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Essay/Term paper: Government should establish program to reduce juvenile crime

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History Essays

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Government Should Establish Program To Reduce Juvenile Crime

Juvenile crime is increasing rapidly and is a problem that plagues
America. The murder rate by 18 year olds has increased 467% since 1965! The
current policy maintained for the last number of decades is clearly not
effective. An increase of 207% in the number of murder cases committed by 15
year olds from 1985 to 1993 is not a sign that current policy is effective.
Changes must be made. The best way to address the problem is through government
funded preventative programs. The affirmative intends to prove, and stands
resolved, that the federal government should establish a program to
substantially reduce juvenile crime.
This, by definition, means that the federal government would benefit the
country by taking action and making government programs that will decrease the
number of crimes committed by minors. Contention I: The status quo is only
harming the people of the united states by remaining. Subpoint A: It has become
clear that the state and local governments have failed in correcting the
nation wide epidemic of juvenile crime, since juvenile crime rates are rising so
rapidly. Subpoint 1:An example of an ineffective state plan is that many
states are attempting to incarcerate juveniles along with adults. Putting
juvenile offenders in with adults increases their chances offending again when
they are released by 65%. Subpoint 2: SHOCAP, a local crime reduction plan,
was shut down because it was ineffective. Subpoint B: Local plans are too
diverse and lack uniformity. Subpoint 1: A plan that can lift up the entire
country are far superior to those that can only effect small parts.. Iowa may
indeed have smaller problems than New York but Juvenile crime exists everywhere.
Subpoint 2:In the hands of the federal government, a more effective, tax worthy
and moral shaping plan can be spread throughout the entire united states and
benefit the country as a whole. Utilizing this information from the faults and
few successes of the states, will help correctly fund and perfect an active plan
which will indeed begin to substantially reduce juvenile crime, before it
happens...through the methods of prevention.
The plan that we the affirmative propose is one that institutes a
combination of different preventative programs which the federal government will
entirely set up, fund, and work with these community efforts.
Plank I: This preventative program will be funded through the
organization of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention program, a federal
agency which consists of 17 separate groups involved in delinquency prevention.
They are equipped with 144 million dollars with which they can assist the
communities to create these life saving programs. Money will come both from
them and federal government funding. The government pays money to the states to
use their own programs to diminish juvenile crime, but because this has proven
ineffective through the rising juvenile crime rates, this money can be better
used on federal programs. We must recognize how much this problem is hurting us,
and be prepared to pay taxes . But with the help of the organization of
juvenile justice, the taxes should be minimal.
Plank II: The OJJDP will encourage these preventative plans with and
through the federal government to the states. This organization will consist of
the current members, plus volunteers and paid officials who will work in
communities all over the U.S.
Plank III: Mandates
Mandate 1. Schools will teach choice exercises, discourage violence and
teach law and consequences to younger children in public elementary schools all
over the country. It is obvious from the crime rates that children are not
learning simple morals in their homes! Materials would be supplied through the
federal government. This method which will help the youth of tomorrow to think
about situations before impulsively acting on them.
Mandate 2. "Street workers" will work with juveniles. Boston has had
wonderful success with street workers, volunteer conflict resolution officers.
Their job is to talk to groups of children and teens who hang out on city
streets. Supplying such a program to large cities all over the country would
prove beneficial to both the youths and people of the communities. Also, peer
mediation, similar to street workers, has proved successful in many schools
across the country, and bringing it to all schools will help many more children.

Mandate 3.Schools, gyms, churches, community centers and parks should be
encouraged to supply supervised after school activities which can be funded by
the federal government. Children take to the streets when they are left home
alone while parents are working. This is a preventative method of giving
something for youths to say yes to while bringing out their talents.
Mandate 4. Juveniles who have already been in trouble need professional
counseling. Fully funded counciling , similar to drug rehabilitation programs,
will help in the prevention of further offenses. Putting offenders into these
corrective programs can be sentenced in juvenile courts. However, not only do
we have to concentrate on the offender, but parents should also be required to
attend concealling. The lack of parental guidance is a major root to America's
juvenile crime problem. When the parents are more willing to work with their
children, the chances of that child living a normal life without crime is
Mandate 5. A budget problem that some of the cities in the US share is
funding for the police department. The only way to pay for more police is
through taxes. According to a nation wide survey, 80% of the people didn't mind
paying taxes for a better police force. These will have to be local taxes, but
the federal government should encourage the states to increase funding for the
police. The federal government will also assist in funding all local police. A
standard may have to be made to determine how much of state funds should go to
the police.
Plank IV: Enforcement. The affirmative prevention plan shall not be "
enforced", in the sense that the states must accept the assistance, but strongly
encouraged and fully funded for. The volunteers and workers will be controlled
and all programs will be uniform nationwide. When problems arise and sections
of the plan prove ineffective, revision will be allocated for if necessary. The
plan will begin in January of 99, giving time for research and set-up.

This affirmative prevention plan will have the following advantages.
Advantage I. Prevention works. Prevention is a way we can both stop crime
before it happens and have the advantage of helping juveniles to learn
important lessons they can take with them in life. Nation wide prevention has
already been endorsed by President Clinton in his state of the union address
when he said,

"...We have seen a stunning and simultaneous
breakdown of community, family, and work. This has
created a vast vacuum which has been filed by
violence, drugs and gangs. So I ask you to remember
that even as we say no to crime, we must give people,
especially our young people something to say "yes'

Advantage II. The federal government has deeper pockets than the local
governments and therefore the affirmative plan is more cost effective than the
status quo. Money that the states need for schools can be conserved. When
comparing the revenues of a state to the federal government of the U.S.A, it is
obvious that the federal government simply has more money to spend. Also, the
plan works better on a larger scale where the country can benefit, not just
cities with enough funding to cover a single small program.
Advantage III. This nationwide focus on the children of America will
help give them a direction in life. Since the focus is on the education of
juveniles and parents, the family structures in America may be improved. There
are many success stories such as John Walker, age 11, who had the habit of
getting into trouble with the law, including drugs and gang violence. After
some professional counseling, he made straight A's every quarter and was student
of the month twice. The generation of the future may have a future after all if
these prevention plans go into effect
This preventative program will allow the federal government to
substantially reduce juvenile crime. Once this net of small plans is integrated
into the system, it can help to solve the problems that are thriving under
state control. With the juvenile crime rates rising so rapidly nation wide, we
cannot reduce anything without a nation wide program. We must rescue our


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