May 6th, 2009
09:33 AM ET

Lock up teen criminals?

Jane Velez-Mitchell

Ten years ago, teen Daniel Giddings shot a man during an attempted robbery and was sentenced to six to 12 years in prison.

During his time behind bars, Giddings racked up almost 30 disciplinary infractions, was kicked out of two separate facilities for bad behavior and reportedly spent hundreds of days in the hole because of his conduct.

After serving 10 years, Giddings was released last August. According to CNN affiliate WPVI, he allegedly assaulted several police officers days later. Then, in September, he allegedly killed a Philadelphia police officer before being fatally shot by another officer.

We see classic cases of repeat offenders like this all the time. A teen is thrown into the abyss of the corrections system and comes back out no better, if not worse. If we had the right intervention for troubled teens, could we reduce their chances of becoming repeat offenders?

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Filed under: Crime & Punishment
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Teresa, OH

    As a parent, I think it is ridiculous for us to always think the Justice System is supposed to help our wayward kids.

    If you want better behaved kids: start locking up parent and child together for a while. If my child is a menace to society: ITS MY FAULT.

    @Joanne: great info... I didnt realize there was such a distinction between the psychologists and the rehab. counselors. ty.

    May 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  2. Joanne Pacicca, Solvay, NY

    The reason for this is that the States and Federal Criminal Justice System hires psychologists, and social workers, NOT rehabilitation counselors. Rehab. counselors deal with medical and social aspects of the deficiencies and disabilities that persons have, both physical and mental. They deal in the present...and since these youthful offenders are partially or fully brought up by the criminal justice system, it would stand to reason that qualified personnel be employed within the system. Those persons are rehabilitation counselors, not disciplines that basically delve into related but the targeted areas essential for change.

    May 6, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  3. earle,florida

    The prison population will be 1% of the United States total (18yrs-55yrs) population as an aggregate by 2015 (3.25mn inmates)! These figures don't include jails,county lock-ups, etc.. Currently it's "Big Business", to house,and feed inmates,never mind rehabilitation. Whats even more astounding is the fiscal (budget) hit cities, towns,counties,and municipalities must take from the entities afore-mentioned to afford their police ,sheriffs,parole officers,etc. accounting for 40%-50% of total fiscal budget to operate. Bottom line there only so much you can squeese out of a taxpayor,before they cry,Uncle!

    May 6, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  4. Melissa

    Honey, most people grow out of that stuff. They stop being "troubled teens" and become "functioning adults with a future".

    This guy was obviously predisposed to this behavior. Jail was needed. He should have stayed in there.

    May 6, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  5. Muriel

    I would like to see more programs for young girls who are at risk for unwanted pregnancy. Young girls who have been physically abused and turn to drugs and alcohol. Many troubled youth are born under these conditions and often have to raise themselves...

    May 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  6. me

    they are going to do what they do no matter what intervention is out there for them. Thugs are thugs. Their upbringing is what sets them on the path and that can not be changed. Steralize 90% of South Philly, then we may have some peace!

    May 6, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  7. Jim

    Why do you think God Commanded people like that were to be EXECUTED in the old testament????? He did not say try to reform them, he did not say put them in prison. When Jesus delt with the woman caught in adultry note a few points- 1. By Mosaic law BOTH the man & woman were to be stoned – It was a Death Penalty offence in Gods sight.
    2. Jesus told the crrowd " Let he that is without sin cast the first stone"
    Those that quote this verse to show criminals mercy forget point # 3
    Jesus told the woman- " GO & SIN NO MORE"

    May 6, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  8. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Intervention for teenage criminals?---you can touch the spot of the lepoard-–but you can't move them. There are rules of behavior for being a good citizen--sometimes we don't always comply with them--but the rules are still there.

    May 6, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  9. GF, Los Angeles

    When parents don't do their jobs in raising and disciplining their child, the court system and police end up with that job. I think more focus should be placed on accountability for the parents of these children. They brought them into this world and need to be responsible for raising them and not the system with my tax dollars.

    May 6, 2009 at 11:48 am |