Long Term Correctional Facilities For Juveniles Article Review Sample
Purpose and operation
The name of school/university
The juvenile offenders, at the end of the 18th and the beginning of 19th centuries, were sentenced, punished and served their punishments in jails or other penal units in very miserable conditions, along with adult criminals or mentally ill individuals. The situation changed under the actions of the new established movement for Prevention of Pauperism with leaders Thomas Eddy and John Griskom, who opposed to the current practice of placing juveniles in penitentiaries with adults and insisted on establishment of new units that would answer the requirements for domicile of poor and rambling through the streets children. The First House of Refuge opened in 1825 in New York and was designed to shelter poor wandering in the streets children who were attracted by the street life, accompanied by delinquency. (New York Times, 1860, Web) Later several cases became landmark cases for the development of Juvenile Justice System.
In 1905, a minor was sentenced to seven years to serve in a House of Refuge for a crime that if an adult had committed it he would receive shorter punishment for it. This was discussed in the case Commonwealth v. Fisher where the court found that it was in the best child’s interest to stay so long away from the temptations of delinquency. The long sentence brought the decision of the case and the court’s valuation under the influence of parens patriae doctrine. In 1909 the decision was sharply criticized by Judge Julian W. Mack saying that the salvation of a child from becoming a criminal could be done by the state only if the parents or the guardian are unwilling or unable to do that. Further he said that “Every statute which is designed to give protection, care, and training to children, as a needed substitute for parental authority, and performance of parental duty, is but a recognition of the duty of the state, as the legitimate guardian and protector of children where other guardianship fails." No constitutional right is violated.” (Mack, J. W., 1909, cited by Bartollas, C., & Miller, S. 2014, Ch. 6)
A number of decisions made by the United States Supreme Court in the late 1060s and the early 1970s hastened the influence of the so called constitutionalists on the juvenile court and it reached the form and functions from today.
The complete procedure of the juvenile court and the role of the participants in it are not the subject of this assignment but the long term alternatives that are determined by the decisions of the juvenile courts. Large district courts dispose of most or all of the following eleven alternatives but the small rural courts usually have only a few or none of them.
The most important are the Reception and diagnostic centers. They are considered very important because in them the adjudicated youths are screened and assigned to the most appropriate facility. Their decision is a determinant for the successful outcome of the whole process. The Group homes represent another alternative for juvenile offenders where they are removed for a long term from their homes but at the same time they are granted with extensive contacts with the local community, attending a school or maintaining a job.
Another alternative are the Boot camps that are operating on military basis. The stuff emphasizes on drill training, physical activity and manual labor. The youth’s resistance is subjected to severe rules and the tactics of the drill instructors. Sometimes the trainings and the conditions are so severe that the outcome is wretched as in the following case. In 2001 when a young man of age of 18 was sent to a boot camp in Texas which was operated by the Correctional Services Corp., a private company, “came down with pneumonia and pleaded to see a doctor as he struggled to breathe. Guards accused the teen of faking it and forced him to do pushups in his own vomit, according to Texas law enforcement reports. After nine days of medical neglect, he died.” (Kirkham C., 2013)
Another facility is a Ranch/wilderness camp, designed for juveniles that do not need restrictions and often are allowed greater contacts with community and involves ranches, forestry camps, farms, marine or wilderness programs.
The Residential treatment centers need special certification as there are housed juvenile offenders that need to go through a special treatment program with residential care. And the last alternative is a long-term secure facility as reformatories, training schools and juvenile correctional facilities that provide strict confinement for its inhabitants.
As a conclusion it may be underlined that as a structure and leading principles the juvenile justice system is well designed but the existence of a large number of weak sections as insufficient funding, lack of qualified workers, etc. makes it not effective enough.
Bartollas, C., & Miller, S., (2014) Juvenile Justice in America, 7th edition, Chapter 6, Web Retrieved from www.online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780133140774
Kirkham, C., Prisoners of Profit: Private Prison Empire Rises despite Startling Record of Juvenile Abuse, (2013), The Huffington Post, Web Retrieved from www.projects.thehuffingtonpost.com/prisoners-of-profit
New York Times, Our City Charities; The New York House of Refuge for Juvenile Delinquents, January, 1860, Retrieved from www.nytimes.com/1860/01/23/news/our-city-charities-