Spend Now, Save Later

In recent years there has been a lot of controversy revolving around the ideal age a juvenile can be charged as an adult. Many activist have had many arguments from the psychological issues to the lost of innocence, but few have discussed the economical benefits and disadvantages. According to the article, Raising the Age for Juvenile Jurisdiction in Illinois: Medical Science, Adolescent Competency, and Cost by Richard Walsh, he discusses the main economic differences in incarcerating adults versus juveniles. According to the author the Juvenile Court Act enforcers a series of extra special procedures needed to be implemented when dealing with juveniles. Some of these procedures include but arrant limited to, “the assignment of specialized police officers, custody screening, and pretrial monitoring programs”; with all of the extra procedure little by little the money eventually adds up.

Juvenile police officers need to be specially trained when dealing with juvenile offenders. Officers need to be experienced in handling and dealing with minors — issues that might occur can range from mood changes to knowing how to deal with the parents. For this reason Illinois has made it mandatory for there to be at least one juvenile police officer present in the police department. In addition juveniles have to be monitor, the price for monitoring can range from $25.00 per day to $781.00 per day. Some programs include monitoring juveniles through ankle bracelets ($50 per day), home confinement ( $25 per day), Juvenile Center ($42 per day), and shelter care ($144 per day). If a juvenile were to be incarcerated for life it would cost society an average of $1,500,00 to $2,300,000 per juvenile. In the other hand by rehabilitating teens and helping them cope with drug addiction problems or psychological problem it would be saving states money.

Incarcerating them at a young age will case more issues due to the dangers they are being exposed to, such as rape, depression, and psychological abuse. By monitoring them as juveniles we will be avoiding the extra burden sending them to adult prisons can cause. Another great advantage is that programs like this have a high efficiency rate meaning that it is very likely for juveniles to change their wrongful paths. This also means that programs like this that usually last a few years could save the government money by not incarcerating teens for a life time.

In conclusion instead of wasting money making sure prisoners have the basic necessities we should be spending that money rehabilitating teens.With the over 80% of success rates happening when theres an intervention done by an expert there should be no question to what is right and wrong.

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