Damaging Deterrents

“Once again a case of parents having children that are not responsible enough to procreate. I think we should tie every ones tubes until they demonstrate they are responsible enough” was a comment following a recent AP article out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.   A different reader responded to this comment with, You should know the facts before you judge.”  Which elicited a response from tubal ligation dude,  Here’s a fact for you Jerry, our youth are becoming dumber and dumber due to irresponsible parents. I see more and more evidence of this every day.”

The story that generated these remarks was about a 7-year-old boy who took his mother’s car because he was reportedly upset about where he was living.  The boy hit two trees and a parked car, eventually rolling over an embankment.  Luckily no was hurt other than the little boy suffering a bloody lip.

“The boy was cited for driving without a license, failure to maintain control, hit-and-run and no insurance.”

Now tubal ligation dude and I had the same response to this article.  He questioned the intellectual ability of parents; I question the intellectual ability of government officials.

When we look at what we know, that a family is under stress to the extent that a 7-year-old felt compelled to take his mother’s car, how does adding stress to an already badly stressed situation make sense?  There is–of course—the financial stress for the cost of these charges.  Somehow I doubt this 7-year-old has a trust fund to draw from, so the cost and pressure will be put onto the parents.  My guess is that the mother’s car is probably totaled or it will be very expensive to fix.  But in the end, it is only money.

The worst part of this story is that the powers that be thoughtlessly handed down a life sentence to this unhappy child.  Most of the charges cannot be sealed.  They will remain on the Internet for anyone to view unless current policy is changed.  How does anyone benefit, including society, from destroying a child’s future over one impulsive bad decision?

It is time to show a little intellectual ability and accept that the deterrent theory doesn’t work.  Enhancing penalties or deterrents has not improved the situation; it only needlessly fills our jails and prison.  Why not try a more positive tactic?   Like identifying and meeting people’s needs.

Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/

© Copyright 2012.  Fawkes-Lee & Ryan.  All rights reserved.



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