Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice Essay Example


Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice is a podcast that discusses how the justice system affects convicted youth. Kai Wright, the podcast host, works to get ahold of these individuals for their stories. Even judges and family members are asked to speak on their experience with the cases. According to WYNC Studios, “We all make dumb mistakes in our youth. But for these kids, those same destructive choices have a lasting impact.”

Episode One, named “I just want you to come home,” was available on March 12th, 2018. This episode starts with the story of a sixteen-year-old boy who has been incarcerated for armed robbery. The boy, called ‘Z’ to protect his identity, spoke about his life and his arrest. An audio recording system, provided by the podcast host, helps Z tell his story. Queens, New York Juvenile Correction center is where Z is serving time for robbing a corner store with his friends. The audio recording system was even used to interview Z’s mother. Although Z had a learning disability and was portrayed as quiet, he never let it hold him back. Music became one of Z’s passions early in his life. Dreams of a successful rap career stayed in Z’s mind; however, he was often discouraged. The first interaction with the police was not Armed Robbery for Z, he had been previously arrested for a violent crime. A candy business was started by Z; however, it ended up backfiring. Another boy got involved in Z’s small business and attempted to take almost all the profits. This situation ended up with a physical fight across from the school and police station; therefore, it was convenient to access the police. Kai Wright says in his podcast, “Cops are just a constant routine of these kids’ life.” Z was arrested and dismissed by the judge; however, he had a permanent target on him by law enforcement. Just a few years later, Z committed the Armed Robbery offense that puts him in a corrections center. When Z was little he wanted to be a superhero; however, now he just wants to be free. 

Wright also spoke with Dewayne Betts, formerly an incarcerated juvenile, and included his interview in the episode. Dewayne’s decision of waving a gun at an individual and then stealing his car got him arrested. An innocent man was sleeping in his car at a mall when Betts committed the crime. Nine years of Dewayne’s youth were spent within a Juvenile corrections center to pay for his actions. Betts is now a husband, father, and poet but still reflects on his past. This was the only time Betts ever held a gun; however, it only takes one time to regret. Dewayne shared his trial process and how he had varied people speak on his behalf. A friend’s mother referred to Betts as ‘a good kid who struggled to be raised without a father,” and he took offense to this. According to Dewayne, being fatherless did not influence his actions. Speaking on his own behalf, Betts apologized to all in the room for the mistakes he had made. 

This podcast relates directly to the course material in numerous ways. This course covers topics such as juvenile development and delinquency; therefore, this podcast is perfect for a real-life insight on convicted juveniles. Understanding how juvenile decisions can impact the rest of their lives is significant to the justice system. Learning about the makeup of juvenile delinquents could help prevent future incarcerations. 

References

“Caught: About: WNYC Studios: Podcasts.” WNYC Studios, www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/caught/about. 

“Episode 1: 'I Just Want You to Come Home': Caught.” WNYC Studios, 12 Mar. 2018, www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/caught/episodes/caught-podcast-i-just-want-you-to-come-home.

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