A good model for juvenile detention

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A good model for juvenile detention

Postby lesliesage » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:49 pm UTC

NYTimes: Missouri System Treats Juvenile Offenders With Lighter Hand

There is no barbed wire around facilities like Missouri Hills, on the outskirts of St. Louis. No more than 10 youths and 2 adults called facilitators live in cottage-style dormitories in a wooded setting, a far cry from the quasi penitentiaries in other states. When someone becomes unruly, the other youths are trained to talk him down. Perhaps most impressive, Missouri has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the country.
The Missouri system provided triage for an imploding system in Washington, where the juvenile corrections agency was plagued by vermin-infested buildings, overcrowding and chronic violence. "The kids were stuffing their shirts with paper before they went to sleep to keep the roaches and rats from biting them," said Vincent Schiraldi, head of the city’s Division of Rehabilitative Services.
Thank goodness we now also have a president who believes in fact based policy. We can follow this evidence instead of the old, "Let's PUNISH because we FEEL like it. It's easy to IMAGINE that my FEELINGS on my solution are REALITY."

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Re: A good model for juvenile detention

Postby PhatPhungus » Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:05 pm UTC

I wish they had more programs like this - things that make people better able to function in society, as opposed to teaching them to be violent.

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Re: A good model for juvenile detention

Postby BoomFrog » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:54 am UTC

My first reaction was that this must cost a lot more then normal, interestingly it they said this was implemented as a cost saving measure. Whatever the motivation I sounds like a really great program.

Ms. Williams, whose husband is in prison, occasionally attended family counseling sessions where she said she learned important lessons as a parent. “Instead of just hollering at them and trying to keep them out of trouble,” she said, “I try to do things with them one on one, to get to know what’s on their mind and what’s going on in their lives.”

This seems like a really big deal too. State funded "parenting lessons" for the parents of troubled children would probably be really good for society as a whole.
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Re: A good model for juvenile detention

Postby TheStranger » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:14 am UTC

I can see how a program like this would work for non-violent youth offenders (just as similar programs would work for non-violent adult offenders).

I do agree as to questioning the cost benefits of the program... running a small number of these locations may be a bit cheaper, but if we are looking at a full implementation the costs would certainly increase.
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Re: A good model for juvenile detention

Postby netcrusher88 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:27 pm UTC

We (Washington state) had one or two of these as a pilot program, although somewhat bigger. Unfortunately they were one of the first things to go in the massacre that is our new budget. The program is in good company with things like Medicaid cuts though. :|
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