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Could Violent Crime Rates Drop if Troubled Teens were Treated Properly?

As many know, serial killers and psychopaths cannot be rehabilitated. However, perhaps if youth showing developmental stages of psychopathy were treated properly, rates of both of these things in adults would drastically drop.

Detention centers should implement new strategies to stagger young adults from committing serious crimes later on in life as well. Because troubled children are more likely to become murderers or serial killers, taking care of youth who commit non-petty or violent crimes should be a priority if society is attempting to stagger the rates of manslaughter and recidivism. Yale University wrote an article concerning childhood psychopathy and troubled youths previously labeled as uncooperative and incredibly violent. These youths had committed crimes which led them to be detained at a detention center, namely the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center.

There was a high chance that they would later end up in prison or back in juvenile detention. The workers at this detention center were involved in carrying out a study which involved using only positive reinforcement on these young adults, called the Decompression Model. The results were shocking. The recidivism rate went down more than 30%, and not a single one of those teens went on to commit murder. There were multiple instances of previously uncontrollable youth being released and entering society as a law-abiding contributive citizen.

This study also revealed that this treatment in youth is more effective when done at a younger age, that is, it requires less time (Lashbrook). To satiate psychopathic desires, one must either give into them or undergo rehabilitation, which as an adult is impossible. This only further proves the cruciality of identifying potential psychopaths early, but how could that possibly be done if there are hardly any programs in place designed for it? Designing programs to help juvenile delinquents re-enter society is an essential steppingstone, and a topic that society seems to ignore. As the paragraph above states, helping and rehabilitating juvenile delinquents is crucial, but waiting for a youth to start lashing out in violent and illegal ways before truly focusing on mental health is completely unnecessary. Still, developing and testing more strategies aimed towards rehabilitating legally detained youths should be on the forefront of society’s reformation roster.


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