Juvenile Consequences of Incarceration

High School ・Political Science ・MLA ・8 Sources

The consequences of detention on adolescents are notable. Evidence also found that incarcerating underage adults exclusively in adult prisons has detrimental effects and it has been shown that the incarceration of juveniles does not fulfill the criminogenic and developmental requirements of juvenile criminals and restricts their capacity to undergo sufficient recovery. Remarkably, because those who have completed prison sentences for different causes, have demonstrated persistent presence in offending habits, and are in frequent touch with the justice system, there are negative emotional and physical health effects of young people's imprisonment. Incarceration of juveniles is often viewed as the only practical way to ensure general public safety, but the outcome and the cost of the process indicate that it is not the only efficient method to affect correctional behaviors on young offenders of the law. The young people who are prone to rub shoulders with the law mostly come from multiple systems that shape their criminogenic needs. Therefore, to achieve the best results in impacting ethical behavior on the youths, practices that are empirically supported and that are community-based must be adopted. In terms of crime reduction among the young people, incarceration has minimal impact in changing their mind not to engage in criminal activities. The primary reason for imprisonment is to impact correctional behavior to the inmates, and when they fail to acquire the necessary traits to enable them to intermingle with the rest of the citizens peacefully, then the incarceration process was in vain. 

Detention of the juveniles has the impact of increasing the rate at which they commit new offenses even after being punished for their previous crimes. Most of the youths that were in secure detention, after one year of their release they are usually booked back for imprisonment (Komisaruk, Richard 118). The experience of the incarcerated juveniles in the detention centers impacts hopelessness in their lives and even after their release, they end up engaging in criminal activities to sustain their lives. Once in prison, many young people feel their hopes to live a decent life get thwarted since they are denied the opportunity to make use of the available resources to make their lives better. Many inmates are known to mistreat the youths in the detention centers and they end up causing more harm to their private lives. Many of the young people released from the incarceration centers have minimal or no knowledge of how to enhance productivity in their lives (Lazerson, Marvin, and Barbara Brenzel 87). As a result, they retrench back to crime to meet the demands of their lives. On the other hand, once incarcerated, there are minimal efforts to correct their behavior in the juvenile centers since the primary goal is to punish them for participating in criminal activities. Many of them get acquainted with life in prison and are not afraid of being remanded again. Consequently, placement in a secure detention does not deter most juveniles from participating in future criminal activities.

Bringing the young people together with the aim of correcting their behavior has adverse effects and increases their chances of re-offending. Many of the young people in prison engage in negative peer pressure where they get involved in antisocial practices with their peers, and many increasingly identify themselves with deviancy (Darnell, Sandra K. 67). Drug and substance abuse in the detention centers is usually high, and at the end of their jail term, many young people lose their sobriety and return to their evil ways. When young offenders meet with their counterparts in prison, they develop negative influence and alliances with one another, and they get used to the juvenile justice systems, which makes it difficult to get them out (Peterson-Badali, Michele, and Christopher J Koegl 45). Young people who have never been remanded to a juvenile facility fear to offend the law since they do not know their fate once they appear before the court for any offense. On the other hand, prior incarcerated youths have an idea of the chances of their future once they offend the law and gain the courage to continue doing wrong things. By the fact that they manage to find their way out of the juvenile facilities after serving their terms, they are confident that they will survive their present predicament just like in the past.

Detention has the impact of interrupting the natural process of transformation of the youths from bad behavior to the good. Many young people engage in various forms of crimes, but not all of them get detained. In the process of growing up, children obtain mentors who act the crucial role in shaping their behavior (Loftus, Siobhan, and Jost Borcherding 115). Therefore, in the end, they change their evil ways and develop positive attitudes and behavior in life. If the young evil doers face incarceration, they get detached from their respective communities, and their fate in life is usually sealed. They become disconnected with people who have the chance of impacting their way of life positively and stimulating a change of character from within. Therefore, they end up growing in an environment where they get separated from the external world, and thus they develop antisocial behavior (Landersø, Rasmus 206). Many young people change their way of life out of positively engaging them in activities that have a positive impact to the society and when they get incarcerated, they feel their life is a waste and thus lose hope of ever becoming successful in future (D’Amico, Daniel J., and Claudia Williamson 595). Therefore, there is no relationship between the incarceration of the juveniles and the overall reduction in crime in the society. When young people get jailed, they lose the golden opportunity to further their education which can change their lives (Johnston, Bradley R., and Markus Molis 130). After serving their jail term, many young people lose interest in studying, and thus they reduce their chances of securing a job to sustain their livelihoods. The reason behind the high rate of crime among the youth is lack of employment that is usually brought about by lack of credentials to secure a formal employment. In most cases, juveniles get discriminated against in the job market, and thus they become frustrated and return to their evil ways of life to make a living.

Incarceration of the young people has the impact of affecting their mental health adversely and increases their propensity to harm themselves. While in detention, juveniles are in constant thought of their lives, and thus they are never sober, and hence many meet the threshold for mental disorders (Abramowicz, Sarah 230). Many of the young people with psychiatric disorders get detained since they involve themselves in activities that are against the law. Incarcerated youths develop paranoia and thus there are chances of self-harm. Many incarceration centers have an unhealthy environment resulting in the deterioration of health of the inmates. Many young people in the detention centers face malnutrition and thus reducing their life expectancy (WILDEMAN, CHRISTOPHER 360). The many mistreatments they suffer in prison including rape and physical damage by their counterparts frustrates their will to live, and in the end, some commit suicide. Once incarcerated, the lives of the young people are no longer the same, and thus aspects of their social life such as marriage, job stability, and parenthood are affected (Clear, Todd 28). After serving their jail terms, juveniles are stereotyped as people who can cause harm to other people. Therefore, they face denial of the chance to prove themselves and make a positive mark in their lives (Schnepel, Kevin T. 516). As a result of lack of inclusion back to the society after incarceration, many young people suffer from depression which adversely impacts their lives. The inability to develop relationships forces incarcerated youths to build anxiety.

To sum it up, incarceration does not benefit children in the society and ends up creating repeat offenders of the law. Once young people get jailed, they are denied the privilege of being in constant contact with their families that can shoe their behavior. Imprisoning a young person takes away the energy and the zeal to make things right in their lives and the end, they lead a miserable life. Detention limits their chances of acquiring formal education and thus decreasing their chances of employability. Failure to secure a decent living, incarcerated youths return to their evil ways, and they increase their chances of returning to prison. Their experiences in detention limit their ability to have behavior change as a result of the many negative experiences they face. Therefore, incarceration is known to propagate the cycle of crime among the young people and does not in any way positively affect the behavior and lives of juveniles.

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Annotated Bibliography

Abramowicz, Sarah. "A FAMILY LAW PERSPECTIVE ON PARENTAL INCARCERATION." Family Court Review, vol 50, no. 2, 2014, pp. 228-240. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/j.1744-1617.2012.01447.x.

The article’s research question is about parental perspective on incarceration

Clear, Todd. "Incarceration And Communities." Criminal Justice Matters, vol 75, no. 1, 2015, pp. 26-27. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1080/09627250802699749.

The research question of the article is the aspect of incarceration and the communities

D’Amico, Daniel J., and Claudia Williamson. "Do Legal Origins Affect Cross-Country Incarceration Rates?." Journal Of Comparative Economics, vol 43, no. 3, 2015, pp. 595-612. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.jce.2014.11.002.

The research question of the article is about the legal perspectives of incarceration of the young people.

Darnell, Sandra K. "Alternatives To Incarceration: Commnity-Based Alternatives For Juveniles." American Journal Of Criminal Justice, vol 5, no. 1, 2016, pp. 66-76. Springer Nature, doi:10.1007/bf02903701.

The research question of the article is about the community based alternatives for juveniles

Johnston, Bradley R., and Markus Molis. "Predator Chemical Cues Affect Prey Feeding Activity Differently In Juveniles And Adults." Canadian Journal Of Zoology, vol 90, no. 1, 2012, pp. 128-132. Canadian Science Publishing, doi:10.1139/z11-113.

The research question of the article is about the life of detention for juveniles.

Landersø, Rasmus. "Does Incarceration Length Affect Labor Market Outcomes?." The Journal Of Law And Economics, vol 58, no. 1, 2015, pp. 205-234. University Of Chicago Press, doi:10.1086/682911.

The article research question is about the economic impact of juvenile incarceration.

Lazerson, Marvin, and Barbara Brenzel. "Juveniles, Incarceration, And Compulsory Love." Reviews In American History, vol 6, no. 1, 2014, p. 87. JSTOR, doi:10.2307/2701481.

The research question of the article is about the lack of love incarcerated juveniles face.

Loftus, Siobhan, and Jost Borcherding. "Does Social Context Affect Boldness In Juveniles?." Current Zoology, 2016, p. zow115. Oxford University Press (OUP), doi:10.1093/cz/zow115.

Social context of juvenile incarceration is the research question of the article

Peterson-Badali, Michele, and Christopher J Koegl. "Juveniles' Experiences Of Incarceration." Journal Of Criminal Justice, vol 30, no. 1, 2015, pp. 41-49. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/s0047-2352(01)00121-0.

The research question of the article is about the experiences of the incarcerated juveniles.

Schnepel, Kevin T. "Economics Of Incarceration." Australian Economic Review, vol 49, no. 4, 2016, pp. 515-523. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/1467-8462.12187.

The economic aspects of incarceration is the research question of the article.

WILDEMAN, CHRISTOPHER. "INCARCERATION AND POPULATION HEALTH IN WEALTHY DEMOCRACIES*." Criminology, vol 54, no. 2, 2016, pp. 360-382. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/1745-9125.12107.

The life in detention is the research question of the article.

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