Good evening adjudicator, fellow debaters, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Brittany Yates and tonight I will be explaining to you that if children are put in jail, they will be subject to inappropriate role models, subject to bullying and nasty experiences such as physical, sexual and psychological abuse, and lastly the many other options for children allowing them to continue to have a happy life that they can endure. But before I get into details, I would first like to rebut what the first speaker on the opposing team would have u believe.
Firstly, I will be exploring the fact that in jail, children under the age of 18 will be open to inappropriate role models. The majority of people in juvenile detention centers will have bad influenced on each other, which could lead to disastrous results. When children are put into these centers, they are put in cells with people that could have committed much worse crimes than they have themselves. The combinations would be endless. Imagine the result of having a 17 year old that committed murder, put in a room with a 12 year old that stole a car. The results are obvious, either the 12 year old strives to be like his cellmate role model, or alternatively they are beat up and bullied by the 17 year old. This then leads me to my next point.
In these circumstances, children are also subject to extreme bullying and very nasty experiences such as physical, sexual and psychological abuse. There are many undeserving children put in these situations. Bigger teenagers will be able to bully and physically or sexually assault other smaller, and younger children. These poor children will be put through torture and horrible situations like this for most of their sentence, however long it may be. Even when they are released, many will need much more counseling to help them get over what has happen to them, or they may even start to use these tactics on other people in society. So you see, juvenile detention centers and incarceration for those under the age of 18, is merely creating bullies, both in and out of the centers, harming the society.
For my third and final point I will be talking to you about other options for the children, options that will allow them to continue their lives and give them a better chance at happiness. The Victorian Ombudsman has reported that a youth detention facility located only a few kilometers from the center of Melbourne was so overcrowded and unhygienic that it was beyond repair. Do we really want our nation’s children being forced to stay in places like this? As well as this, Mission Australia noted in 2009 that putting “young offenders in custody is both expensive and ineffective. More than half released after their sentence will re-offend. Detention also intensifies the need for greater support post-release.” There is not much change from half a billion dollars each year for this nation to lock up young offenders. We are not saying these children can go unpunished; however, it would be more