Policy Changes are Needed in Our Education System

3428 WordsFeb 23, 201814 Pages
Our society has become punitive when dealing with children, so much so that we are deemed, by other nations, the harshest western nation when it comes to juvenile policy and punishment. Unfortunately, this is a true statement when we look at our incarceration rates. Our states and federal prison, local jails, and juvenile detention center are overcrowded, with beds being filled the same day they are vacated. Specifically, our juvenile detention system is serving an alarming amount of children. In fact, it is estimated that 500,000 children enter juvenile detentions center every year, leading to the detention of more than 26,000 juveniles every day (Holman and Ziedenberg, 2006). Unfortunately, studies have found that disability rates among juveniles in detention average around 30% to 50% (Gemeignani, 1994). While some studies indicate the rate of disability is as high as 76% (Quinn et al., 2005). In contrast, the national average of disabilities is estimated at 10% (Butterworth & Kovas, 2013). These factors have significant consequences on our society in general. Particularly on our incarceration rates of both juvenile and adults, the enormous cost of incarcerating individuals, the loss of taxpayers and family members, and the overtaxing of a system that cannot treat the large amount of children. The juvenile system differs from the adult system; they focus on the treatment of the child in hopes to repair the issues that have caused the delinquency. As we have seen in other
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