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Juveniles in Prison and their after effects of Treatment

Contents
1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Causes of the juvenile criminality
4. Consequences of juveniles’ imprisonment, its effect and possible improvement of the situation
5. Conclusion
6. Bibliography
Abstract
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.
Introduction
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 behavior.
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 committed.
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 unfamiliar children.
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.
Conclusion
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.

Bibliography:
1. Armistead, L. et al. “Psychopathology in Incarcerated Juvenile Delinquents: Does It Extend Beyond Externalizing Problem?” Adolescence, No 27, 1992.
2. Bohm, R. A Primer on Crime and Delinquency Theory. Belmont, CA: Wardsworth, 2001.
3. Cornell, D.G. “Juvenile Homicide: A Growing National Problem.” Behav. Sci. Law, 11, 1993.
4. Cullen, F. and R. Argew. Criminological Theory. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury, 1999.
5. DeKeseredy, W. and M. Shwartz. Contemporary Criminology. Belmont, CA: Wardsworth, 1996.
6. Eysenck, H. Crime and Personality. NY: Collins Publishers, 1994.
7. Ireland, J.L. Bullying among Offenders: Evidences, Research, and Intervention Strategies. London: Brunner-Routledge, 2002.
8. Kornhauser, R. Social Sources of Delinquency. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.
9. Maxim, P. and P. Whitehead. Explaining Crime. Woburn, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1998.
10. Wilson, R. and D. Herrnstein. Crime and Human Nature. NY: Simon and Schuster, 1985.


 
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