This is the introduction activity that I use for the ERWC Juvenile Justice Unit. It’s a good start to get them thinking about the different issues that exist with Juvenile criminals and what kinds of issues there are with children being tried as adults and gets them thinking about how it would feel to suddenly be locked up and not allowed to go through the normal passage of time as kids and all the freedoms that they enjoy.
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The best timing for this unit is RIGHT AFTER a big break… Christmas Break, Spring Break, Thanksgiving Break… first day back before they suspect you are doing anything new…
I try to draw out the “suspense” of this as much as possible, turning to this slide while I walk slowly to turn off the lights or check something unrelated at my desk just to give them more time to think and stress about what my news could be.
I try to make this as realistic as possible… pointing out that the details they just wrote in their notebook can now be used against them, all those details they just casually related about what they did over the Break can now be used to trace their whereabouts and PROVE they were the killer.
Right here in class, you find out the cops are coming, is there anyone RIGHT HERE that you would turn to for support? Sometimes there is but most times, kids look around and realize that in that moment, they are surrounded by people that aren’t necessarily their closest friends in their time of trial.
I also point out here that IF they do message anyone, this response will be used FOR or AGAINST their case and be used to show either their Guilt or Innocence so they have to be careful what they say…
Would they believe you or the police? Would it be a benefit that you are already locked up so they can’t kill you? 🙂
Teaching this unit to Seniors is always interesting because the next year of their lives is VERY filled with big life events like graduation and starting college. Missing this time period of events, despite their innocence being proven would be a huge loss.
Interesting question… some of them are in relationships and some are not and this question mostly gets a lot of writing but not a lot of sharing 🙂
Especially if this is the first day back from a long break, this makes everyone laugh when I say “What did your room look like when you rushed out this morning? How about your bathroom?” and everyone laughs guiltily….
I tells stories here about students have had who got in trouble at a party after a dance when all they did was WALK IN–but there were drugs and alcohol at the party and minors. Of the 4 students who walked in the door, two were 17 and were told to just go home, and two were 18 and got probation, community service and one got a misdemeanor charge for Contributing for the Delinquency of Minors even though none of the 4 did anything at the party but WALK IN the door and the cops arrived.
As we go through this unit and talk about different cases and different charges, it’s important to know the difference between these charges to understand the story and how the juvenile criminal got a worse or better future.