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In cases of Juvenile arrest rehabilitation not punishment should be streesed Essay written by Ryan King Why would our government try to hurt kids Well kids are being hurt right now You see in America punishment rather than rehabilitation is being emphasized for juveniles who commit crimes This way of thinking must stop with the addition of rehabilitation and prevention programs for juvenile offenders States vary in their legal definition of a juvenile In Illinois for example a juvenile is defined as any person below the age of 17 Using each states legal definition the FBI reported that 62 of juveniles arrested in 1992 were referred to juvenile courts 5 to a criminal or adult court 2 to a welfare agency and 1 to another police agency The kids sent to adult prisons were eight times as likely to commit suicide It has also been evident that those kids incarcerated with adults are also more likely to become repeat offenders Legislation pending in congress now is debating several issues Among them are weather to have children as young as 13 be prosecuted and sentenced as adults for certain crimes give prosecutors the discretion to transfer a juvenile to an adult court in certain crimes and allow juveniles to have incidental contact and in some cases be housed with adults I take an opposing point of view with that of congress If a 13 year old is imprisoned how can he become a functional member of society upon his release How will he create a positive lifestyle for himself The real question is How can he turn in any direction other than that of crime He simple will not be able to If a child is sent to a prison to stay in a cell for hours at a time the only life he will know is the life he came from not the life that could be his Also
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