Underage Incarceration

Underage Incarceration



By: Name withheld due to age

I think that the decision of whether or not to incarcerate kids that are 18 or younger depends on the situation. I believe there should be an investigation into that person’s situation that goes deeper than just what crime they are being accused of.

Some kids who commit petty crimes do not know what else they can do to live. The situations around them and the circumstances in which they grew up,  put them on a path of crime. I believe that if you find out a kid’s situation at home and school and educate him or her on the negative effects of his influences, then you can make a greater impact on his/her life than if you send them to jail. Some kids are put out on the streets at a young age and have no way to support themselves legally. So, they turn to crime. Some kids steal from stores to feed themselves and family because their parents don’t feed them. They are doing this because they do not know any other way;it is either steal or starve.Some kids might even do something to get arrested on purpose, so they have a place to go to eat and sleep. Other kids might sell drugs, break into homes, and even sell themselves. This is not because they are bad people; it’s because they don’t know any other way. Many kids have tunnel vision. They only see one way of getting through their situation. Educating them on other ways to cope and deal with their problems would open their eyes to other options. Essentially education changes people more than incarceration.

In my situation, I feel like getting educated on the reasons and influences that caused me to commit my crimes helped me more than the time I have been done in jail. Having been in jail for six months, during which I have been going to various groups, and to school. Some groups helped me realize that I had a drug problem and gave me tips on how to stay clean and showed me that I am the only one in that situation. Other groups helped me look back at my life and see the different influences and events that may have affected me. In those groups, I learned that the people who I was pretending to be isn’t really who I am; i9t’s just who I became to survive in the environment and situations I was going through. Also, when I actually opened up and talked to counselors about what I wanted to do with my life. They helped me get information and plan out my goals. I decided that I wanted to go to college. Before getting educated and getting help. I would have just given up and said, I don’t know how to get there. Now, I have a plan, and I am studying everyday in school so that I can take the Accuplacer test for MCC when I get out. All these things are a result of the education that I received because people cared to learn about my personal situation instead of just what crime I’ve  been charged with.

People’s situations go deeper than just the crime they are accused of. I think that if you take the time out to get to know kids situations, then you will be better equipped to educate and help them specifically with their problems. I believe this way is more effective than just incarcerating them with everyone else.


We at Our Voice- The Magazine Digital believes in giving Our youth a platform to have their voice heard. It is vital on letting youth speak, and understanding their situation, work with them. That is Our goal to bridge the gap to better the communication between the youths and adults. You may ask, how did OVTM Digital get this article? Well, we go where they are. WE CARE!!!