Ashlee Rosado

Looking at the news and seeing children being charged with crimes at such a young age to me is devastating ! For example, an 11 year old boy who murdered an 8 year old girl because she didn’t let him see her puppies; as a result, he is now being charged with first degree murder. Or the children from Crown Heights who set a school bus on fire; as a result, an 11 year old boy is being charged with a hate crime. Both cases have me wondering what is going on? what was they thinking during these moments? Do I think they should be disciplined – yes, however, sentencing someone at such a young age would not help them – in my opinion. At the age of 11 children aren’t thinking of the consequences their actions can have or the effects their actions have on others. I believe both of these cases need to look deeper into the individuals involved in the cases because children do not wake up and decide to commit a crime. I believe before they are sent to a Juvenile Facility, the youth should be evaluated carefully to know what caused them to commit the act. Altogether I think as a community and as human service professionals (along with other professionals through related field work) must find services to provide interventions and programs for the youth who are experiencing behavioral, emotional, substance abuse, adjustment problems or even just a space to be themselves – providing services such as counseling, diagnosis, anger management … etc. can benefit all teens with supportive positive reinforcements. Children are the future of tomorrow and if they are not seeing positive role models, if they are not able to speak to someone about their feelings/ thoughts or if they are not able to channel their energy into something positive then we are loosing them to the system.

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