Target: Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice
Goal: Give guilty teenagers community service duties in addition to other sentencing
A gang of teenagers in a rural Alaskan village jeopardized the community’s $10 million fuel tank project by threatening project workers. Although the teens are in custody and will be penalized, their actions show an alarming lack of community stewardship and humanity. These teenagers should be given a punishment that includes a community service component in order to instill a greater sense of community and respect for others.
In rural Alaska where villages are isolated for most of the year due weather conditions and ocean ice, there are only few opportunities in the short summer months for outside companies to deliver needed supplies to communities by barge or air freight. Any major projects must also be completed within a brief summer timeframe of two months before fall weather renders villages inaccessible.
In Stebbins, Alaska, a major fuel tank project was put on hold when a band of teenagers threatened workers who had come from outside companies to finish their summer work. The teenagers stole vehicles belonging to the workers and destroyed company property. In addition, they threatened the workers during an attempt to recover the stolen vehicles. The threats were so bad that workers had to arm themselves with pistols to protect themselves from the teenagers and were even flown out the next morning, leaving their work unfinished.
Not only did these reckless teenagers engage in criminal activity, but they also threatened the vitality of the community, which depends on the fuel tank project and its completion in order for community members to survive the harsh winter months when it is nearly impossible to ship and deliver fuel from outside sources. In addition to other sentencing the teenagers may receive, it is important that they are allotted community service duties so they learn to value their community and develop stewardship for the important projects happening within their village.
Dear Alaska Division of Juvenile Justice,
The Stebbins youth who threatened STG, Inc. workers have greatly jeopardized the vitality of their rural Alaskan community. Not only did they engage in criminal activity, but they also halted progress on an important project that could have cost the community hundreds of thousands of dollars in alternative fuel sources. Although the teens will be penalized, their actions show an alarming lack of community stewardship and humanity, which must be accounted for.
It is imperative that these youth receive community service duties in addition to other sentencing. Fulfilling community service requirements in their village will allow the teenagers to develop a much needed greater sense of community and respect for others. Please do not delay in adding a community service component to their sentence.
[Your Name Here]
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