Team B: Affirmative Brief
Juvenile crime is increasing rapidly and is a problem that plagues America.
The murder rate by 18 year olds has increased 467% since 1965! The current policy
maintained for the last number of decades is clearly not effective. An increase of
207% in the number of murder cases committed by 15 year olds from 1985 to 1993
is not a sign that current policy is effective. Changes must be made. The best way
to address the problem is through government funded preventative programs. The
affirmative intends to prove, and stands resolved, that the federal government should
establish a program to substantially reduce juvenile crime.
This, by definition, means that the federal government would benefit the
country by taking action and making government programs that will decrease the
number of crimes committed by minors. Contention I: The status quo is only
harming the people of the united states by remaining. Subpoint A: It has become
clear that the state and local governments have failed in correcting the nation wide
epidemic of juvenile crime, since juvenile crime rates are rising so rapidly.
Subpoint 1:An example of an ineffective state plan is that many states are
attempting to incarcerate juveniles along with adults. Putting juvenile offenders in
with adults increases their chances offending again when they are released by 65%.
Subpoint 2: SHOCAP, a local crime reduction plan, was shut down because it was
ineffective. Subpoint B: Local plans are too diverse and lack uniformity. Subpoint
1: A plan that can lift up the entire country are far superior to those that can only
effect small parts.. Iowa may indeed have smaller problems than New York but
Juvenile crime exists everywhere. Subpoint 2:In the hands of the federal
government, a more effective, tax worthy and moral shaping plan can be spread
throughout the entire united states and benefit the country as a whole. Utilizing this
information from the faults and few successes of the states, will help correctly fund
and perfect an active plan which will indeed begin to substantially reduce juvenile
crime, before it happens...through the methods of prevention.
The plan that we the affirmative propose is one that institutes a combination
of different preventative programs which the federal government will entirely set up,
fund, and work with these community efforts.
Plank I: This preventative program will be funded through the organization of
juvenile justice and delinquency prevention program, a federal agency which
consists of 17 separate groups involved in delinquency prevention. They are
equipped with 144 million dollars with which they can assist the communities to
create these life saving programs. Money will come both from them and federal
government funding. The government pays money to the states to use their own
programs to diminish juvenile crime, but because this has proven ineffective through
the rising juvenile crime rates, this money can be better used on federal programs.
We must recognize how much this problem is hurting us, and be prepared to pay
taxes . But with the help of the organization of juvenile justice, the taxes should be
Plank II: The OJJDP will encourage these preventative plans with and
through the federal government to the states. This organization will consist of the
current members, plus volunteers and paid officials who will work in communities
all over the U.S.
Plank III: Mandates
Mandate 1. Schools will teach choice exercises, discourage violence and
teach law and consequences to younger children in public elementary schools all
over the country. It is obvious from the crime rates that children are not learning
simple morals in their homes! Materials would be supplied through the federal
government. This method which will help the youth of tomorrow to think about
situations before impulsively acting on them.
Mandate 2. "Street workers" will work with juveniles. Boston has had
wonderful success with street workers, volunteer conflict resolution officers. Their
job is to talk to groups of children and teens who hang out on city streets.
Supplying such a program to large cities all over the country would prove beneficial
to both the youths and people of the communities. Also, peer mediation, similar to
street workers, has proved successful in many schools across the country, and
bringing it to all schools will help many more children.
Mandate 3.Schools, gyms, churches, community centers and parks should be
encouraged to supply supervised after school activities which can be funded by the
federal government. Children take to the streets when they are left home alone
while parents are working. This is a preventative method of giving something for
youths to say yes to while bringing out their talents.
Mandate 4. Juveniles who have already been in trouble need professional
counseling. Fully funded counciling , similar to drug rehabilitation programs, will
help in the prevention of further offenses. Putting offenders into these corrective
programs can be sentenced in juvenile courts. However, not only do we have to
concentrate on the offender, but parents should also be required to attend
concealling. The lack of parental guidance is a major root to America's juvenile
crime problem. When the parents are more willing to work with their children, the
chances of that child living a normal life without crime is increased.
Mandate 5. A budget problem that some of the cities in the US share is
funding for the police department. The only way to pay for more police is through
taxes. According to a nation wide survey, 80% of the people didn't mind paying
taxes for a better police force. These will have to be local taxes, but the federal
government should encourage the states to increase funding for the police. The
federal government will also assist in funding all local police. A standard may have
to be made to determine how much of state funds should go to the police.
Plank IV: Enforcement. The affirmative prevention plan shall not be
"enforced", in the sense that the states must accept the assistance, but strongly
encouraged and fully funded for. The volunteers and workers will be controlled and
all programs will be uniform nationwide. When problems arise and sections of the
plan prove ineffective, revision will be allocated for if necessary. The plan will
begin in January of 99, giving time for research and set-up.
This affirmative prevention plan will have the following advantages.
Advantage I. Prevention works. Prevention is a way we can both stop crime before
it happens and have the advantage of helping juveniles to learn important lessons
they can take with them in life. Nation wide prevention has already been endorsed
by President Clinton in his state of the union address when he said,
"...We have seen a stunning and simultaneous
breakdown of community, family, and work. This has
created a vast vacuum which has been filed by
violence, drugs and gangs. So I ask you to remember
that even as we say no to crime, we must give people,
especially our young people something to say 'yes'
Advantage II. The federal government has deeper pockets than the local
governments and therefore the affirmative plan is more cost effective than the status
quo. Money that the states need for schools can be conserved. When comparing
the revenues of a state to the federal government of the U.S.A, it is obvious that the
federal government simply has more money to spend. Also, the plan works better
on a larger scale where the country can benefit, not just cities with enough funding
to cover a single small program.
Advantage III. This nationwide focus on the children of America will help
give them a direction in life. Since the focus is on the education of juveniles and
parents, the family structures in America may be improved. There are many success
stories such as John Walker, age 11, who had the habit of getting into trouble with
the law, including drugs and gang violence. After some professional counseling, he
made straight A's every quarter and was student of the month twice. The generation
of the future may have a future after all if these prevention plans go into effect
This preventative program will allow the federal government to substantially
reduce juvenile crime. Once this net of small plans is integrated into the system, it
can help to solve the problems that are thriving under state control. With the
juvenile crime rates rising so rapidly nation wide, we cannot reduce anything
without a nation wide program. We must rescue our children.
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