A Free Ride for Juvenile Offenders

By Thomas A. Vonder Haar | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 2, 1995 | Go to article overview

A Free Ride for Juvenile Offenders


Thomas A. Vonder Haar, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Students riding on a school bus a few weeks ago were getting increasingly unruly, and, after the driver was hit in the back of the head by a book, she called the police. When an officer arrived and tried to restore order on the bus, he was, according to news reports, taunted by the children: They pointed out to him that they could do whatever they wanted, and he could do nothing about it.

The kids knew their civics. They knew that the officer had no choice but to stand there as they jeered at him. As juveniles, they can break the law with impunity. In fact, they can just about get away with murder.

The juvenile justice system, as it now apparently operates, does not hold offenders accountable for breaking the law. Because the proceedings are secret, it is not possible to know exactly how or whether juvenile criminals are being dealt with appropriately. If you judge the criminal justice system by results, however, it fails.

No one is surprised that, according to a study by the Missouri Bar, the number of kids being referred to the juvenile courts has doubled in the last 10 years and that the kids are becoming more violent. The number of juvenile referrals relating to violent crimes has more than tripled.

People are wondering what is going on. According to a Gallup Poll taken last September, 72 percent of respondents have no confidence in the juvenile justice system. They believe that efforts at rehabilitation and protection by juvenile authorities have failed to stem juvenile crime; and, of course, they are right. The juvenile justice system is run by special judges and social workers whose efforts at rehabilitation are based on counseling and therapy. It's not working.

Don't bother looking for explanations in social work literature. In the textbook "Social Work Treatment," Ray J. Thomlison, dean of the faculty of social work at the University of Calgary, puts it succinctly: "Complete and accurate data regarding the incorporation of behavior therapy in social work practice is not available."

The social work profession doesn't even try to systematically validate its treatments and practices. Professional literature contains many case studies and much theorizing, but there are no data showing that behavior therapy, especially as applied to juveniles, has productive or positive outcomes.

When Alderman Freeman Bosley Sr. proposed spankings for juvenile offenders, the reaction was mild bemusement. It will never happen, of course. Liberal do-gooders will whine that the practice would teach that "society condones violence," or that "violence should not be construed as a solution to a problem." Spanking would at least demonstrate that society will impose sanctions on criminal behavior. It would also forestall the public's frustration and anger at the manner in which juvenile crime is being handled by government. A military-style reform-school system run by veterans would probably be more palatable than spanking, however, and would be more effective in reducing juvenile crime. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Free Ride for Juvenile Offenders
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.