The aggressive acts watch on television and in the movies are indications of events that are true or imagined. They are illusory and distant shadows. Though, they adversely influence children. The nature and power of the violence depicted, the frequency of exposure, and the age of the person exposed to it is all very significant consideration. So much has been written about television's impact on youth that it is hard to sift the reason from the hysterics.
Sociologists and psychiatrists, television network executives, sacred leaders, and parents' organizations have all had something to say on the subject (Snyder, H. N. 1995). For several, television, at its worst, is an attack on a child's mind, a sinister influence that upsets moral balance and makes a child prone to aggressive behaviour as it bends his or her perception of the real world. Others see television as an unhealthy imposition into a child's learning process, surrogating easy pictures for the discipline of reading and concentrating, and changing the young viewer into hypnotized non thinkers.
On still another side are those who feel that television's impact has been disgustingly overestimated; they feel it has massive potential for educating, particularly those who cannot stand the traditional forms of learning; and they argue that when suitably controlled, television programming and viewing hours are beneficial, not simply for learning about the world and human relations, but for pure amusement and relaxation.
As far as its aggression-provoking prospective is concerned, those in the pro-TV camp often argue that fictional violence in fact helps children face violence in a healthy way lacking denial and overprotection, and may even dissipate aggression. Aggression is mainly learned behaviour. If you accept that argument, then it is tough to deny that television is a way to learn aggression. But it all depends on who is watching what and how often. Professional soldiers and policemen, for instance, who are trained to act violently on occasion, do not go concerning beating people up as a matter of course.
Nor do average adults who sporadically watch and enjoy violence on TV, appreciating it for the unreality it is, run out and murder or assault someone. Although, when we talk about young people, it is an extremely different matter. It must be fairly obvious that a young, impressionable child who watches numerous hours of unsupervised television every day will perhaps be affected adversely, given the high frequency of violence, both in the weekend cartoon programs and in the programs for adults.
Approximations of the amount of television violence carried by the networks diverge, but there is sufficient of it to make one wonder if TV is interested in anything else. Along with the innovations passed by legislatures to make the criminal justice system treat juveniles more critically is an increased mandatory or discretionary waiver of juveniles to adult criminal courts. Waivers have proven to be less than an acceptable solution to the juvenile crime problem. Some diversities of alternatives to waiver exist, some of which are significantly more successful at reducing recidivism than waiver.
These different ranges from large congregate care facilities, which are usually costly and relatively unsuccessful, to boot camps, wilderness programs, and hybrid programs that entail physical challenges with intensive counselling, job training, and programs aimed at reintegrating juveniles into their communities. The most thriving of these hybrid programs also offers aftercare programs to monitor and work with the juvenile after she is reintegrated into the community. Numerous involve job or other opportunity programs as part of the reintegration.
(Julian V. Roberts, Loretta J. Stalans, David Indermaur, Mike Hough, 2003). There is a considerable consensus about what is most effective amongst these non-waiver options. Programs should target only the most serious offenders. They should include relatively small, secure facilities, where juveniles are held prior to being transferred to community-based facilities. They as well include individualized programs to train, challenge, and counsel youths, as well as transition programs and jobs programs that assist the juvenile reintegrate into the community.
But as successful as these programs are, in segregation they cannot considerably impact juvenile crime because they do not address the "pipeline" of youth who are on the verge of becoming serious offenders, but are exposed simply sparingly to the juvenile justice system before becoming really dangerous. An effective comprehensive system must comprise such elements as graduated sanctions, rehabilitative treatments, as well as prevention programs that fit juveniles at every stage even before they are critically violent and dangerous.
While a young person first comes into contact with the juvenile justice system, he requires to be carefully evaluated to find out what type of sanction is appropriate. As the juvenile has increasing connections with the juvenile system, sanctions must rise with the relentlessness of the offence and the chronicity of the offender's behaviour. Through effective tools for measuring the risk a particular juvenile poses, joined with graduated sanctions, communities can both save funds and lessen recidivism among treated juveniles.