Check out this blog...then, let me know what you think.
I have worked inside prisons, jails, and juvenile institutions. I know there are some bad people out there. BUT, I've also seen a lot of good people make bad choices. Also, what I know about development, and psychology in general, and from reading a plethora of social science research and statistics on what happens to juveniles when put into adult prisons, leads me to believe that the worst thing we can do as a society is make choices out of fear and "throw" kids into adult jails. In my opinion, it's the quickest way to ensure they are ruined for life.
So I read this blog today on an APA blog--he was blogging in response to a new book that recently came out....
"In his review of Slobogin and Fondacaro's book Juveniles at Risk: A Plea for Preventive Justice, Norman White states, I
agree with the authors that it is very important to use evidence-based
research in the process of trying to understand how to provide quality
care and treatment of youths; it is imperative that we examine current
functioning and practices of the court as it has moved far from its
basic foundation of parens patriae.
The movement toward treating children as adults, viewing them as
adults, and punishing them as adults is harmful to their lives'
trajectories. We need reasoned and clearly vetted program development. I
am not sure that preventive justice provides that solution.Does
good research evidence exist that treating youths like adults in the
juvenile justice system is harmful? Isn't it part of society's role to
prepare youths for adult responsibilities? Don't we as parents,
teachers, neighbors, etc. try to teach our young people what it means to
be an adult by instilling in them adult values and habits (such as be
on time for class/work, empathize with others, learn to cooperate with
classmates/co-workers, and that acting unethically or illegally—e.g.,
cheating on an exam, stealing—has negative consequences)? So, shouldn't
juvenile offenders be treated, at least to some extent, like adult
offenders? And isn't there research evidence to demonstrate the
effectiveness of this type of training in preventing further delinquent
Read the Review
It's Broke; We Must Fix It: A Selective Incapacitation Approach to Juvenile Justice By Norman A. White PsycCRITIQUES, 2012 Vol 57(12)"
my "comment" to this was:
is a plethora of social science research detailing the devastating
effects of children being thrown into the adult penal system. Among many
great psychologists and criminal justice researchers, Arizona State
University has done amazing work in conjunction with other research1
universities and have found that even though juveniles do "adult-like"
crime, they still have a much higher chance for rehabilitation. Yet, if
they are put into adult prisons, they have the same recidivism rates as
adults. In part because once they are thrown into a world of hardened
criminals, they "learn" the ways of criminals that have been in the
system for the majority of their lives and even more devastating,
because of their age, size, and vulnerability, they at a much higher
risk for physical and sexual abuse.
Yes, as a psychologist and as a mother, I want to instill good values
in children. I don't believe in permissiveness. I believe that justice
is important, especially when juveniles commit horrific crimes. But,
there are much better ways (scientifically proven ways) to do that other
than to punish them "this" harshly and punish them in "that" way.
Actually, research says the opposite of your remarks, especially your
final remark. Developmentally, because of adolescents' cognitive
limitations, as well as their emotional developmental level during
adolescence, putting juveniles in an adult system is not, anywhere near,
the most effective way "to prepare youths for adult responsibilities"
nor is it effective "in preventing further delinquent behavior".
Again-quite the opposite.
The developmental stage of adolescence and his/her age and
vulnerability, must be taken into consideration when thinking about
punishment and rehabilitation.
Dr. Carrie A. Lloyd Friday, March 23, 2012 at 05:46 PM
I could have gone on and on.....................