Review several of your colleagues’ posts, and respond to at least two of your peers. Decide whether you agree or disagree with them and explain.
Do the benefits of solitary outweigh the costs?
No. “A number of jail and prison officials recognize, solitary confinement is costly, ineffective, and harmful” (Growing Up Locked Down, 2012).
Is solitary necessary to control a juvenile and maintain safety?
Luis Spencer, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections stated that, “we have to be realistic when we’re running these prisons, segregation [solitary] is a necessary tool to maintain order and safety in a prison environment” (International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, 2014). While this may be true, data shows that the excessive use of solitary does, in fact, put a juvenile’s safety and well-being at risk. Therefore, there should be strict limitations on the use of solitary confinement.
Is solitary a form of rehabilitation?
“Solitary confinement punishes, but it does not rehabilitate, in fact, this punishment causes and exacerbates mental illness” (Singer, 2016). We should make rehabilitation for juveniles a priority so they can become productive members of society.
Does solitary violate the Eighth Amendment?
Yes. “Court cases have argued that solitary confinement violates an American citizen’s 8th amendment right to not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment” (Garza, 2018). Even though solitary was meant to be used for reflection on ones actions, “if the mind is consumed with anxiety and panic, there is no space for an individual to reflect on his or her actions” (Garza, 2018).
“State and federal lawmakers, as well as other appropriate officials, should
immediately embark on a review of the laws, policies, and practices that
result in young people being held in solitary confinement, with the goal of
definitively ending this practice…incarcerated adolescents must be treated
with humanity and dignity and guaranteed the ability to grow, to be
rehabilitated, and to reenter society” (Growing Up Locked Down, 2012).
Due to the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, “legislation, for the first time in decades, proposes significant changes, [such as], limiting the use of solitary confinement for youth to situations in which the young person poses a serious and immediate threat of physical harm, and then only for brief periods of no more than three hours” (Lutz, 2015).
The evaluation I am proposing in my final paper is the subject of juvenile recidivism. Personal, cultural, and economic factors influence where the child lives, the school they attend, the prevalence of gangs, and the amount of peer pressure imposed on these children. The amount of pressure from these factors cannot be underestimated. Children today face many problems that we must consider such as physical abuse, parental neglect, single parent homes, and bullying. All of these factors affect a child’s life in ways that many of us cannot imagine. Keeping our children out of the juvenile justice system is the main goal with recidivism as second. Once our juveniles are released from prison, they go back to the same environment from which they came. Many of these juvenile offenders have suffered from mental disorders after being abused in the home, have disruptive tendencies, or suffer from ADHD. With proper mental health treatments, juveniles successfully overcome their problems or learn to deal with their problem and therefore, do not wind up back in prison. This produces a productive citizen who can help others with the same problems. Mentoring a juvenile can be an effective way to keep juveniles from criminal activities as well as recidivism.
“For stakeholders and evaluators to interpret and appraise the program effects found in an impact assessment, therefore, these effects must first be translated into terms that are relevant to the social conditions the program aims to improve” (Rossi, Lipsey & Freeman, 2004, Chapter 10.3). Those who are affected by their city’s crime statistics are not just the citizens, but it also affects the political campaigns of many of the city’s and state officials. Many politicians run on a ‘tough on crime’ platform. “In the example of juvenile delinquency programs, a common outcome measure is the rate of rearrest within a given time period after program participation. If a program reduces rearrest rates by 24%, this amount can readily be interpreted in terms of the number of juveniles affected and the number of delinquent offenses prevented” (Rossi, Lipsey & Freeman, 2004, Chapter 10.3).
In conducting any research ethics is the number one priority. The researcher must explain the reasons for the research, explain that anonymity is a priority, and whether the results of the research will be revealed to the participant, if requested.
Juvenile rehabilitation is possible when someone in convicted of criminal acts. Counseling is the number one priority in rehabilitation. Recognizing mental deficiencies must also be part of rehabilitation. There are occasions when a juvenile just wants to be a part of a ‘family’ which results in gang participation. “Interventions grounded in social control theory often address parent-child relationships. The premise behind these interventions is that if practitioners can increase closeness, warmth, and affection between family members and the adolescent, the likelihood of continued delinquent behavior decreases” (Ryan & Yang, 2005, p.32).
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