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troubleinharlem's avatar

Can there be any strengths or contributions to society by juvenile delinquents (especially women) who have been abused or who abuse drugs/alcohol/sex?

Asked by troubleinharlem (7968 points ) October 4th, 2010

First of all, yes, this is for an assignment, but I know where I’m going with it. I’m not asking anyone to write this for me in the least bit, but I just can’t wrap my head around this one annoying question in the assignment.

“What are some strengths and contributions of this group?”

I can’t think of any strengths or contributions that female juvenile delinquents would have, and I don’t think there are any, honestly. I’ve been searching in books, but do you think that I should just skip this part of the essay and write about something else?

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14 Answers

Loried2008's avatar

Don’t skip it. Think about it this way… People who have abused drugs/sex/alcohol have all gone through some tough stuff. If they learned from their mistakes they could go to be a social worker, do motivational speeches for younger women or women who are going through the same things. Sometimes the only way to reach someone is to know what’s it like to be in their shoes.

Abused women, same thing. They can share their story about how they got out of a bad situation and could even convince someone to leave who wasn’t planning on it or too afraid.

Blackberry's avatar

Hmmmmm, they are good cases for other people to work on lol. That’s seriously all I can think of. Once they reform themselves they aren’t delinquents anymore.

Jude's avatar

Those who have been abused? Compassionate towards others/empathy.

troubleinharlem's avatar

@Loried2008 : Yeah, I kind of thought about it in that direction. I think that they could obviously help people that were in their shoes, or have at least experienced what they have experienced. I guess that’s it, then.

@mama_cakes : Well, yes… but other than that, I couldn’t think of anything. Do you think that’s all?

@Blackberry : Well, I’m writing my paper on female delinquents, or at least, the type of people that I want to work with in my career in social work in the future. So no, they won’t be delinquents forever, I suppose.

Blackberry's avatar

@Loried2008 Has a good point, but at that stage in their life they’re no longer delinquents, they’re a productive part of society like anyone else.

Jude's avatar

With the abuse, an inner strength and wanting to make a change.. With some, they’re passionate about it. They understand hurt and struggle.

Trillian's avatar

Ask anyone who has been through the fire and come out clean on the other side. They can now help those in the midst of it. They can also use testimony to advocate for changes to the current system.
Mandatory therapy may be the next good answer to helping people with drug addictions. As it stands now, the courts cannot order therapy because it is an infringement on the rights of people. But until people receive therapy and address the underlying reasons that cause them to be addicted to drugs, they will continue their addictions, and consequently they will continue other associated criminal behaviour, and behaviour that is, while not considered “criminal”, it is at least dertimental to themselves and possibly their children inperpetuating a cycle.
Right now, drug “rehab” isless than 20% efficacious. A big reason is that the programs are voluntary. So when they start to jones, they check themselves out. Another reason is that the programs only generally do detox, and no long term follow up is available. Until it is mandatory, and there is a good, long term program that addresses long term issues and then supplies tools to cope, and education and job skills and life choice making skills….
you see how much is needed? Our system cannot possibly supply all that is necessary as it stands. And the penal system runs counter productive to producing productive, contributing citizens.

Loried2008's avatar

@mama_cakes I agree it takes a strong woman to get out of that kind of situation and an even stronger one, in my opinion, to talk about it later.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Some things you have to experience to really understand. Their experiences might make them better understanding of what others are going through.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Trillian said, “Ask anyone who has been through the fire and come out clean on the other side. They can now help those in the midst of it.”

Enough said…. that is/was my answer!

liminal's avatar

I think this is a trick question.

While it is easy to talk about the barriers that face such individuals it is infinitely more valuable to speak of the potential before them. In particular, in such a person one can find the wisdom of experience and knowledge that a more sheltered adolescent has yet to learn. What strength or contribution does any adolescent (or any of us) bring to society? Is there something about the monikers of female, substance abuser, or abused that somehow makes them less an adolescent or person of value?

Don’t all adolescents have before them the power of their potentiality and the structuring of future generations? Does hardship have to negate the contribution of ‘good’ they can bring?

Any of us, at any given time, in our own measure, add to or take away from the betterment of the many. The female adolescent who has been abused or has abused substances is simply working with a toolbox that is unique to them, just like the rest of us. What they have to give is themselves, and all of us know that our self is the most precious thing we can give.

Janka's avatar

People, all people, have strengths and ways to contribute. If you have been abused, or used drugs, that is not all you are. It is not the one thing that defines you. You still have virtues and vices, and individual strengths and weaknesses. Maybe the question’s point is to make you realize that having one problem does not immediately negate all other personal traits etc that a person has?

Loried2008's avatar

I think @Janka has the best point here.

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