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Government Should Establish Program To Reduce Juvenile Crime

Juvenile crime is increasing rapidly and is a problem that plagues

America. The murder rate by 18 year olds has increased 467% since 1965! The

current policy maintained for the last number of decades is clearly not

effective. An increase of 207% in the number of murder cases committed by 15

year olds from 1985 to 1993 is not a sign that current policy is effective.

Changes must be made. The best way to address the problem is through government

funded preventative programs. The affirmative intends to prove, and stands

resolved, that the federal government should establish a program to

substantially reduce juvenile crime.

This, by definition, means that the federal government would benefit the

country by taking action and making government programs that will decrease the

number of crimes committed by minors. Contention I: The status quo is only

harming the people of the united states by remaining. Subpoint A: It has become

clear that the state and local governments have failed in correcting the

nation wide epidemic of juvenile crime, since juvenile crime rates are rising so

rapidly. Subpoint 1:An example of an ineffective state plan is that many

states are attempting to incarcerate juveniles along with adults. Putting

juvenile offenders in with adults increases their chances offending again when

they are released by 65%. Subpoint 2: SHOCAP, a local crime reduction plan,

was shut down because it was ineffective. Subpoint B: Local plans are too

diverse and lack uniformity. Subpoint 1: A plan that can lift up the entire

country are far superior to those that can only effect small parts.. Iowa may

indeed have smaller problems than New York but Juvenile crime exists everywhere.

Subpoint 2:In the hands of the federal government, a more effective, tax worthy

and moral shaping plan can be spread throughout the entire united states and

benefit the country as a whole. Utilizing this information from the faults and

few successes of the states, will help correctly fund and perfect an active plan

which will indeed begin to substantially reduce juvenile crime, before it

happens…through the methods of prevention.

The plan that we the affirmative propose is one that institutes a

combination of different preventative programs which the federal government will

entirely set up, fund, and work with these community efforts.

Plank I: This preventative program will be funded through the

organization of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention program, a federal

agency which consists of 17 separate groups involved in delinquency prevention.

They are equipped with 144 million dollars with which they can assist the

communities to create these life saving programs. Money will come both from

them and federal government funding. The government pays money to the states to

use their own programs to diminish juvenile crime, but because this has proven

ineffective through the rising juvenile crime rates, this money can be better

used on federal programs. We must recognize how much this problem is hurting us,

and be prepared to pay taxes . But with the help of the organization of

juvenile justice, the taxes should be minimal.

Plank II: The OJJDP will encourage these preventative plans with and

through the federal government to the states. This organization will consist of

the current members, plus volunteers and paid officials who will work in

communities all over the U.S.

Plank III: Mandates

Mandate 1. Schools will teach choice exercises, discourage violence and

teach law and consequences to younger children in public elementary schools all

over the country. It is obvious from the crime rates that children are not

learning simple morals in their homes! Materials would be supplied through the

federal government. This method which will help the youth of tomorrow to think

about situations before impulsively acting on them.

Mandate 2. ?Street workers? will work with juveniles. Boston has had

wonderful success with street workers, volunteer conflict resolution officers.

Their job is to talk to groups of children and teens who hang out on city

streets. Supplying such a program to large cities all over the country would

prove beneficial to both the youths and people of the communities. Also, peer

mediation, similar to street workers, has proved successful in many schools

across the country, and bringing it to all schools will help many more children.

Mandate 3.Schools, gyms, churches, community centers and parks should be

encouraged to supply supervised after school activities which can be funded by

the federal government. Children take to the streets when they are left home

alone while parents are working. This is a preventative method of giving

something for youths to say yes to while bringing out their talents.

Mandate 4. Juveniles who have already been in trouble need professional

counseling. Fully funded counciling , similar to drug rehabilitation programs,

will help in the prevention of further offenses. Putting offenders into these

corrective programs can be sentenced in juvenile courts. However, not only do

we have to concentrate on the offender, but parents should also be required to

attend concealling. The lack of parental guidance is a major root to America’s

juvenile crime problem. When the parents are more willing to work with their

children, the chances of that child living a normal life without crime is


Mandate 5. A budget problem that some of the cities in the US share is

funding for the police department. The only way to pay for more police is

through taxes. According to a nation wide survey, 80% of the people didn’t mind

paying taxes for a better police force. These will have to be local taxes, but

the federal government should encourage the states to increase funding for the

police. The federal government will also assist in funding all local police. A

standard may have to be made to determine how much of state funds should go to

the police.

Plank IV: Enforcement. The affirmative prevention plan shall not be ?

enforced?, in the sense that the states must accept the assistance, but strongly

encouraged and fully funded for. The volunteers and workers will be controlled

and all programs will be uniform nationwide. When problems arise and sections

of the plan prove ineffective, revision will be allocated for if necessary. The

plan will begin in January of 99, giving time for research and set-up.

This affirmative prevention plan will have the following advantages.

Advantage I. Prevention works. Prevention is a way we can both stop crime

before it happens and have the advantage of helping juveniles to learn

important lessons they can take with them in life. Nation wide prevention has

already been endorsed by President Clinton in his state of the union address

when he said,

?…We have seen a stunning and simultaneous

breakdown of community, family, and work. This has

created a vast vacuum which has been filed by

violence, drugs and gangs. So I ask you to remember

that even as we say no to crime, we must give people,

especially our young people something to say ?yes’


Advantage II. The federal government has deeper pockets than the local

governments and therefore the affirmative plan is more cost effective than the

status quo. Money that the states need for schools can be conserved. When

comparing the revenues of a state to the federal government of the U.S.A, it is

obvious that the federal government simply has more money to spend. Also, the

plan works better on a larger scale where the country can benefit, not just

cities with enough funding to cover a single small program.

Advantage III. This nationwide focus on the children of America will

help give them a direction in life. Since the focus is on the education of

juveniles and parents, the family structures in America may be improved. There

are many success stories such as John Walker, age 11, who had the habit of

getting into trouble with the law, including drugs and gang violence. After

some professional counseling, he made straight A’s every quarter and was student

of the month twice. The generation of the future may have a future after all if

these prevention plans go into effect

This preventative program will allow the federal government to

substantially reduce juvenile crime. Once this net of small plans is integrated

into the system, it can help to solve the problems that are thriving under

state control. With the juvenile crime rates rising so rapidly nation wide, we

cannot reduce anything without a nation wide program. We must rescue our


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