ALLOW CHURCHES TO GET INVOLVED IF THEY WISH TO HELP

Date:         Mon, 2 Oct 1995 20:17:36 -0400
Reply-To:     "Y-Rights: Kid/Teen Rights Discussion Group"
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Sender:       "Y-Rights: Kid/Teen Rights Discussion Group"
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From:         Kenneth Udut <kudut@RITZ.MORDOR.COM>


Organization: SOUP Leaf off of ritz.mordor.com (Jersey City, NJ, USA)

Subject:      Re: GOP Targets Juvenile Crime (fwd) (fwd)

In list.y-rights on Mon, 2 Oct 1995 09:03:51 CST, Gary Allen Brown <GMAN6@vbhs.wsc.k12.ar.us> writes:

[…]

> I read and re-read what it was that you had to say about juvenile > justice…and I have to agree with some of what you said. The > example of child “a” and child “b” was only a minor example, but what > if you have children who knowingly and wholeheartedly commit murder? > I know if incidences in which the children understand and comprehend > the malevolency of their actions. My father is an Assistant District > Attorney for the State of New Mexico, and before that, he was a > juvenile prosecutor for the State. There are many instances in which > the minor has committed crimes worthy of the death sentence, but what > is it that “We the people” can do? We let the child spend a couple > of years playing Nintendo and shooting pool with a bunch of others > who should have their brains fried to the bone. […] > Gary Allen Patneaude

I’m probably going to get yelled at for this, but I have a couple of ideas on this [that aren’t new at all, and have been used at times]. I would like all compliments and criticisms on it that you think of as you read it, or afterwards. [it’s coming off of the top of my head, so it’s probably not going to be complete or polished or anything nice like that :-> ]

ALLOW CHURCHES TO GET INVOLVED IF THEY WISH TO HELP

Many churches of various faiths, from Christian to Jewish and Islamic and Buddhist temples have a desire to improve people, especially troubled youth.

Small group programs which meet in the wilderness (of which there is a *LOT* of in the United States), for example, may be able to help these teenagers wrestle with critical moral issues, learn survival skills, and bond with other troubled youth and the ministers/counsellors who are serving.

Group these troubled kids by whatever appropriate catagories exist (such as cultural background, home life, intelligence level, crimes committed), so that they are not left feeling like they are either “too good” to be in this group, or “the bad guy”.

Groups like the Boy/Girl Scouts and other youth organizations would also provide a great help in doing these kinds of things, but I mention churches specifically because, at least in the case of Christian churches, have a “calling” to “rescue the lost sheep”. In other words – there could be 99 kids who are doing simply great and fine and dandy, but, in theory, Christians are supposed to search for the 100th sheep that got lost along the way.

I hope I’m not offending too many on the list by this idea. But I think there is definate power in churches, as they are alternate communities with a set of ideas that, while some might not find agreeable, *MAY* be able to reach the kids that conventional methods might not be able to.

I’m not proposing a radical idea here. It’s been done like this for a very long time in human history – for a church to take in the lost. Long before Christianity came about, it’s been a mission in many different faiths.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you know of the names of programs that currently do this? [I haven’t had opportunity to look this stuff up in a while] Are there reasons why this idea is simply NOT feasible or practical? Are there things I didn’t think of here that need mentioning?

Kenneth Udut – current listowner, Y-RIGHTS <kudut@ritz.mordor.com> — The Y-RIGHTS LISTSERV commands: [always to: LISTSERV@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU]

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