There is a high recidivism rate among juveniles in the State of Alabama. The number is between 80% and 90%. Once a juvenile enters the system, he is expected to return to another juvenile facility or even enter the big house. These numbers have been consistent for the past twenty years. This very high number is outrageous. There should be a state of emergency declared. Some of these offenders have non-violent convictions. State policy require each juvenile to attend educational classes while in juvenile custody. I would also like to suggest policies on life skills, decision-making, self-esteem as well as vocational training. I think that when an individual values self, that person will be less likely to place their life in danger. These things should be taught in addition to GED or High School Diploma courses. This will help to counter some of the challenges that are waiting for youth once they return to their community. Some of the challenges consist of drugs, gangs, and peer pressure. This is not only an Alabama problem but more of an American problem. Every time that I see or hear of another juvenile returning to prison, I wonder what could have been done to prevent this from happening?
Am I the only one who see a problem in these numbers. Have we given up on our children? I think that we need more diversion programs as well as re-entry programs. The diversion programs can offer alternatives to juvenile detention centers for first time and non-violent offenders. The re-entry programs can offer guidance and assistance for juveniles being released. There are a number of issues that juveniles will face once they are released. They may feel confused on where they now fit into society. We will lose some of them to gangs and street life at this point.
I am reaching out to some of our great minds on this site. I am looking for comments or suggestions on this topic. What can be do in order to lower the current recidivism rate of juveniles.