There has been a prolonged public dispute regarding juvenile justice systems in the United States. The nation is divided between enforcing strict punishment for the convicted delinquents or using resources to implement programs to ensure these inmates can become law-abiding citizens in the future.
The discussion between social welfare and social control exhibits significant attributes for both ideologies- that is, safeguarding the community from potentially dangerous offenders in contrast with prioritizing the wellbeing of the inmate and encouraging redemption. The United States has a large quantity of various juvenile justice systems because each state dictates their specific laws.
Although the state governs their individual justice system, most of the states’ juvenile detention centers operate in a very similar way. Currently the juvenile system possess well established procedures and programs for directing and reforming the behaviors of juvenile offenders; however, there is a vast pool of research findings that challenges the current juvenile justice system and urges for a reconstruction of the system.
My view is that the safety of our society must remain a prime concern, while also prioritizing and concentrating on implementing projects into the juvenile justice system that will cultivate redemption and behavioral revision so the juvenile offenders can have another chance at life. Attaining this objective requires offering specific programs to juveniles that emphasizes their righteousness and successfully inculcates self-sufficient behavior change that these individuals can retain while out of incarceration.
Statement of Research Problem
Although conditions in juvenile detention centers vary greatly, the vast majority of them are lacking programs or refraining from using programs that ensure the successful reintegration into society from juvenile offenders. By looking at recidivism statistics, most juvenile detention centers are currently failing at this objective. In 2017 over three fourths of juvenile offenders will be repeat offenders within 24 months of their previous offense and about one half will redo an offense within 12 month. With such high recidivism rates most juvenile justice systems are failing to keep the society safe from previous offenders and implementing behavioral change in these adolescents.
Below I will propose a solution and reformation idea to improve the juvenile justice system in the United States. I propose that having a service project embedded in juvenile detention centers will help young offenders reshape their behavior permanently and set them on a trajectory to refrain from convicting an offense in their future. My service project will incorporate service to the society, while supporting the convicted inmates and assisting them towards redemption.
This service program will allow juvenile delinquents the opportunity to assist in training a service dog, for an individual in the society who requires a service dog for their specific disability. Each participating inmate will be responsible for training their assigned dog throughout the entirety of their training duration.
I believe that offering a project that incorporates service to the society, while incorporating dogs, to the juvenile justice system, inmates will successfully redeem themselves and reintegrate into the society effectively. By trusting these offenders to be responsible for an animals life and for the individual who needs the trained service dog, these offenders will feel as though someone is uplifting the good in them as opposed to focusing on their bad qualities. Psychologically positive reinforcement has shown to work tremendously well compared to negative punishment.
This service project also emphasizes the importance of giving back to the society and encourages individuals to help others. Not only does community service be of service to individuals in need, but completing community service feels good. This feel good sense can positively affect the mental state of the incarcerated adolescents.
A vast variety of previous research has argued that pet therapy is one of the most beneficial therapy types for individuals. By incorporating dogs into this service program, there is a high probability that the juveniles will gain significant benefits from their fury responsibility. Some important benefits of dogs include: decreases the feeling of isolation and loneliness, improves loyalty and compassion, provides comfort, and releases endorphins for a relaxation result.
This service project, in attained successfully, will help juvenile offenders redeem themselves and change their behaviors to be law-abiding citizens in society. This project will allow offenders with the opportunity to participate in the project while they are incarcerated.
I will begin this juvenile justice project by contacting specific juvenile detention centers and offering my project to them. I will organize specific qualifications that the prospected dog trainer must complete before beginning the training with the dog. These qualifications will range from psychiatric examinations to personality tests to ensure the safety of the dogs.
I am a compassionate individual who has a strong passion for helping others and a lot of experience with community service work. I have a quality that sees the good in all individuals which will drive me to ensuring the priorities of redemption in juvenile offenders. I am also currently training a service dog and have seven plus years of dog training experiences through the shelter I volunteer at.
Implementing service programs to juvenile detention centers will hopefully help with ensuring the safety of our society by decreasing recidivism rates in the United States. In order to do this inmates must independently change their overall behavior and perspective on situations. By offering dogs who can be trained by inmates, for individuals who require service dogs, these juvenile offenders will benefit extensively.