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Youth Detention as a Measure to Deter Crime - Essay Example

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Introduction
There has been a considerable reduction in youth crime within the last 20 years, which has been largely attributed to a hefty lockdown of deliquescent youth in detention centers. The detention centers perform a number of functions with the main one being to deter criminal activities. …
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Youth Detention as a Measure to Deter Crime

Download file to see previous pages... The detention centers perform a number of functions with the main one being to deter criminal activities. Initially, these facilities were not meant for non violent offenders but trends are fast changing to include minors on very minor offenses. These statistics may give a sense of falsehood since these youth who are detained there, may develop deliquescent behaviors by the time they live the detention and pose a larger risk to the community. The unnecessary use of detention centers may expose some of the troubled youths into conditions that resemble penitentiary conditions which instead of solving their problems aggravates them further (Foley, 2001). It is the aim of this paper to argue against youth detention as a deterrence measure since it rarely solves the underlying problems besides compounding it. Detention of youths that have crime tendencies together in large secure holding facilities has been shown to have a very small positive effect in future deterrence of the same. This in fact forms a fertile ground for recidivism aggravation among those minors that are detained together. Studies carried in different states show that 60% of the youth that had been detained in juvenile detention centers returned later in the same facilities for correction purposes. Many factors have been blamed for this observation but the key one is reinforcement of deliquescent behaviors since these youth are detained together. ...
within detention centers, their will to control prior offenses goes down and they are more vulnerable than those that had not graced the detention facilities. Most of these studies have been carried in instances where other factors have been held constant such as race and age. Most of the outcome show increased probability of petition before the judicial system which deeply entrenches deliquesce tendencies in them. This is in total contrast of the studies that involve youths that have been committed to community based corrections which stand at 14% less likely to be incarcerated than first time offenders. It therefore helps to have a form of community based correction as opposed to detentions that have similar conditions to those found in jails and prisons (Hughes, 2002; Sheldon, 1999; Steinberg, 2009). Instead of deterring crime, detention deters or interrupts the process of aging out of deliquescence behaviors which should happen naturally. It is a common phenomenon for children when growing to show mild tendencies of crime which goes out with time. It has actually been shown that as much as a third of children engage in antisocial behavior that is crime related but they eventually outgrow it. This behavior is usually high in males than females but also the rate of desistance is also unusually high which compensates for the disparities between the genders. The most interesting thing is that desistance happens on its own time with no outside interference and therefore detention in a large way interferes with it. The best way that has been prescribed to help in aging out deliquescence behavior is having a mentorship program that can guide and help the youth to focus in life. The only mentorship that is available in detention is fellow crime offenders which cannot help ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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