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Proposal To Cut Down Juvenile Crime

2379 words - 10 pages

The problem of juvenile violence has become one of the most overwhelming problems of our time for Texas and for the United States. The problem is spread throughout the United States. The serious crimes are usually thought to be problems of the urban city, but this is no longer a problem just for the inner city. The problem has spread through the suburban areas of the city in cases just like the first example. Citizens are spending tons of money trying to fight the problem on their own. They purchase everything they can to combat crime. Women have mace, cars have alarms, houses have burglar bars and alarms, and many schools have metal detectors to try to control the overwhelming effects of violence (Defending 93). However, these efforts are not enough to overcome the effects of violence, such as man pictured below with an automatic weapon in the streets of his neighborhood (Gest p.29). All jail and court information leads to the outcome that there is a wide diversity of criminals in jail. There is no longer a predictable profile for a juvenile criminal. However, most of the criminals still come from the inner city. Due to a 21% estimated rise in the number of 15 to 19 year olds by the year 2005, the problem will get worse without a better plan. The American juvenile justice system is supposed to be the system that prevents juveniles form committing crimes, but the system was designed over 100 years ago to prevent minor crimes from occurring (LaCoya 12/2/94). The current system in Texas and throughout most of the United States allows juveniles to receive a less severe penalty than an adult who is convicted of the same crime. The current Texas system does not allow juveniles to be prosecuted as an adult until they are eighteen unless a separate hearing is held to prove the juvenile should be prosecuted as an adult (Swantkowski 12/1/94). The overwhelming juvenile violence taking place in society today has made it impossible to continue with the same system of justice.

My Proposed Solution (4 part plan)

To solve the problems of teenage violence we need to toughen legislature against the juvenile criminals, while adding some rehabilitation to the situation. Texas needs to lower the age a juvenile can be tried as an adult from eighteen (in most circumstances) to fourteen. I decided on the age of fourteen because of statistics from Los Angeles in 1991. Out of the 460 murders which occurred by juveniles under the age of eighteen, only seventeen murders were committed by kids under fourteen (LaCayo 12/2/94). Many people have the perception that we do not lock up juveniles in America. This is simply not the case. Over the past six years, there has been an increase of over 100,000 juveniles that have been locked up for committing violent acts, but many criminals continue to evade the police (LaCayo 12/2/94). The four main areas my proposal will attempt to strengthen are education, apprehension, judicial process, and the prison system. If these areas...

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