Baltimore News Blog

Have we failed them?

 

Have we failed them? Have we failed our youths? Children these says in different communities have been committing crimes for years, things like petty thefts, carjacking, robberies, assault. All of these have resulted in them being punished no doubt, but the questions still remain, how did they get this way?

These children will go to juvenile detention, serve time, maybe take some classes and learn how to contribute to society but ultimately they go back to doing the same thing that got them arrested in the first place.

Is it peer pressure? Lack of home stability or poor parenting? Or is it the community structure that failed them?

These questions come up all the time, but not enough people are talking about it. Its a big problem for youths in the inner city as well as neighboring counties.

Although crimes committed by juveniles have decreased over the years, it is still a big issue.

A lot of it is due to limited access to afterschool programs and a flawed education system.

Students that are struggling in school may have an undiagnosed learning disability which does lead to problems later down the line. Students won’t ask for help if they don’t understand, they will get poor grades or start acting out in school to hide the fact that they are struggling.

Teens that commit crimes usually come from broken homes, in foster care or come from dysfunctional families that don’t care about the well being of their children.

Some often find themselves in mental institutions getting psychiatric help because their parents think they have a disorder. Psychiatric hospitals have been a revolving door for most kids for years, with some becoming enrolled in residential treatment programs because they cant attend traditional public schools and they cant live at home due to their behavior.

The department of social and juvenile services, as well as CPS, have been dealing with youth cases for a long time, children and teens that have poor to no parental guidance are usually the ones who end up getting pulled out of homes and into the system where they are treated poorly.

At the delicate age that they are these teens are exposed to the world first hand and are forced to “grow up” but not in the way that would benefit them or the community.

These teens become stuck between ages for years until they are an adult and can fend for themselves, but even then its hard. They’ll find a job that doesn’t pay a livable wage, so then they start doing other things to make money, maybe theft or selling drugs. Society is set up in a way that there is no real opportunity to thrive unless you take for granted the programs your school offers or get lucky in finding a job you can make a living off of after you graduate IF they graduate at all.

Then if your one of the lucky ones who get to go to college you have to find out what you want to do and hope and pray it will be enough to get you the job you need to live a comfortable life after you finish paying off student loans by the time your 60.

People will say, “Oh well you just have to get out there and put in the work”It’s not as simple as it sounds and unfortunately it’s still not as easy to get a job, especially for young people.

Like I said before the current system is failing and nothing is being done to help these kids find their way in the world. So what will happen? They will go out here and do what they have to do to survive and unfortunately, it will probably be something illegal.

I’m not saying that all kids are going to turn out terrible, I’m just saying that with the current living situations of most teens, it’s almost impossible to thrive without the proper help.

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