There is no future without the success of a nation’s youth, but unfortunately, many young people have been categorized into the group of ‘disposable.’ The phenomenon of disposable youth is a result of government and educational influences as well as other social, economic and cultural concerns. It’s hard to believe that the United States is able to toss away their youth into this unsavory category, but unhappily, there is more and more evidence of ‘disposable youth’ in the nation today.
Disposable youth refers to the current trend of increasingly incarcerated and criminally convicted young people. With less and less supportive institutions for today’s youth, there is even less opportunity for them to develop healthy social habits and ethics. An ongoing economic recession and other socioeconomic hardships also create a difficult environment for children to thrive in, and even though educational programs are in place, many do not prove as effective on children’s behaviors and academics as would be desired. There is also an increasing issue regarding the social attitude towards America’s youth. In the past, the nation’s youth was thought to be responsible for the brightness and success of tomorrow. Today, however, there is little thought of youth’s opportunities; it is more commonly believed that America’s youth is undisciplined, unruly or even dangerous. With uncertainty about upcoming economic stability, it is even harder to establish how today’s youth will manage to succeed in the future. Even the influence of media is seen to have a negative impact on today’s youth.
The disposable youth of America, as a result of these many factors, end up in low places in today’s society. Children, especially those from a low socioeconomic status, broken families or other hardships, are more likely to be exposed to drugs and crime. These rampant youth end up committing petty crimes and misdemeanors that land them in trouble with the law. Sometimes, these offences are even more serious than misdemeanors and can have serious legal consequences. Unfortunately, these youth are likely to continue on a destructive criminal path, thanks to the United States legal system. Disadvantaged youth end up treated like full-scale criminals, especially if they are of certain races or ethnicity. They then end up shuffled in and out of delinquent jailing centers – if not locked up for life. These are not adults; they are America’s youth being incarcerated instead of guided towards better attitudes. It is an unfortunate and depressing reality to witness so much of the United States’ future being locked away from the world, when preventive measures would easily change America’s ‘disposable youth’ into its ‘hopeful youth.’