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Juvenile Detention Centers

Updated November 23, 2021
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Juvenile Detention Centers essay

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One of the components of our very first module for this class was juvenile delinquents and juvenile detention centers. This was a very fascinating topic for me to learn about because on the news recently it seems there has been a lot of minors (under of the age of 18) committing capital crimes and being tried as adults and instead of going to a juvenile detention center, they go to a prison. The focus of this research paper will be juvenile detention centers (jails for those under the age of 18) and the services they offer to rehabilitate delinquents to guide them in a positive direction and what happens after someone turn 18 and they still have time to serve.

A juvenile detention center is a prison basically for children under the age of 18. There is one here in town on the I-17. When driving up north, you will most likely see it on the left side of the I-17. Offenders can be detained there for just a short time while they wait for their court hearing or wait to be transferred to another facility or they may be serving a sentence. The age limit for juvie differs state to state, but most states make the age limit 17 or younger.

“Most young people at a juvenile detention center are there because of committing unlawful acts, including violent crimes, property crimes, drug-related offenses, public disturbances and even homicide” (Gillespie). This makes me wonder if a majority of the people in juvie were a part of a gang and they were caught and that is why they are serving sentences. It is hard for me to imagine someone so young committing such a terrible crime such as murder, but it could have been for gang initiations or it is normal in the neighborhood they live in.

To get a better understanding of what juvenile detention centers do, I will start from the very beginning of the process. “Most juveniles are taken to a detention center by police and admitted through a secure entrance” (Gillespie). After the secure entrance, all of their personal belongings are taken away and they are taken to showers and then they are given uniforms. They sleep in dormitory areas, two separate areas for girls and boys.

Next rehabilitation programs will be discussed. To Paraphrase, it is assumed that children deserve and need special care because they are in a stage where a lot of development occurs and criminal behavior during this stage of life will not continue when they are. Therefore, rehabilitation has positive results in youth (“Treatment Programs for Juvenile Delinquents”).

Adolescents who commit a crime differ from adults who commit a crime because children can be more easily influenced because their brains are not fully developed, and they are still trying to find their way in life and discover the differences between right and wrong. Basically, if a child commits a crime there is more opportunity to get that child on the right path versus an adult who is fully grown and has only known crime. “Incarcerated adolescents who have been accused or found guilty of crimes can be extremely difficult to work with” (“Rehabilitation Benefits Young Offenders”). It is difficult for counselors at juvenile detention centers to get through to the juvenile offenders because a lot of them have had rough lives and may not want to be helped or are embarrassed to ask for help.

“Providing adolescents with programs and activities in groups may help with development and rehabilitation” (“Rehabilitation Benefits Young Offenders”). Doing research, I found that most juvenile detention centers have a variety of activities for the inmates to participate in. They take lessons on life skills (how to apply for a job, how to write a resume, cooking classes, etc…), counseling programs are available and encouraged, sports are played, and most importantly education is provided. To paraphrase, research shows education makes behavior better and lower rates of youth in jails (“Rehabilitation Benefits Young Offenders”). The inmates can take courses that are offered in public schools such as English, math, science, and all those necessary classes that are beneficial to pursuing higher education. And research showed that education was very beneficial to the incarcerated juveniles.

Daily life in a juvenile detention center is very structured. The children wake up at a certain time, make their beds, and get ready for the day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks are served at the same times every day, so the inmates have a set schedule. They take classes, do group therapy, and all the rehabilitation activities mentioned in the previous paragraph. There are visiting hours, but only parents or legal guardians can pop in at anytime for a visit. Visits are usually twenty minutes to half an hour, if someone other than parents or legal guardians want to visit, they have to make an appointment with the child’s social worker. I think that it is a good idea for these juvenile delinquents to have a structured schedule because the homes they come from may not be so structured/stable, so this stable setting is good for them and prepare them for release, so they can have a bright future.

What happens to these child inmates after they turn 18 and still have time to serve? Highly likely, the juvenile (who is now considered an adult) will be sent to prison. According to the law in Connecticut, “If a child is fourteen years or older and are charged with an offense that is a felony, you could be transferred to the adult court” (“Juvenile Court in Connecticut Frequently Asked Questions”). Sometimes if the crime is bad enough, the criminal justice system will wait until the suspect turns 18 so they can be tried as an adult. A few years back there was a 10 year old boy who shot and killed his dad and a family friend with a shotgun, he is just now getting tried because the court wanted to wait until he was 18 so he could get the proper punishment which will most likely be life in prison. It is frightening to think that there are children in the world who commit such evil acts that the court system wants to wait until they turn 18 so they can get a harsher punishment to protect the public from them.

This topic was very interesting to read about and I learned a lot of information that I had never heard before. I think it is good that the United States does everything they can to help the kids in rough situation and lead them in the right direction by offering tons of counseling and services to give them the opportunity to live a normal life and be a positive contribution to society.

Juvenile Detention Centers essay

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Juvenile Detention Centers. (2021, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/juvenile-detention-centers/

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