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Word Count: 1,781
The goal of incarceration of youths should be rehabilitation In order to fix a problem we have to define it as clearly as possible It makes no sense to put a cast on ones leg if its the arm thats been broken the interventions have to meet the real and not the assumed needs of the young offenders All too often when juveniles are incarcerated it is just the start of a repeated pattern of committing crimes and then being jailed again If the assumption is made that criminal behavior is the result of choices then the solution to breaking the cycle of crimeconvictionprison may be to increase the real choices young people have To provide them with better choices the juvenile justice system must consider the factors that contribute to youthful criminal behavior including poverty inadequate education psychological problems drug and alcohol abuse boredom and lack of more appropriate peers and role models Juvenile facilities can set up programs to address these problems but unless they design programs that relate to the incarcerated youth and dont talk down patronize or lecture them it seems likely that the participants will go through the motions when required but otherwise brush the efforts off as not relevant to them So the people who design and implement these programs must have a real understanding of the youth with whom they will be working They must be willing to start at the point where the young person really is and not where they wish he or she was For instance they cant just demand on-time behavior if the young person has never shown the behavior in the past They must be willing to teach all the skills the young person needs including those they believe the person should have already acquired Many youths beginning to get involved in a life of crime do so for financial gain Some young people slip into illegal activities easily as older children
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