To:The Honorable Mayor of the City of Birmingham
From:Kristie D. Church
Date:July, 10, 2012
Re:Policy recommendation allowing juvenile offenders to join the military instead of going to prison
Due to the lack of job opportunity and the increasing amount of youth dropping out of school, the trend of youths committing criminal acts is a rapidly growing problem. Some of these acts can be attributed to substance abuse, neglect, inadequate education, mental or physical abuse or a lack of discipline or positive family structure. A few may even commit criminal acts due to boredom or peer pressure. Whatever the reason might be, it is evident that the threat of jail does not carry the weight that it once held and alternative measures should be considered. A positive approach to this situation should be to offer the alternative of joining the military. As one who is a product of this fine institution, the benefits of joining the military are many and varied.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Overcrowded jails and prisons, juveniles being sent to prison on harsh penalties, an increase in non-violent and petty crimes and unemployment, drug and alcohol misuse and abuse play a major role in criminal activity. These are harsh realities for today's society, however, these situations are not new. According to Robert Hughes, in his book titled, The Fatal Shore, the population of England and Wales, which had remained steady at 6 million from 1700 to 1740, rose dramatically after 1740. by the time of the revolt of the American colonies, London was over-crowded, filled with the unemployed, and flooded with cheap gin. Crime had become a major problem. The Bloody Code, which carried the death penalty, was enacted by the 1770s. However, because judges and juries thought the punishment was too harsh, the Bloody Code was replaced and transportation became the more common punishment. Transportation was a common punishment handed out for both major and petty crimes in...