Media Influence on Youth Crime and Justice
In youth crime and justice, the media has a significant influence on the responses. Such is because both the individuals and the mass media have an obsession with crime, with the bookstores as well as the libraries being full of non-fiction and fiction books besides the newspapers which roughly devote most of their coverage on crime. Some of the researchers have, however, had a different view. They argue that such influences are hazardous as they present distorted views of crime in both their selection of the stories about crime, their newsworthiness and the exaggeration in addition to over-representation of particular crimes which tend to increase the risks of the individuals who have the belief of possibly being victims. Media influence through media messages refers to the actual force that it exerts on the crime and justice, which may result to the changes in the meaning of the media message, on the targeted audience, besides having an impact in reinforcing the message to such people (Goldson and Munice, 2015). In this paper, I will demonstrate and expound the influence of mass media to the youth crime upon the distribution of the media, critically examine the reasons for fewer young offenders in prison as well as discuss the arguments for and against the increase of the criminal age of responsibility within the society. The Extent to Which the Media Has Influenced Responses to Youth Crime
One of the groups that are affected by the media are the youths and teenagers. In this group, the influence of mass media is quite clearly demonstrated through the way the teenagers and the children dress, especially their dress codes after viewing movies, print media and television programs. Such changes are adverse since they end up adopting dressings that are never acceptable to the social regulations and norms. Such powerful influences of the mass media therefore permanently shape the ideas of dressing that eventually extend to the youth, who are adversely affected by the impact of the mass media (Pickett and Chiricos, 2012). Moreover, mass media influences the way the youth talk upon getting the chance of watching media platform such as television, talk shows, and movies since they are always curious of integrating themselves with the continually evolving world. For such a reason, the youth are tempted to talk like prominent celebrities since they view them as their idols.
Furthermore, mass media changes the behaviour of the young generation especially the teenagers and the youths who tend to behave like the celebrities and other prominent personalities they view on mass media messages. As a resulting of copying and imitating the celebrities’ ways of life, they eventually forget the people they are thereby ruining their life in case they copy bad behaviours to irreversibility extends within the society. Through thinking of the people who have been influenced by mass media messages, many life aspects are showed and significantly affected hence of great significance in the demonstration of the way mass media creates an impact to the public upon distribution (Morgan and Newburn, 2013). It has encouraged unethical influence in the creation of false security on the youths by taking advantage of them through openly flushing images of the prominent people and celebrities. For such a reason, the children and teenagers end up endangering their lives while trying to impersonate their uncouth lifestyles.
Mass media negatively influence the youths and any other individual who catches an eye of the advertisements on the mass media messages. This leads to the development of trauma especially when they keep watching brutal scenes such as terrorist activities. This is very detrimental to the children since whatever they see on action images and televisions as well as movie and film images of violence in addition to the hurting people cause to others hence the development of traumatization aspects (Pickett and Chiricos, 2012). Such results to the ignorance of the media ethics of the ramifications thus hindering the individuals from being availed with detrimental information to their health and well-being. Reason Why Fewer Young Offenders Are In Prison
In the United Kingdom, the number of young people and the youth who are sent to prison as well as the reoffending levels upon release have indicated by any measure that custody is an expensive as well as a cost-ineffective tool in addressing the crime by the youths. Such is because the imprisoning of the young ones leaves a lasting consequence and mark on the entire life of the young offenders since excessive uses of the youth custody remains one of the surest approaches of growing the future adult prison population (Bateman, 2012). However, upon the commissioning of the review by the Prison Reform Trust and the International Center for Prison Studies, lessons have been drawn and applied for an effective and better response to the young offenders in trouble as a way of curbing their criminal history and transforming their lives to be better people within the society.
With secure estate, which is the name given to three different types of safe accommodation that are expressly reserved for the young offenders in custody has been of great importance in reducing the number of children and young offenders in the United Kingdom. These secure estates comprise of the youth offender institutions and agencies which accommodate offenders aged fifteen and seventeen years. There are also safe children’s homes which are for the accommodation of young offenders between twelve to fifteen years of age as well as girls of about sixteen years of age and boys aged fifteen to sixteen who are deemed more vulnerable to the situation. In addition, there are source training centres and institutions which are used for the accommodation of young offenders of up to the age of seventeen years (Cipriani, 2016).
The process of criminal justice for the children and the young ones is very different from that of the adults. The age of criminal responsibility in the United Kingdom is about ten years of age which makes it impossible to arrest and charge them of crime. In case they break the law, they are punished using other ways other than being taken to prison. Moreover, the identities of the young ones and children who are charged with a crime are not disclosed outside the court. With the youth courts handling cases of young people, only a single district judge or three magistrates who deal with them (Bateman, 2012). The court proceedings are therefore less formal as the public are not permitted to enter into the court in which the defendants are addressed by their first name only. This, therefore, curbs the transition of the young ones from courts to the prisons in the United Kingdom hence reduced numbers of youth offenders in prisons.
Explanation of the Arguments
The United Nations Convention on Child Rights articulates and provides that any person under the age of eighteen years to be a child beside further providing that regarding the criminal responsibility age, it is the countries that should consider if such a child can be able to live up to the psychological and moral components of criminal responsibility. This is not, however, the case with the criminal and judicial system within the United Kingdom, where the minimum criminal responsibility age is ten years with the legislation inclusive of a rebuttable presumption that individuals aged between ten and fourteen years were incapable of committing an offense or a crime (Goldson and Munice, 2015).Numerous crime and justice professionals have argued that ten is too young for the children to be tried as an adult court and hence the need to increase the criminal responsibility age to meet the requirements of the United Nations Convention on Child Rights. This is because such children barely know or understand the differences between what is right and what not leave is alone the illegal or legal deeds and actions within the society. It is therefore shameful how the United Kingdom has had the lowest age in the entire European Union regarding criminal responsibility and hence the need to rectify such amendments (Cipriani, 2016). Others stipulate that the failure to imprison a child is an essential measure within the civilized societies and thus the need for Britain to adopt it.
It is worth to note that mass media and technology has had a significant influence on the crime and justice system of the youths. This is because such media outlets have made it possible for people to access vast information on what happens on other cultures such as in the overseas countries which may be invalid and illegal in the viewers or audiences’ country of resident. Encouraging such behaviours in such states results in a crime hence the action by the law. The youths should, therefore, be educated on good morals regarding the behaviour they should depict within a particular society as a way to avoid breaking of laws and commitment of crimes which could be a threat to their life and career.