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Pliego 1 Michelle Pliego Professor Payte English 114A 26 November, 2013 The Masked Barrier of Juvenile Detentions One

always wonders why teenagers go through a phase growing up but because the brain isnt fully developed until the late 20s, Rutherford claims that because young children dont have a fully developed brain they can be overly emotional and experience wide mood swings because the lack of that part of the brain causes teenagers to act out and rebel against enforcement (Rutherford 6). Teenagers, who grow up in an unhealthy environment with drunken, abusive parents or dont have good communication with their families, usually find it easier to blame their behavior on past events that couldve affected them, as well as their parents (Rutherford 9). Many believe that juvenile detentions are created to punish troubled teenagers who have committed crimes, but in reality, juvenile detentions were created to treat these troubled adolescents, to help them overcome their negative thoughts and actions, like stealing, killing and vandalism by counseling sessions and psychiatric treatments. Young children and teenagers dont have a fully developed brain, which causes them to become prone to emotional outburst and violence, which may also limit their ability to perceive risks, control their impulses, their emotions and most importantly to understand the consequences (Rutherford 1). Juvenile Detentions are created to facilitate the help to troubled teenagers while also keeping them and citizens safe. It is important to understand that just because problems have occurred to troubled teenagers, they are still victims of their own actions

Pliego 2 because they dont understand that there are consequences for each and every one of our actions, even if we believe they are to blame, maybe we have to be open minded before judging them. Sometimes teenagers rebel against rules and laws because they dont understand the consequences and the risks they put themselves and others through when they decide to disobey rules and standards that are meant to protect them and keep them safe. Teenagers are put away in juvenile detentions over certain time, depending on the crime committed. People believe that juvenile detentions punish prisoners for their crime and treat them unfairly, but researchers like Rutherford state that The juvenile justice system is there to treat prisoners by offering private one-on-one treatments and psychiatric treatments., meaning that facilities are not enforcing rules by aggression or violence but by counseling sessions and treatments (11). Incarceration could be very beneficial to prisoners only if they take advantage of the resources offered to them, Adolescents tend to rebel against laws and rules because they dont understand and grasp why adults act the way they do and why they set certain rules. Its surprising to learn that in California alone there are more detention centers built than schools, tax payers money also goes toward these facilities, so yes, prisons and juvenile detention center have the resources to help inmates overcome whatever problem they may have. Over the past twenty years, researchers and specialists have studied and tried to come to a concrete conclusion as to why teenagers have ended up in jails at such a young age. During these twenty years, specialist have also treated troubled teenagers and tried to figure out the best way to help them get better and be accepted in the society once again. It has become a great challenge however, to find a balance of community-based care and institutionally based care, meaning that it hasnt been easy to find a balance between what is right for a community and what a facility finds suitable (Townsend 8). Even though this discovery has made it a huge challenge/obstacle

Pliego 3 for specialists, they have however, noticed a great improvement with the incarcerated teenagers they work with that encourages them that it is possible to guide these troubled teens permanently to the path of good and away from negativity. We can all agree upon that going to jail is not a good thing but for those who have been sentenced to jail, they have the opportunity to turn their life around with the free resources that the government provides. Researchers as well as the juvenile justice system have documented a positive youth outcome from new policies and investments they have addressed towards these issues (Townsend 8). Some new and improved practices in the juvenile justice have been program models that are most effective with youths and have also found out what is necessary for a long-term positive outcome and how they could achieve public safety as well (Townsend 13). All these investments made with inmates have given a positive outcome that it is possible to really help someone if they put in some dedication and work as well as receiving professional help. All inmates, it shouldnt matter their ethnicity or their financial status; they all deserve and should get equal amount of help. When I hear that someone has been sent to jail, I usually envision prisoners locked up in a cell for the whole day, mistreated and starved, getting into fights with each other. However, that is not the case, the juvenile justice system was created to improve the life of those not deem safe to be around people. Its true that even though these systems are meant to be helpful with its resources, many prisoners are afraid to be victims of experiments that are practiced on them for a faster, cheaper and more permanent ways to cure them. Like in A Clockwork Orange, Alex is put through a Reclamation Treatment, a form of aversion therapy, where they show him violence, aggressive sex while also taking away his pleasure to listen to his music (McCracken 276-78). Samuel McCracken states that even if prisoners were to be put through a treatment or therapy like the one Alex went through, it wouldnt take their free will away, they just wouldnt be able

Pliego 4 to act on it, scared of going through strong emotions thatll cause them pain, physically and emotionally (278). However, thats not the case, and more people should be aware that teenagers arent locked up and punished, theyre free to choose whether or not they would like to take advantage of such resources or simply go through life living the way they have grown to live. Whatever the case, the juvenile justice system is there to lend a helping hand to those prisoners who suffer from their own thoughts and actions. In the text A Clockwork Orange, Alex describes his government as corrupt and greedy people who try to find a cheap way to treat their prisoners like Alex, and guide them towards the path of good. Even though there has been an increase of prisoners, there has also been an increase in the outcomes of the youth treatments and facilities (Townsend 8). In Cheryln K. Townsend article, she presented us with data that youths have responded positively towards management programs as well as therapy sessions that proved to improve their life after they served their sentence in jails (8). The government were debating whether or not a treatment like the one Alex went through would be beneficial or not but given this positive data, the juvenile justice system has decided against it (Townsend 13). The Ludovicos Technique is a treatment that exposes prisoners to violent, aggressive videos that in a way manipulates their brain to function and think a certain way if they think about doing bad to others. It would also be harmful in more than one way because a teenagers brain is not fully developed and cant register the risks and consequences of their actions until their thoroughly taught right from wrong. A teenagers prefrontal lobe is not fully developed until the age of twenty-five, more or less, and that part of the brain is what mediates emotional impulses and are prone to have unexpected mood swings (Rutherford 6).

Pliego 5 The lack of that prefrontal lobe, limits the teenagers ability to perceive risks, control their impulses and emotions and understand the consequences. Which is why, many teenagers overreact and rebel against rules and enforcement, it is simply because they dont understand thats its for their own good and benefit. With resources like the ones that are offered to inmates they will and can improve and recuperate and be treated like a regular citizen. Overall, juvenile detentions are not meant to punish and alienate troubled teens from their family and friends, but it is a mean through which they hope to help them understand what is wrong and why they shouldnt do it, why their actions have landed them in jail. The juvenile justice system was created to help treat troubled teens experience life in a safe, reasonable way.

Pliego 6 Works Cited Page Alberts, Jess K., Thomas K. Nakayama, and Judith N. Martin. Human Communication in Society. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2007. Print. Burgess, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. New York: Norton, 1986. Print McCracken, Samuel. A Clockwork Orange [Free Will and Ludovico's Technique] . 275-281. Print Rutherford, Jane. The End of Adolescence: Juvenile Justice Caught Between Exorcist and A Clockwork Orange. 2002. P 1-12. Web Townsend, Cherlyn K. "New Practices in Juvenile Justice." (2011): 1-2. Print.