Tuesday, February 24, 2009

For the Children er... Juveniles

This is from a very good article.

FBI rescues teens like GW liberated Iraqis.

Many kids run away because they must. There are plenty of abusive homes out there with kids being victimized. With legal work closed off to them, with them on the streets, hungry and afraid, they turn to what will earn them the most money in the shortest period of time. If the government really wanted to “rescue” these teens why not reform the laws that restrict them from finding legal employment? Instead, they turn them into criminals as their only means of survival and then they “rescue” them and incarcerate them in what is nothing more than glorified prisons.

I am sure the FBI sees this operation as an example of good government. I see it differently. This is just another example of how government helps create tragic problems for people and then uses its heavy hand to smash those people for having the problems the government helped create. Many of these kids were victims before they went on the streets and they chose the streets as their “best” alternative. The government’s answer is prison for them instead.

Turning the practitioners of non-violent vices into criminals is unlikely to be very helpful to them. That these teens now have criminal records will hinder any attempt to avoid prostitution. When they are eventually released from the juvenile prisons, their arrest record will make it harder to find legitimate employment. That may force them back into the only profession they know; one where an arrest record is the norm. How that helps these kids, I don’t know.

The reality is that many kids have to leave home. This will remain true for the rest of human existence. Some families are too toxic and the kids who escape them are making the best choice they can. Our bureaucratic labor laws, however, have closed the escape portals for these kids. Legal work is almost impossible to find on a full-time basis and that means the teen, who must leave home, has little option but to seek illegal work. If we want to help these kids we should be giving them more options, not turning them into prisoners with arrest records.

Read the rest...

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