Comparing Rehabilitation to Harsher Penalties in regards to Juvenile Crime


Juvenile crime is a great public concern in the current age given the rising number of youths getting into crime, especially in poverty stricken communities that experience hardship. It is quite plausible to claim that the combination of punitive philosophy, strict sentencing guidelines, and budget shortfalls continuous to make prisons an unpleasant place for juvenile criminals. Running a juvenile crime prison is an expensive affair in terms of time and money. Rehabilitation offers an appropriate and feasible scheme that reduces the level of juvenile crime rate while saving on money.

Rehabilitation aids in remodeling a juvenile criminal through giving them the support needed with the hope of changing them so as they do not get into criminal activities again. Applying harsher penalties on juvenile crime have not worked appropriately as expected by the legal system. In some cases, harsh penalties that involve heavy fines tend to favor people who have ready money in their possession since they can make the sentence easily go away. Consequently, the juvenile criminal in this case does not learn any lesson.

Harsher penalties that involve jail time or a prison sentence also do not benefit the offenders. Juvenile penitentiaries should consider investing in rehabilitation because endorsing programs like community service assists in shaping offenders lives. For example, a one year community penalty, with a tough curfew electronic ankle tagging, and 100 hours of unpaid work may essentially be more disciplinary compared to offering three meals a day and access to a fully installed gym for the offenders. This is counter-productive since the offenders end up learning nothing.

Rehabilitating juvenile lawbreakers by making them participate in community service activities is more logical approach than locking them away in a prison. This process is effective since probation officers can regularly monitor the offenders’ movement from a remote location. Subsequently, offenders should periodically report to a probation officer who evaluates their progress and development with the rehabilitation program. Putting an offender on rehabilitation programs saves on costs through redistribution of financial resources that would otherwise go to maintaining prisons.

It is important to appreciate that the main objective when issuing harsher penalties should not automatically be to discipline the juvenile, but to improve values for the public as a whole. Helping the offenders through rehabilitation programs reduces the cost incurred by tax payers and also reduces the crime rate in the future. Ultimately, the number of victims exposed to juvenile crime also reduces.

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