This unit is designed for ninth through twelfth grade students; however, the teacher would best determine the value. The unit will allow students to understand why juveniles commit crimes. It will enhance their knowledge to be able to reason as to the cause and effect of juvenile offenses. It will provide knowledge with regard to the juvenile justice system, how it works and the effect that it will have upon students once they break the law, as well as the larger consequences as they become adult members of this fast paced society.
My teaching methods will allow students to get involved: Students will watch movies about juveniles committing crimes, Students will discuss the impact of juvenile crimes as a group, Students will be allowed to ask questions, form opinions and ask to make decisions, Students will take trips to juvenile courts and adult courts, Students will listen to how a judge decides cases, Students will take pictures, Students will visit Juvenile Detention Centers, Students will read books on juvenile offenders, Students will have group debates,
Topics on juvenile delinquents will be included in lesson plans. Students will work in groups to discuss, exchange ideas, give new information and find solutions to one delinquent’s problems every time they are grouped. Students will write essays on juvenile delinquency. As a teacher, I intend to: Develop a curriculum that will relate to juvenile crime. Invite guest speakers who are professionals on juvenile matters, such as lawyers, judges, juvenile detention officers, police and others to share their experiences.
Place posters on the wall that depict a juvenile, the offense committed, and how the juvenile faced consequences. Include a social studies lesson plan in the curriculum Form a Delinquency Club. It will function to assist students on a lower grade level to understand delinquent behavior. Facilitate visits by Grades 9-12 to the 5-8 Grade level, to explain delinquency and its consequences. Ask students to give a monthly summary of what they have accomplished. Publish articles on juvenile delinquency in the school newspaper that will elaborate on how and why juveniles can avoid delinquent behavior.
Ask that police officers, juvenile detention officers, and juvenile court to keep us informed of new events that may be supportive to students. Require that students observe the types of crimes being committed in their neighborhood. Students will inform the class of those crimes and the class will discuss them and offer ideas as to why crime does not pay. Observe classes, groups, debates, and discussions, offering advice as needed. Form a debate team for students to discuss the pros and cons of juvenile delinquency. Engage students in a work force in the court detention center on a part-time basis.
Plan a juvenile court proceeding. Students will participate as judge, juvenile delinquents, lawyers, detention officer, police officer, and decide cases by themselves. In class, students will write a reaction paper and define the role he/she played. I will expect students to: Understand their rights under the law. Know how important those rights are. Appreciate how important the lawyers, police officers, judges and detention officers are. Understand the juvenile court proceedings and how it affects their lives. Learn that knowledge is important. Improve their writing skills.
Know how to stay away from juvenile crimes/adult crimes and to understand the consequences. Understand the various forms of juvenile laws and terminology. Be able to think better and more responsibly. ____ Why juveniles commit crimes is largely unknown. Take the case of Kayla Rolland, age 6, who was shot in the chest by another 6-year old classmate. The search for solutions to the juvenile crime escalation has been unproductive. It raises fears about parenting and concerns about the difficult life of a little boy. ____The boy who killed Kayla was full of hate.
He spent much of his time watching violent movies. The boy did not seem to understand what he had done to his classmate. He was the product of an environment and family that was brokena broken home surrounded by gangs and drugs. The boy who did the killing had seen his uncle’s friend with a gun and he found the gun under a pile of blankets in the bedroom. ____Raising a child is not easy. It’s a full-time job requiring a great deal of attention, and offering no guarantee that the child will become a productive member of society as a mature adult.
Children do have the ability to understand that lying, stealing, cheating, and hurting others are wrong behaviors, but how old would a child have to be to know that these actions are morally wrong? The age at which a child reaches the stage of reasoning varies according to how the body develops, how he/she is raised, and how those around the child act. Children sometimes learn to reason by observing the behavior of the people most important to them. However, there is no guarantee. At times, children follow their own dictates.
____Needless to say, society, the community, the family, the government and the parents need to work together to understand what children are all about. That is why it takes a whole village to raise a child. In order for children to become conscientious adults, it is essential that: Communities strive to incorporate youths into community functions, More positive role models come forward, The police play a more active role in communities, i. e. , speaking at schools and participating in local functions, Schools and parents discuss the elements of delinquency and crime,
Authorities and community groups acquire a broader knowledge and understanding of juvenile gangs, More resources be allocated to the prevention of youthful drug and alcohol abuse, The criminal justice system concentrate more resources on discerning the causes of juvenile crime, Juveniles and the criminal justice system make a joint effort to address the issues of concern to them.
Allen, Harry E. and Clifford E. Simonsen. Corrections in America. Beverly Hills, CA: Glencoe Press, 1975, p. 324. Anthony, Platt M. The Child Savers. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969.