Essay Role of Non-violence in Reducing Juvenile Gangs and Crime

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       Our society incorporates violence into nearly every aspect of its existence.  We pick up the newspaper or turn on the television and find details of the latest violent crimes.  More often these crimes involve children.  Recently two young boys murdered a young girl for her bicycle.  They valued a material object more than a human life.  At some point in their lives they learned it was okay to harm another individual.  No one provoked them and they were not defending themselves.  They acted out of pure selfishness.  Sadly this scenario has become all too familiar over the last few years.  In the past two decades violent crime among juveniles ages 14-17 has increased tremendously.  Between 1983 and 1992 juvenile arrests increased 117% (U.S. Department of Justice, 12).  This suggests an increase in the growing involvement of young people in violent crimes.   To relieve this problem nationally and globally, we need to adapt the use of nonviolence into our culture.  We can do this by understanding the basic principles of nonviolence our peace leaders have practiced and develop strategies for their incorporation into our daily lives.


        The most familiar type of nonviolence in our time is that of civil disobedience.  Martin Luther King Jr. and fellow civil rights activists practice this in the 1960's.  King preached that those oppressed must never fall to the level of the oppressors and result to physical violence. King believed in nonviolent protest such as marches, sit-ins and freedom rides.  He felt that "if repressed emotions do not come out in these nonviolent ways, they will come out in ominous expressions of violence.  This is not a threat; it is a fact of history" (King, preface).  He considered these acti...

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...3/fte (8 Oct. 1998).

King, Martin Luther Jr.  Letter from the Birmingham Jail.  San Francisco: Harper Collins Publishers, 1994.

Knickerbocker, Brad.  Christian Science Monitor.  Item Number: 9503070723.  (1 Jan. 1995).  Http:// (8 Oct. 1998).

Mother Teresa.  "Quotes to Inspire You: Peace."  1998. Http:// (20 Sept. 1998).

"Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE)."  Mavia Newsline: Autumn 1997.  1997, 1998.  Http:// 97_newsletter.htm (20 Sept. 1998).

 U.S. Department of Justice.  Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  Guide for Implementing the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders.  Ed. James C. Howell. Washington: GPO, 1995.

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