Why Prison Violence Issue Should Be Dealed with
Undoubtedly everyone knows violence is bad for children and adolescents. To be mistreated or abused by adults, bullies, or to witness serious domestic violence, even to be criminally assaulted is a harmful experience. However, many, though not all, young people who are exposed to violence react to this adverse experience by developing behavioral, emotional, or learning problems. As Dr. Fielding has shown in his article entitled, Violence In The Life Of An Inmate Prior To Conviction And Its Association With Crimes Against Persons, inmates at Foxhill Prison were usually grew up in households with great levels of violence than the general population.
Furthermore, the presence of domestic violence in a household in The Bahamas was also associated with risks (odds ratios) of deviant behaviors, including sexual abuse of household members and the intentional harming of pets. Fielding also inferred that hitting pets to discipline them, if learnt at a young age, may be transferred to humans when children become adults. Conversely, harming of pets in the home could also be used as an indicator of domestic violence. Additionally Fielding mentions thatprisoners in The Bahamas tend to have a lower level of educational attainment than the rest of the population. This may be the result of growing up in unstable and, in many cases, violent households—factors which are highly disruptive to learning. As a result of their low level of education, many struggle to achieve an income through legal means which is commensurate with their needs. He highlights the fact that many inmates have had a history of expulsion from school which, in hindsight only served to exacerbate their problems and significantly contributed to eventual criminal lifestyle. I totally agree with Dr. Fielding’s findings because it is a well-proven fact that acts of violence or crimes committed at school can often be a call for help and may be an important moment for intervention—rather than expulsion.
Synonymous with Fieldin’s standpoint, if an individual exhibits regular violent or delinquent behavior at a young age, not only can it become habit forming, it may also lead to suspension, expulsion, or eventually dropping out of school. In turn, these youths may be put at a larger disadvantage for finding and maintaining employment, positive role models, and other protective factors that can help insulate them from becoming involved in crime. And although there is no direct causal relationship, there are underlying implications from Fielding’s statistics as the majority (54. 8 per cent) of inmates at Foxhill Prison reported having participated in fighting when they were growing up, and that 25. 3 per cent reported being expelled from school because of fighting. From my perspective, the findings of Fielding’s paper suggests that initiatives to curb domestic violence could have long-term effects on crime and violence, both within and outside the home.
Still, more research needs to be done on youth violence, including studies that contrast violent offenders and nonviolent offenders/no offenders. Research is also required to better understand the protective factors that mitigate the effects of risk exposure. I realize that many predictors of violent behavior are predictors of other problems, such as substance abuse, delinquency, school dropout, and teen pregnancy, low family income, large family size, low nonverbal IQ in youth, and poor parental childrearing behavior. Hence, the larger the number of risk factors to which an individual is exposed, the greater the probability that the individual will engage in violent behavior. So I feel that parents have an important role to play. Some of the most effective ways to help support their children are to knowing what their up to, where they may be, and with whom their with.
That should certainly improve their ability to cope with what is going on in the world around them. The same is true for adolescents as well. It is sometimes assumed that as children reach adolescence, they need less support and monitoring as they spend more time with their peers and make increased demands to be more independent. Unfortunately, that is not the case because adolescents have more access to social media, to drugs and alcohol, and to transportation. Coupled with this is the growing evidence that the problem-solving and impulse control parts of their brains are not yet fully developed. Another reason I put the onus on the parents is because parents are often the first to recognize their children are struggling with mental health and behavioral issues. And they could be the best providers of mental health first aid whenever and however their children need them.
Finally, it does “take a village to raise a child” and society as a whole needs to play a part in securing our nation’s future as well. What appears to be missing or lacking from our society is an aggressive approach to reducing juvenile delinquency, which when left to fester evolves into the adult categorization we call crime. It is bewildering that Government Ministries such as Education, Social Services, Sports, Youth and Culture are not receiving more funding, aid, and restructuring as a part of a national crime prevention program. Honestly if we really believe in the statements “children are the future” and “children are the wealth of a nation”, then this department of government must receive more investment, planning, and attention.
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