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Ms Information
(@Ms_Information)
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July 15, 2011 4:48 am  

Ms., I do agree that single moms have WAY more trouble raising kids that 2-parent families. I think many of the problems of society today stem from the breakdown of family life. But I do think these single mom can be loving parents. I feel really sorry for the boys/men without fathers. How can they model how fathers should, well, father when they've never experienced it? And this problem is certainly not limited to the USVI. It makes you wonder what the future holds for our society.

Sorry Linda, My rant was not intended to criticize "single moms". I know that many mature single moms do a wonderful job of raising a family. I was not clear, my criticism was about "babies having babies" and then walking away while "aunty" tries to raise them. I am outraged when a 14 or 15 year old girls gets pregnant, has the baby and then goes on with her life as a child too. She should be required to abort a child that she cannot or will not care for. Yes, this problem is not limited to the USVI, but it is more easily seen because of the small size of the islands and the limited population.


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dougtamjj
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July 15, 2011 11:50 am  

I am certainly glad that no one REQUIRED my sons birth mother to ABORT him!


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terry
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July 15, 2011 2:01 pm  

The way to handle that, if they can't support the baby without welfare, the baby would be taken away by the state and either raised or put up for adoption.


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amethyst
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July 15, 2011 2:55 pm  

I am hesitant to jump into the fray here- and let me begin by saying that what happened is a tragedy, not just for the victims' families, but for the ruined lives of the perpetrators. And I am sorry if my comment perpetuates ill-will.

But I tend to react somewhat against my nature when I read/hear people lamenting the fall of society, usually followed by reasons why: single-parent families, teenage pregnancy, drugs, corruption etc. These are all societal issues- which means they are not strictly caused by "others" but through the permissiveness which we allow these things to happen.

Female juvenile offenders are growing at a rapid rate (much faster than male JOs), and there are few female-specific rehabilitation programs. The needs of a female offender are often very different from those of male offenders (for one example, they are many times more likely to have suffered from sexual/physical/emotional abuse). Even in Big America- a majority of female JOs aren't given more than the "standard (male) treatment", and if they're lucky, an additional sex-education class.

The life of the victim is to be mourned. But what about the lives of these girls? Likely, they will end up incarcerated until they are 21 (if tried as a JO) or even later. They (likely) have lacked positive role models and know that not much is expected of them. Look at the responses here to prove that. Why should they try to do anything differently?

So where in this system will they ever get a chance? When they are released, after being exposed to the corruption of prison life? With a record? More often than not, they will become a single mother (which perpetuates down the maternal line) and raising a child- without the slightest idea of how to do it in a positive way. Making the same (or new) mistakes; beginning the cycle for another youth (who, in turn, is statistically more likely to end up as a part of the criminal justice system).

Intervention has to come from somewhere. I guarantee it won't be from the police or the rehabilitation/criminal justice system, and probably not from the family unit- either.


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terry
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July 15, 2011 5:08 pm  

Amethyst, you make some very good points but no answers. What is society to do in the short term and long term.


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southernsweetie
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July 15, 2011 7:49 pm  

I feel that Amethyst is asking the age old question: is the role of prison/jail/ juvenile detention to punish or reform? At the juvenile level, I certainly feel we have more of a responsibility to reform. What these kids are exposed to while in detention will or won't give them the tools to realize better choices and make the choice within themselves to change. Kids do what they learn, what they see. It's their normal. So these children in detention need to be shown another way. They need to know they matter, that they have a purpose, and that they can choose a life that is different then the choices that got them there. That comes from what they are taught while they are there. I really feel that many of these kids would do better if they knew better, and would do better if they knew someone cared about what they did. They, like all people, want to know they are valued, they are listened to, and that they matter.

Maybe the curriculum of juvenile detention needs to be addressed. I would presume that is a government decision? Or maybe an individual facility decision? If someone was willing to step up, create a new curriculum, and present it... maybe real lasting change could start. 🙂


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Lizard
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July 15, 2011 8:23 pm  

Southernsweetie,
It's not just juvenile problems on the islands! The majority of the (Native Islanders, People Born Here 70% of the population) ARE RELATED. That would be The Police and the Bad guys. Use your imagination for the outcome of most crimes.*-)


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southernsweetie
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July 15, 2011 9:19 pm  

Southernsweetie,
It's not just juvenile problems on the islands! The majority of the (Native Islanders, People Born Here 70% of the population) ARE RELATED. That would be The Police and the Bad guys. Use your imagination for the outcome of most crimes.*-)

The youth would be a good jumping off point for change. You can't fix everything overnight, so if you bring up future leaders with a different mindset, then the tide can slowly start to turn.

I am realizing, the more I read, the issues are deep many, and twisted.


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Connie
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July 15, 2011 10:09 pm  

Lizard, may I ask why you still live in the Islands?


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Lizard
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July 15, 2011 11:59 pm  

My Family has been here since 1868, I spent my summers on ST Croix since I was a Child, I have seen crime get worse since (Hurricane Hugo). We do have a neighborhood watch program. The USVI's are the Red Headed Step Child for the US. One Hopes that things will change for the better. It's always the messengers fault for the bearer of bad news. Again I Live here (STX) and I'm sick of Crime on the Island. I Want to feel safe again, is that wrong? Should Crime make me move.


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JoeyBallgame
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July 16, 2011 12:20 am  

Crime has made many people move since the beginning of time. It just depends on your tolernace level for it.


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onthespot
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July 16, 2011 12:21 am  

Southernsweetie,
It's not just juvenile problems on the islands! The majority of the (Native Islanders, People Born Here 70% of the population) ARE RELATED. That would be The Police and the Bad guys. Use your imagination for the outcome of most crimes.*-)

X2 !!!! Rather than everyone arming themselves with guns, they should all be buying security cameras. Crimes here should be able to be investigated by police from other islands, STT STJ, and vice versa to get rid of the nepotism, or at least cut it down. A Joe Arpaio type work camp for offenders, with 24/7 live cams pay per view would fix the crime and the budget at the same time.


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terry
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July 16, 2011 2:25 am  

A camera does no good if the police won't arrest them or when they do the liberal courts let them go.


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Connie
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July 16, 2011 11:50 am  

My Family has been here since 1868, I spent my summers on ST Croix since I was a Child, I have seen crime get worse since (Hurricane Hugo). We do have a neighborhood watch program. The USVI's are the Red Headed Step Child for the US. One Hopes that things will change for the better. It's always the messengers fault for the bearer of bad news. Again I Live here (STX) and I'm sick of Crime on the Island. I Want to feel safe again, is that wrong? Should Crime make me move.

Yes, crime should make you move. At least it should make you think about it. If it has directly affected you and still affects you on a daily basis, then that should be an option for you. As you state...you want to feel safe again. It's not wrong at all. You just have to do something about it.

I see crime seeping into our neighborhoods (outside of Philly) and we're already working on a plan to get out of here. I won't even step over City Line to go into the city anymore. Last time was on the train at New Years to wach the "early" fireworks. I was scared to death. Flash mobs, fighting, thugs, etc.

I always wanted to go to STX, you know, see all of the US Virgin Islands, but the thiings I read definetly have changed my mind.

I wish everyone luck down there. Keep the faith!


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Bombi
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July 16, 2011 1:03 pm  

If you listen to the BBC Caribbean Report you will discover that increasing crime is a problem throughout the region not just the USVI. I think it has a lot to do with parenting and education, as well as opportunity. The Gov't has become the parent and provider to many youths, only to be disowned upon dropping out or coming of age and leaving them with a poor education, no skills and an innate dependency. Lyndon Johnson's plan 50 years ago was the beginning of the end. The Great Society?


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Lizard
(@Lizard)
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July 16, 2011 1:31 pm  

Connie,
My statement (Should crime make me move) was rhetorical. If you read all my posts on this thread, I clearly gave a solution for part of the crime problems that plague the islands, at this point in time. You and some other posters have stated that crime is bad in your home Cities and States Phila,Detroit, Washington etc. Not to be rude but the crime in your area has nothing to do with me/my family/friends/residents/tourists on STX. I have not intention of moving, never said I was going to move, never said I couldn't move, never said I was thinking about moving. I will feel safe when more police are on the Ground, and When the Justice System takes Crime Serious. Have a good day.8-)


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