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Analyzing Juvenile Recidivism in the Penal System vs. Lack of Rehabilitation. By: Regina Avery HSP 402. Loury & Western, 2010, p. 6. As A Nation That Stands For “ Fr eed om ” We “Harbor The Largest Custodial Infrastructure For The Mass Of Deprivation Of Liberty On The Planet”.

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analyzing juvenile recidivism in the penal system vs lack of rehabilitation

Analyzing Juvenile Recidivism in the Penal System vs. Lack of Rehabilitation

By: Regina Avery

HSP 402

Loury & Western, 2010, p. 6

As A Nation That Stands For “Freedom” We “Harbor The Largest Custodial Infrastructure For The Mass Of Deprivation Of Liberty On The Planet”


Do you have any children? If so how old are they? If not, any young family members?Do you know exactly where they are right now without looking?

There has been roughly 150 years to refine the purpose of detaining children in a

“captive space”

To this date there is no agreement on the exact


Nearly 81,000 youth under the age of 21 were incarcerated in a juvenile detention or correction facilities.

Ameen & Lee, 2012, p. 99

did we stop educating too
Lorizzo (2012) discovered that sixty five percent of the prison adult population has an equivalent reading level of an 11 year old and “thirty six percent of young offenders had IQ’s of less than 80” (p. 22). Did we stop educating too?
Without a future means to maintain juvenile services and

an education for change.

How can we expect a child to learn behavior modification?

this is what a lack of funds and resources in america buys
15-year-old Gabriel, is detoxing in a cell at Webb County Juvenile Detention. No doctor, no bed, no hydration, no one to take his vital signs or comfort him—

Dangerous and cruel situations replicate under resourced juvenile facilities all across America.Steve Liss

this is what a lack of funds and resources in America buys…
Why are expanding our prison system?

We need attain positive results and fix the current issues we have within the system.

Juveniles grow up into adults and as a whole we need to instill assessment tools now.Creating programs that encourage higher rates of success at integrating back into society.


Countless canceled court dates, no-show lawyers, judges who won't order rehab…

More than a dozen times incarcerated, it doesn't get any easier for Kris, 14. He doesn't know exactly what he did to end up here this time. He needs rehab, but instead he gets a tour of the juvenile system at its worst– NO services available.


In the view of Loury and Western (2010), the United States prison system has grown immensely and we are unmatched by any other prison system in human history (p. 6).

Portland, Oregon Aubra, 13, charged with probation violation

Steve Liss


Lorizzo (2012) noted within our penal system “Each year, more than 26,000 offenders are released from prison with no accommodations” (p. 22).

Many community members do not realize if an adult offender has nowhere to turn, they are released homeless. Yes, I said homeless.

~ These children are the nations

next generation of offenders ~

Isn’t about time we do something to help them, while they are still in elementary?

If not, instead of graduating they will already have had 8 years as a career criminal ~


Are you confused yet, as to why these children are confined?

What about 10 year old Christian, he was charged with family violence.

Where is the help this child should be receiving?

Was this the only resort the family had? Or do we now toss our kids away when they misbehave.

Steve Liss


This defines the cycle of “recidivism”.

In a juvenile setting “recidivism rates range between 50% & 80%”.

(Ameen & Lee, 2012, p. 98)

Even though offenders are locked up,the lucky ones are provided with minimal education and therapy programs. They are not able to assimilate back into society, therefore often re-offending.


- more confused - inmates are smaller - unable to comprehend why they are here10-year-old Alejandro arrested on marijuana possession.Webb County Juvenile Detention

Steve Liss


Early intervention and treatment make sense to me. Especially, if a child is having issues, let’s find out why. For all we know these pre-cursors may be originating in the home, social environment, or a bully in class. Why wait until after we lock a child up and the irreversible damage has occurred.

Linda, 14, in her cell at juvenile detention. The trauma of sexual molestation at age 7 left her scared of strangers, prone to violent outbursts, and suicidal. The latest outburst led to another stay in Juvenile, her fifteenth or twentieth by Steve Liss

Ameen & Lee, 2012, p. 100

The United States commits more than

“fifty per one hundred thousand residents”

to a lifetime in prison (Loury & Western, 2010, p. 6).

predominantly incarcerated youth are from “economically depressed communities and families, from families where physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse, mental health problems and criminal involvement are common”


The American society and the penal system has,

“its roots in the political culture are varied and intricate; and that there is no easy or straightforward path out of the policy fix

that we have gotten ourselves into”.

(Loury & Western, 2010, p. 5)

Analyzing adult patterns and limitations in the penal system has shown statistics reflecting the escalating rates in recidivism.

What kind of Nation have we become?

our jails and youth detention centers are holding children as young as 8 years old. “about 80 percent of the children, their only crimes are immigration offenses”. Julie Sullivan (2000) the Oregonian

This 15-year-old was abandoned. He survived Hurricane Mitch, swam across the Rio Grande and hitchhiked to New York City.

Only to be transferred to L.A. Central Juvenile Detention Center where he had been in fights, pepper-sprayed and held in solitary confinement.


References Ameen, E.L., & Lee, D.L. (2012). Vocational training in juvenile detention: A call for action. Career Development Quarterly, 60(2), 98-108.’s By: Steve Liss Photojournalist – has worked for Time Magazine for the last 21 years. He has covered politics and presidential campaigns.Lorizzo, J. (2012). Helping offenders find a way out of recidivism. Learning Disability Practice.15 (5), 22-25.Loury, G. C., & Western, B. (2010). The challenge of mass incarceration in America. Daedalus, 139(3), 5-7.Sullivan, J. (2000, December 12). INS locks children away next to criminals. [Special issue]. The Oregonian, The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved from