It is highly unlikely that incarceration of youth, increase their capacity for becoming healthy, safe, and productive citizens. The attached article is a very sad statement to the criminal justice systems generalization (one size fits all) of consequence for youth who commit crimes. This is not to say accountability is not important. It is! Each situation is and should be considered on the basis of what genuinely occurred. Too many youth have been incarcerated and lengthy sentences imposed. Incarcerated for mistakes, that most likely would not have occurred had they the opportunities many in our country have. The Safe Justice Act, is a start at reform in this area. Admittedly it is not the foundational answer. The foundational answer will be found in early identification and funding which supports families.Truly supports families! It does not seem a hard concept; that children who grow in families who have enough have a better opportunity to grow into healthy adults. Enough, to this writer, means basic resources, access to education, nurtured relationships, and opportunities to celebrate successes. Children learn and grow in relationship. When caregivers are overburdened with survival, or have not had the opportunities themselves to understand safety it is difficult (not impossible) to afford this to their children. This is not a statement of parental blame – it is a statement of outrage at the injustice of what has occurred, is occurring, and will continue to occur without solid understanding that supporting families means supporting overall growth for our country on each and every level.
There are many scholarly articles that can be sited, much research in this area, and many supporters of aide to families. There are just as many scholarly articles, research, and supporters who blame poverty, social issues, and generational systemic use on those who rely on systemic support. Again, it is not a hard concept; supporting families supports the overall familial, social, and financial success of our country. Genuine support does not mean minimal financial funding; and then walking away from supporting and providing avenues to growth. A foundational understanding will need to be supported top down. Early identification, informed support, safe relationships, avenues to education, and opportunities to success (for each and every citizen) is needed. Utilization of funding in these areas and an informed understanding (top-down) is needed.
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