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Gunmen open fire at Denver area high school 5 dead 11 wounded in Arkansas school shooting Pennsylvania students cope with shooting spree 1 killed 25 wounded in Oregon school shooting Headlines such as these while shocking have become almost commonplace in America today In a society in which movies video games and even music are saturated with violence youth are turning on both each other and adults with increasing deadliness Much of the public favors adult sentences for juveniles charged with serious violent crimes The rate of serious crime among children and youth has begun to rise despite increasingly harsher sentences for juvenile offenders At the present rate of incarceration one out of every twenty children born in 1997 will spend time behind bars For males the figure is one in eleven and one in four African-American males will spend time in prison at some point in their lives Clearly the court system is unable to deal sufficiently with cases such as the aforementioned How will this nation curb this alarming trend While the real key is prevention much can be done once a crime has been committed Neither the adult nor the juvenile court system is properly equipped to deal with violent juveniles Former US Attorney General William P Barr says the increase in violent offenses clearly show that we must enact wholesale reform of the juvenile-justice system so that for the vast majority of juvenile offenders their first brush with the law is their last Juveniles who commit violent crimes need a combination of rehabilitation and punishment Rather than sending violent juveniles through the adult court and prison systems the juvenile court system should be restructured to handle such individuals The juvenile court system should be based on new alternative courts already in existence with a special intake system to place offenders in the proper court and holding facilities whose primary purpose is rehabilitation over a longer period of time First a new
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