solution that would
help juvenile criminals to adapt to normal conditions of life
after prison. At the same time, it is extremely important
that prison did not influence relations within families while
a person is imprisoned and after that. Probably that would
lead to the improvement of the situation. However, personally,
I believe that it is rather socio-economic problem and without
the improvement of the socio-economic situation we can hardly
change anything. People need a real and attainable alternative
to crime, particularly if they are juveniles.
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