Department of Justice Now Calling Juvenile Delinquents "Justice-Involved Youth"

Can someone tell us why calling someone who breaks the law a "criminal" is politically incorrect?

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When people break the law, they’re criminals.  When they’re under-aged, we also call them juvenile delinquents.  While some people take issue with calling criminals “criminals,” most people don’t agree.  Unfortunately, it looks like the Obama administration does take issue however.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch referred to under-aged criminals as “justice-involved youth”.

No, really, she did.

From the Daily Caller:

Attorney General Loretta Lynch rolled out the term earlier this week in a press release obtained by the Media Research Center.

“The Department of Justice is committed to giving justice-involved youth the tools they need to become productive members of society,” Lynch explained.

The attorney general went on to explain that the Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will launch a new $1.7-million program to help legal aid services and public housing administrators “reduce barriers for justice-involved youth.”

Honestly, can someone tell us why calling someone who breaks the law “criminal” or even “offenders” is politically incorrect?

While there’s much to debate about regarding the new initiative, the Orwellian mangling of the English language in an effort to dictate thought is probably more worthy of debate.  The issue isn’t whether these people are human or not, because no one argues otherwise.  The issue is in pretending that people who break the law are anything other than law-breakers.

The label only applies to individuals who self-select themselves into the label after all, so why is it such a problem?

The reality is that changing the label rarely changes the thoughts people have.  Whether you call someone “illegal aliens”, “illiegal immigrants”, or “undocumented migrants,” people’s feelings about them don’t change because the reason for those feelings haven’t changed.  Instead, all those negative feelings are transferred to the new term.

If the desire is to remind people that those who have broken the law can reform, then that’s a different matter.  After all, we all have made mistakes and needed forgiveness for them.  However, you don’t do that by trying to pretend they didn’t really do wrong before.

What do you think?  Tell us in Comments.

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1 comment

  1. J. C. Salomon Reply

    The term “juvenile delinquent” has its problems too, as Robert Heinlein pointed out in Starship Troopers.