Until two years ago, Clearing, Illinois was a tranquil suburb of Chicago. But residents grew alarmed when they noticed armed teenagers on the streets, giving gang signals and shouting at passing cars. Then came a series of *burglaries and graffiti messages on *storefronts. By the time local authorities realized they had a gang problem, it was too late. Last December, two 13-year-old girls were shot outside their school as they sat in a car with two members of a local gang, the Ridgeway Lords.

Nearly all 50 states have recently passed laws that allow youths aged 14-17 to be tried in court as adults. In about 25 states they have passed laws to punish parents for their children’s behaviour. And in 146 of the nation’s largest cities, they have imposed *curfews to reduce juvenile violence. When you look at the spectacular rise of violent crime among young people recently, it’s easy to understand the concern. Over the past decade, there has been a decline in adult murders in the US, while murder rates have surged for youths between 14-17.

For young offenders who aren’t sent to prison, the punishments vary: some are ordered to perform *community service, others are placed in job training programs, still others sent to youth prisons. But the Republicans in Congress want to reverse a basic principle of juvenile justice: the separation of young criminals from hardened adult criminals in prison. The reasons are partly financial – to reduce the cost of having separate prisons for young people – and partly psychological – to end what an Republicans consider as society’s overly protective attitude towards young criminals.




burglaries = vols

storefronts = vitrines

curfew = couvre-feu

community service = travail d‘intérêt général



A) What happened in Clearing ?

  1. a policeman shot a young man
  2. two girls were killed because they were with two members of another gang
  3. criminality decreased.


B) There is an increase in…

  1. the number of crimes done by young people
  2. the number of crimes done by adults
  3. the number of prisons


C) What would the Republicans like to do?

  1. They would like to separate young criminals from adult criminals
  2. They would like to put young criminals into prisons for adults
  3. They would like to ban youth prisons







A2 | B1 | C2