Kids need good influences | Letter

Regarding “Kids in King County Jail are punished harshly for pranks and sent to isolation, lawsuit contends,” by Sara Bernard (Nov. 3 Reporter)

Under the current conditions, the young inmates in King County jails will never gain the skills needed to reintegrate into society. Increasing the amount of time behind bars will rid the young inmates of any reason to behave. Insults from the correctional officers won’t help their mental state. Such abuse from their parents could be the reason they are behind bars in the first place. Constantly insulting a juvenile could reignite the rage that put them in their situation, rather than teach them how to be a kid again.

I would like to call for a reform of how the juvenile detention program is run. Kids are not the same as adults; their brain is not fully developed. Spending 23 hours behind bars gives a different meaning to life for kids than it does for adults. Kids see their life as over and will be easily molded by their surroundings. After all, it’s called a correctional facility for a reason.

What these kids need is the opportunity to be re-integrated into a public school with a few helping hands, surrounding the juvenile delinquents with law-abiding students opposed to surrounding them with aggressive correctional officers. Good influences would more effectively mold them into the kind of student they need to be. Kids have a sensitive brain, and it is the Regional Justice Center’s job to ensure that it isn’t being further tainted.

Nathan Coats

Sammamish

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