Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Right to be Assumed Innocent, By Sharon Powell

Becoming a teen-ager can be filled with a life full of “C’s.” Challenges, change, conflict, creativity, and choice, anticipate the arrival of new kids on the block. Facing the challenges of peer pressure and family life are always stressful for most young people. It is sometimes difficult for the teenager to decide what the best choice in life should be when faced with opposition. Other areas of concern are the biological transitions, and changes occurring within the body during pre-adolescent years. Mixed emotions can sometimes cause you to engage in certain activities before you are emotionally prepared to deal with the recourse of your actions. Teen pregnancy and conflict quite often occur when struggling with adolescence, and may cause stress among family members and friends.

Many teens are asked to make important life-changing decisions, and quite often result in choosing the wrong pathway in life. Inexperience involved with everyday life, and the desire for obtaining money and friends causes some teens to create additional problems for themselves. Searching for an easy way out of oppressive situations may not always be the best solution.

The fight against juvenile delinquency, prostitution, and gang warfare among America’s youth are continuous battles for local law enforcement and child protective services. Criminals preying upon the lives of juveniles are difficult for local law enforcement to pin-down and prosecute, simply due to much of the victims economical support is provided by mere scumbags and buccaneers practicing the art of scrutiny. Social tyrants feed upon the lives of unsuspecting women and children, supplying them with money and material wealth.

Many of these issues are challenges contemporary youths face on a daily basis. Many young people within society suffer severe poverty, or come from broken homes, single parent households, and homelessness. Some individuals search for a better way, hoping to improve the economical degradation crippling future stability. Quite often, these individuals seek aid from mere strangers, and may fall victim to those providing a superficial means of support.

Many of those choosing to take part in the criminal’s charade are unsuspecting teens whose social interactions are mere pathways to self-destruction. These cycles tend to occur gradually over-time, and may develop into social stigma’s and subcultures of violence. Once the adolescent patterns his or her life surrounded by un-healthy conditions, the lifestyle becomes difficult to escape.

Lack of proper judgment and foresight most often create unavoidable circumstance for the adolescent. Many individuals carry these traits far into their adult lives, passing them on from one generation to the next. What does this cycle of life say for the future of humanity? Are America’s social structures escalating into large populations of poverty-stricken families and hopelessness? Or is corporate America so powerful they are allowed to ignore the needs of their employees while families are being forced into financial ruin.

According to Frank Schmalleger, author of Criminal Justice Today, although violent crimes by juveniles is decreasing, there are still 1.6 million juveniles arrested annually in America, while the number of those held in public facilities has increased sharply. The numbers speak for themselves and are alarming when the disadvantaged youth of America become frustrated with life, and seek comfort from society’s drug dealers, gang-bangers, pimps, and criminals. Are those offenders caught within the juvenile justice system victims of neglect, or merely undisciplined, and abused youth? Perhaps the reality of the so-called “status offenders” is the Juvenile’s way of crying out against the challenges involved with peer pressure and maturing.

The influence of neighborhood conditions weigh heavily on adolescent development and can sometimes become controversial issues where diplomacy is the best option for law enforcement officials. Poverty, and neglect have negative impacts on society and quite often require police to exercise diplomacy when the opposition of defending the innocence of youth, or arresting the juvenile offenders in order to up-hold the law becomes an issue. It is sometimes difficult to determine what is best for the youth when their lives are filled with unhealthy living conditions and the stressors involved with peer pressure and family life.

The gradual restructuring of America’s workforce and wages are currently being threatened by abuses of power and greed. All of the mentioned developments are controversial issues your generation will someday face. Growing teens are preparing themselves for interacting within the adult world in order to effectively deal with difficult issues on their own. Improving the quality of life will someday be your responsibility. You may even be asked to help make a difference in the lives of others who need to escape the recourse of crime and personal failure.

Some individuals possess the desire to make a difference within their life, but may fail to understand the resources for achieving their dreams. The best advice given comes from those who sought higher education as a means to improve their lives, verses engaging in criminal activity. Many individuals depend upon goal setting and moral virtue as a means for improvement, and seek to fill their lives with happiness and healthy choices. If you need someone to talk with about difficult issues, contacting your school’s Guidance office is a great place to start…...S. Powell, 2010

1.) Criminal Justice Today, Frank Schmalleger, Ph.D, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2009.
2.) Adolescence, Laurence Steinberg, Temple University, Mcgraw Hill Companies, New York, NY, 2008.
3.) Child Development, John W. Santrock, Eleventh Edition, McGraw Hill companies, 2007

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