By Willie Scales
Our society and justice system never take into consideration that children are not yet fully developed emotionally or psychologically and that most have not received a proper education.
From one mistake, we label them a threat and “menaces to society”. We conclude that juvenile offenders will never contribute anything worthwhile to society. But how can we make this determination against our United States youth?
Drugs are one of the biggest problems plaguing our United States youth, with the ages of drug users steadily increasing. What makes a young person take drugs? To some, drugs serve as a way to escape problems of peer pressure, low self-esteem and self-worth, and not feeling loved. These problems seem insurmountable to them.
Drugs lead to changes in behavior, which leads to violence. Crime and eventually prison and death. If a person has cancer, they receive treatment to battle their disease. The same should apply to our United States children who use drugs. We need to provide them with counseling and treatment, not a prison system.
We should not turn our backs on them, simply locking them up in prison. By doing this we send the message: “We don’t have the time or patience to help you”.
We have the power to help our United States children become productive members of society or destructive-wreaking havoc on our communities. Their ability to choose well depends on us. Remember our United States children’s future depends on our choices.
“Please save our United States juveniles” ■
Originally published in the Fall/Winter 2018 edition of Stateville Speaks.