Violent Crime in America's Youth.

Essay by littlebluewitchHigh School, 10th gradeA+, September 2005

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Violent crime is everywhere. As Americans we have become so used to morbid newscasts and graphic scenes from television that eventually the endless reports of homicides and rapes become nothing more than background noise as we go about our lives. However, when the violence involves children, we do pause. We view it as a special tragedy which could have been avoided, not just the consequences of living in a modern society. This is of course, when the children are the victims. However, when minors commit violent crimes, the news is more than sad, although it is that too. People are shocked when young children are the perpetrators of acts as violent as taking the life of another human being. There has been a movement which would allow such minors to be prosecuted as adults. Is this really a solution, or a mere way to avoid finding the cause of such violence? The answer to such a complex problem cannot be as simple as harsh punishment.

The case of Eric Morse, the five year old boy whose murder sparked the rush to jail young children, is an example of how children in this country are becoming horribly desensitized to violence. The two boys who murdered young Eric were ordered by the judge to receive psychiatric treatment and follow-up care. However, according to the Editorial Notebook, experts have stated that Illinois' poor treatment record indicates that the boys will not receive high quality care. The Illinois legislature has now passed a bill that will allow children as young as ten years of age to be sent to maximum security prisons. This is their way of walking away from their responsibility to stop the recurrence of violent crimes. If Illinois' facilities for treating youth are poorly run, then that is the problem...