While prison conditions have improved considerably in many ways, the present correctional system is still struggling to deal with the same problems that the United States has experienced in the past.
State and Federal prison overcrowding has continued to hurt United States correctional facilities because of increasing inmate population and the demand for lower corrections costs.
OVERVIEWIn this lesson, students will practice writing, listening, discussion, and research skills as they examine policies around juvenile sentencing in the United States. POV offers a lending library of DVDs that you can borrow anytime during the school year -- FOR FREE! OBJECTIVESBy the end of this lesson, students will: ESTIMATED TIME NEEDEDOne 50-minute class period and additional time to review extension activities FILM CLIPSClip 1: Kenneth's Story (approx.
Video clips provided with this lesson are from the film , which follows a Florida man who received four life sentences at age 15 for a series of armed robberies. min.)The clip begins at with Paolo Annino (Kenneth's lawyer) discussing the particulars of Kenneth's case and the Graham v. The clip ends at with Chief George Steffen of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office assessing Kenneth's involvement in the robberies.
Whether you’re crafting one for a writing class or as a letter to a government official or newspaper editor, having logical organization and an engaging first paragraph can get your essay off to a strong start.
The United States has 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of its prisoners.The clip includes interviews and court footage relating to Kenneth's case, relating to life sentences and rehabilitation.The clip ends at with Kenneth discussing his life before he came to prison. Pursuing Dreams Either as homework or in class, if time allows, have students write a short persuasive essay arguing for or against sentencing juveniles to life in prison. Examining Multiple Perspectives Ask students to research articles and opinion pieces written by those in favor of and those opposing juvenile life sentences.Invite students to answer the following questions, either as a group discussion, presentations, or short essays: RESOURCES15 to Life The official website for the film includes the trailer and more information about the film.POVThe POV site for the film includes a more comprehensive discussion guide with additional discussion prompts and activity suggestions.Encourage students to find their own articles, but here are a few to get started: Have students write to prison officials and legislators to share their thoughts on the policies.3.The History of Juvenile Justice in the United States Have students research the history of the juvenile justice system in the United States, beginning with its establishment in 1899.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.Persuasive essays, which seek to convince readers of a certain perspective on a topic, can be fun and interesting to write, but also difficult when you’re just starting.Imprisoned for more than a decade, he believed he would die behind bars. Clip 2: Juvenile Justice and Rehabilitation (approx.7 min.) The clip begins at with juvenile incarceration statistics and Pinellas Public Defender Patrice Moore discussing Kenneth's case and some of the factors involved in juveniles ending up in court.