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I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.

 
758
User ID: 582548
United States
12/30/2008 08:17 AM
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I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Well, almost anything. There are certain things I absolutely cannot reveal, like where exactly I work and the names of anyone at our facility, but other than that, I'd be happy to ease your curiousities about the juvenile justice system.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 178947
Netherlands
12/30/2008 08:18 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
how much abuse do you dish out?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 369
Germany
12/30/2008 08:20 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
whats for breakfast
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 582548
United States
12/30/2008 08:22 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
how much abuse do you dish out?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 178947


None, and I have witnessed none. We do have to restrain clients at times, but only as a last resort. And it is done so in a way that is as efficient and as safe as possible for all parties involved. Yes, injuries do happen when resistance is a factor, but as far as malicious abuse....I have seen none whatsoever.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 582548
United States
12/30/2008 08:23 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
whats for breakfast
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 369


This morning as I left (I work graveyard shift), it appeared that they were having pancakes, sausage, and muffins. There may have been some scrambled eggs too, but I didn't get a close look.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 582556
United States
12/30/2008 08:32 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Do you feel that if marijuana was legal you would not have a job?
Anonymous Coward
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12/30/2008 08:33 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Do you feel that if marijuana was legal you would not have a job?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 582556

I mean are most offenders in there because of minor drug possession?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 582548
United States
12/30/2008 08:40 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Do you feel that if marijuana was legal you would not have a job?

I mean are most offenders in there because of minor drug possession?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 582556


There are a grand total of Zero clients who are in just for possession of marijuana. So I would say that if anything, it it were legal, I would have even more job security.
BRIEF AND TO THE POINT

User ID: 381742
United States
12/30/2008 08:48 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
How many come from loving stable homes?
Poor people do poor people things, and rich people do rich people things.

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

when you rob Paul to give to Peter ... ... ... you will always get Peters support!

:Brieffromnativea:
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 568024
United Kingdom
12/30/2008 08:57 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Alex Jones reckons all care workers are closet pedo's

Are you a Pedo?

Do your co-workers strike you as Pedo's?

Do you dream about taking young boys up their "Passage to India"?
Xana
User ID: 507371
United States
12/30/2008 09:01 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Where can I get free drug treatment for Oxycontin? My kid is a mess and we don't have much money!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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United States
12/30/2008 09:02 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
How many come from loving stable homes?
 Quoting: BRIEF AND TO THE POINT


That's really hard to say. None of them come from perfect homes, but then again nor does anyone else on this earth. Many of them come from homes where the parents are probably doing their best, and think that they're teaching their children better than their parents taught them when they were young, but they still fall short. I would say that a large majority of our clients were neglected physical touch and intimacy in their first year of life, and another significant portion lacked parents who provided structure and a stable learning environment from the ages of 5-8 or so.

As far as parents who really just don't give shit and let their kids do whatever or abandoned them completely, you might be talking about 10-20%, but that's just an approximation.
Shen Long

User ID: 372008
Canada
12/30/2008 09:03 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
What do you think of juveniles being charged as adults?

What kind of lives do most of these kids return to once released?

Is the emphasis on "reform" or "punishment"?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 582548
United States
12/30/2008 09:07 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Alex Jones reckons all care workers are closet pedo's

Are you a Pedo?

Do your co-workers strike you as Pedo's?

Do you dream about taking young boys up their "Passage to India"?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 568024


I'm not. Sure, I have seen pictures of beautiful 17 girls and thought, "Man, why didn't girls look like that when I was in high school?", but it's not an attraction that would ever override my respect for the law. And I've never been attracted to males of any age.

There's one guy who strikes me as a bit odd, but if may have more to do with his lazy eye and facial scar. We're programmed to see people with abnormal features like that as villians, so it's only natural that a bit of the programming I've tried to unlearn over the last decade or so, still lingers a bit.

No, I have no idea what a "passage to india" means.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 582548
United States
12/30/2008 09:10 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Where can I get free drug treatment for Oxycontin? My kid is a mess and we don't have much money!
 Quoting: Xana 507371


Seeing as I'm not a pyschiatrist, I would be ill-advised to offer any solution at all. Your best bet would be to contact your state department of child services and ask them for a program that might could help you out. Best of luck, and never question yourself about whether you're doing the right thing. Your gut was right and it's better to stop it now and give him the chance to enter society as a functioning citizen before it's too late and his record prevents him from being able to do so.
Shen Long

User ID: 372008
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12/30/2008 09:12 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Would you say the majority of offenses are "serious" or "relatively minor"?

Are most "one-timers" or "repeat offenders"?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 582548
United States
12/30/2008 09:25 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
What do you think of juveniles being charged as adults?

What kind of lives do most of these kids return to once released?

Is the emphasis on "reform" or "punishment"?
 Quoting: Shen Long


Personally, I think that the adult penal system is a joke and a dead end road that will never serve our country like it should. On the other hand, I wholeheartedly believe in what our program does, and I wish that all those people sitting in death row had the chance to enter a program like ours before it was too late. There's a fine line between juvenile and adult though. Some 13 year old kids are more mature and smarter than some 25 year olds. So where do you draw the line and hold someone accountable in a more severe way? I don't know, and I don't envy the judges that have to decide these issues. But overall, it would be nice to offer true reform and rehabilitation to everyone who isn't pretty much just programmed to murder and rape as soon as they're let out. Not sure if that makes sense, but prisons and penitentiaries offer nothing but punishment, and for some 3 hots and a cot in between crime sprees. The whole system needs reformed, so until it gets changed, I say we should err on the side of treating kids as kids.


I couldn't tell you how well their family lives are when they return home, but I do know that on average, after release, only around 20% of our clients will return to a juvenile or adult detention center. This means that 80% of our clients are successes, and will avoid going back to any jail or juvie, period. And I think that's pretty promising, and might speak volumes about how their family lives do improve once they are rehabilitated. Amazing things happen when you change for the better, the people around you change sometimes as well. So maybe there's a little magic to that, idk. I think it's safe to say that since if we have a choice, we only release clients who have graduated and have shown that they have the potential to be productive on the outside, maybe that 20% failure rate has something to do with parents who still don't have what it takes, but that's just conjecture.


And as I alluded to, our program is all about 24 hour a day reform. It's an amazingly complicated program, but the way it comes together is something to behold when you start seeing clients who buy into the program and start making it work for their own good. It's probably not even a completely conscious or understood internal decision when they make it, they just decide to try things our way and realize that it's probably their once chance to make their dreams possible down the road.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 582548
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12/30/2008 09:30 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Would you say the majority of offenses are "serious" or "relatively minor"?

Are most "one-timers" or "repeat offenders"?
 Quoting: Shen Long


We're divided into several units, and the units are typically made up of the same types of offenders. It breaks down something like this...

25% Serious and/or repeat offenders who are smart and manipulative

25% Serious and/or repeat offenders who have lower functioning skills (low IQ, borderline autistic, serious learning disabilities or deficiencies, etc...)

50% Relatively minor offences, some repeated minor offences

And it's really pretty subjective as far as what you would call "serious" and "minor", because some of the serious offences don't seem that horrible, and some of the minor offenders have done some pretty crazy things.
Shen Long

User ID: 372008
Canada
12/30/2008 09:36 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Thanks for the considered responses OP. Very informative. Sounds like your the right kind of person to be doing what you do.

Really encouraging to hear that your success rate is so high.

Awesome point re: cognitive/moral maturity not being determined by age.

More questions if don't mind.

What kind of education/training did you need to do your job?

If you could reduce it to one or two things primarily, what is most important factor in turning these kids around?

In spite of differences, do you see any traits in common among offenders?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 582548
United States
12/30/2008 09:53 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Thanks for the considered responses OP. Very informative. Sounds like your the right kind of person to be doing what you do.

Really encouraging to hear that your success rate is so high.

Awesome point re: cognitive/moral maturity not being determined by age.

More questions if don't mind.

What kind of education/training did you need to do your job?

If you could reduce it to one or two things primarily, what is most important factor in turning these kids around?

In spite of differences, do you see any traits in common among offenders?
 Quoting: Shen Long


No problem, it's a subject I had a lot of questions about before I joined the field, so I thought I might could help disspell some of the myths surrounding it now that I have seen it in action. :)

Since I'm not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or administrator, I didn't have to have a degree or state license for anything. The background check and training was intense though, I jumped through more hoops than I've ever had to jump through for pay that is subpar. We did have to watch some training videos, observe and shadow for a couple of weeks, go through a restraint training class that teaches nonviolent control and restraint of clients to ensure their own safety, as well as others. Oh and we had to pass a test with a 90% or above score, the test material mainly consisting of their policies and protocols.

The single most important factor in their success is getting THEM to see the great oppurtunity that they've been given by being admitted into our program, and encouraging them to take responsibility for ALL of their actions. Also with that comes an understanding of what triggers their negative behaviors, and taking the external lessons we teach them and internalizing them, making the process of choosing right or wrong more automatic and coherent.

And yes, there are a couple of traits that are common to a large majority of them. Oppositional Defiant Disorder is very common, and deep seeded anger and emotional issues are also prevalent. But Oppositional Defiant Disorder numbers are absolutely staggering in today's society. It's something that most parents on their own have no idea how to properly counter, so the more aware the public is of ODD, the better off this next generation and ones to follow will be. :)
Shen Long

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12/30/2008 09:59 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Again thx.

Could you describe this ODD thing a little?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 582548
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12/30/2008 10:08 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Again thx.

Could you describe this ODD thing a little?
 Quoting: Shen Long


In a nutshell, every child goes through a phase or two of defiance towards authority, namely their parents and teachers. But some kids never grow out of that phase, either because of of them having ODD, because their parents don't know how to stop this behavior, or in a lot of cases actually feed into it and make it worse, or a combination of both scenarios...thus perpetuating a cycle of the child needing power struggles as a part of their lives.

Here's a couple links with probably much better explanations than what I could give.

[link to www.aacap.org]

[link to www.conductdisorders.com]
Anonymous Coward
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12/30/2008 10:09 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Well, almost anything. There are certain things I absolutely cannot reveal, like where exactly I work and the names of anyone at our facility, but other than that, I'd be happy to ease your curiousities about the juvenile justice system.
 Quoting: 758 582548

juvy is a joke. who cares u work there its not tough or hard work. fuck off.
Shen Long

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12/30/2008 10:14 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Well, almost anything. There are certain things I absolutely cannot reveal, like where exactly I work and the names of anyone at our facility, but other than that, I'd be happy to ease your curiousities about the juvenile justice system.

juvy is a joke. who cares u work there its not tough or hard work. fuck off.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 578233



Intelligent and engaged conversation is somewhat over your head.

Go fuck yourself tough-guy.
Zerubbabel
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12/30/2008 10:15 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
A 20% recidivism rate is HORRENDOUS. It is typical throughout the INDUSTRY--and it IS an industry. I worked in the field for 5 years and can tell you that most success stories are just that--stories.

My success rate was 99%. This INCLUDED family therapy to reduce frictions that result in kids coming back. The program was DESTROYED by the leaders of the institution because FUNDING was being lost by the loss of heads. That is the simple bottom line of the story. The psychiatrists and psychologists were more insane than the kids I worked with. They CAUSED more problems than they fixed. As a matter of fact, I have seen them STIR UP TROUBLE so that there would be something to talk about in groups. The entire system is corrupt to the core. If the institutions involved did NOTHING in the way of counseling, aftercare, etc., the 20% rate would still hold. In other words, the system is totally ineffective. It has been shown that people off the street WHO CARE, do a better job than the so-called professionals.

As to the charge of pedo people in the field, it is much more prevalent than you might think. Think about it. If you were pedo, where would YOU want to work. It is in the industries that deal with children--day care centers, schools, reform schools, half-way houses, churches, etc. I have seen professionals to horrible things to kids--including some things that would be considered torture.

I could go on for hours and show just how deep the horror is and how much "government" is involved in this joke of a system. It's all about money and numbers--the kids hardly matter at all to them. As I said, I had a 99% success rate and a Crime Commission study on my program said that it was the best in the country at the time. Within three weeks of that study, the program was shut down!!

I was also involved with the people (in Massachusetts) who had control of the funding. They thought I was one of them (silver spooned hypocrites) and bragged about how they had total control and had their high-level contacts within the congress and throughout government. These people were totally corrupt whoremongers, drunks, drug addicts and other "professionals" that were milking the system for what it was worth. I went to several "workshops" that looked very legitimate on the face of it, but when the day was over, it was drunken debauchery. They were worse than the kids could ever have been.

If at all possible, DO NOT ALLOW your children to be used by this system. Believe me, the system will BLAME YOU for all your children's problems. I have seen it first hand. This is not my opinion. This is fact and it can only have gotten worse since I left the system
Shen Long

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12/30/2008 10:20 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
A 20% recidivism rate is HORRENDOUS. It is typical throughout the INDUSTRY--and it IS an industry. I worked in the field for 5 years and can tell you that most success stories are just that--stories.

My success rate was 99%. This INCLUDED family therapy to reduce frictions that result in kids coming back. The program was DESTROYED by the leaders of the institution because FUNDING was being lost by the loss of heads. That is the simple bottom line of the story. The psychiatrists and psychologists were more insane than the kids I worked with. They CAUSED more problems than they fixed. As a matter of fact, I have seen them STIR UP TROUBLE so that there would be something to talk about in groups. The entire system is corrupt to the core. If the institutions involved did NOTHING in the way of counseling, aftercare, etc., the 20% rate would still hold. In other words, the system is totally ineffective. It has been shown that people off the street WHO CARE, do a better job than the so-called professionals.

As to the charge of pedo people in the field, it is much more prevalent than you might think. Think about it. If you were pedo, where would YOU want to work. It is in the industries that deal with children--day care centers, schools, reform schools, half-way houses, churches, etc. I have seen professionals to horrible things to kids--including some things that would be considered torture.

I could go on for hours and show just how deep the horror is and how much "government" is involved in this joke of a system. It's all about money and numbers--the kids hardly matter at all to them. As I said, I had a 99% success rate and a Crime Commission study on my program said that it was the best in the country at the time. Within three weeks of that study, the program was shut down!!

I was also involved with the people (in Massachusetts) who had control of the funding. They thought I was one of them (silver spooned hypocrites) and bragged about how they had total control and had their high-level contacts within the congress and throughout government. These people were totally corrupt whoremongers, drunks, drug addicts and other "professionals" that were milking the system for what it was worth. I went to several "workshops" that looked very legitimate on the face of it, but when the day was over, it was drunken debauchery. They were worse than the kids could ever have been.

If at all possible, DO NOT ALLOW your children to be used by this system. Believe me, the system will BLAME YOU for all your children's problems. I have seen it first hand. This is not my opinion. This is fact and it can only have gotten worse since I left the system
 Quoting: Zerubbabel 582595



So you're saying there needs to be serious reform and a reduction in self-serving bureaucracy and political/expert influence?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 582548
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12/30/2008 10:35 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
I do agree that "success rates" are very subjective and manipulated for the most part. But I also feel that judging a success rate not based on how big someone's smile is on the day they check out, or by how many murders they commit the week they're set free, but by simply stating what percent of them return to a detention facility of any type within 10 years of release, is one of the better qualifications, and more concrete and least subjective. I also know that when you compare those exact apples to the apples of state run facilities, we beat them hands down, often by 30-40%.

Can generalizations be made about the entire industry and its profitability and taking judges out to dinner? Sure. But are there exceptions to the rule? Of course there are. I'm not naive enough to think that our system is perfect, but at the particular place that I work at, I've seen a system that works better than I ever imagined possible. And lives really are changed. Not all, but enough to keep nearly everyone involved, at least on the floor, excited about the work they do every day.

Does the CEO care more about the $300 a day per client he can make than he does about the future of our clients? That's not for me to judge. All I can do is do my best to give these kids the chance to reenter society with a much better chance of succeeding. ;)
Anonymous Coward
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12/30/2008 10:38 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Do you work at Abraxas?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/30/2008 10:40 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Do you work at Abraxas?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 576680


I cannot confirm nor deny where I work. But I have given out that I work at a privately owned facility. That's about all I can say, sorry.
Zerubbabel
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12/30/2008 11:37 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Unfortunately, the system is beyond reform at the moment. It is not just the institutions (half-way houses, residential programs, ADC, juvenile detention centers, etc.), it is the police departments (also corrupt), the main-line school systems (full of self-serving pros), many government and quasi-government agencies and some agencies that have NOTHING to do with the system per se.

There is really only one solution to the problem at the moment and that is to take your children out of the public school system (and some private school systems) and home school. As a teacher, I have sat in many areas where teachers congregate and listened to their banter as to how they hate their jobs, the kids, and the system. Teaching and counseling today are hazardous positions(not because of the kids). I, personally, have never had a real problem with kids. They are not stupid. They know how to work the system and tell you exactly what you want to hear. In many cases, the kids are more adult than the adults in their lives. They also know when you are sincere and caring. I made many friends in the 5 years I worked within the system and saw many kids go on to productive lives and happy outcomes.

This may seem pessimistic, but it is very realistic to me. It is pandemic to me. I have hope for the kids. They ALREADY see the system as bogus. They ALREADY have their feet on the ground--which only adds to their predicaments sometimes, because they are the ones who can do nothing about their situations and have to go along with whatever is done to them.

How do you reform a system that is BUILT on reform? When I first entered the profession, there was still whipping posts, beatings, kangaroo courts, deprivations, and a host of other practices that horrified me. I said nothing because I would have been simply fired and not been able to actually HELP these kids. I had to endure the torture I saw so that I could DO SOMETHING about it. By biding my time, I was able to work underground (within the system) to help change the system and actually show that kids really do want help (real help). I presided over the last locked building on the institutional grounds (all locks were removed) and opened the first residential center in the middle of town as an alternative to "reform school". We had a few runaways at first, but things settled down and only rarely did we have runaways.

Also, how can we reform a system when we still have bogus "diagnoses" of ADD or other "labeling" that makes highly intelligent children stigmatized because they cannot get the specialized attention that they need? Labeling was used early on in the system to group together certain "types" of individuals. This was called "I-level classification". This was what determined what type of "treatment" that particular child received. The labeling changed over the years to "guided group interaction", positive peer culture", "reality therapy" etc., but the premise was the same--classifying, labeling and sterotyping.

Even the concept of "tough love" was derived from our program. Within months of our program being shut down, this concept was being used throughout the industry. Hundreds of hours of films made while doing my group sessions were circulated and I saw many programs start as a result of it. Unfortunately, many took this concept to extremes such as the outward bound programs that sprung up similar to "boot camp". Deaths ocurred. It was thought that former military types could SCARE these kids into submission and put them into life-challenging positions. These gave bad names to the attempt and I doubt that many would allow their kids into these programs that actually endanger their lives.

There is no viable alternative to simple love and caring. I was authority but I also showed my shortcomings. It wasn't about "their" problems. It was about "our" problems. It was a societal thing. The weakest links in the mini society were opportunities rather than annoyances. The strongest and the smartest were trained to help the slowest and the weakest. The bullies were trained how to be student couselors. The kids with all thumbs and left feet were allowed to stumble through situations so they could learn and grow. Everybody had talents and were encouraged to use those talents for the sake of others. Oftentimes, we had to "come out of the box". For example, I had an 8 year old kid who was a genius that had stolen a buldozer and razed a house, stole a freight train, and was finally caught in a ten-car pileup with another 8 year old. As it turned out, this kid was a full masochist. He WANTED to be hurt. He knew EXACTLY how to manipulate even a peace-loving person like myself to the brink of wanting to hit him. I realized this only at the very last moment and, instead of hitting him or disparaging him, I grabbed him in a bear hug and told him (in his ear) that I would NEVER hurt him, not matter what he did. He cried like a baby!! Aterwards, I gave him an old institutional clock that hadn't worked for years and he took it completely apart and put it back together like new. It worked perfectly. I never had a problem with him again. He was changed by a single act of love. No amount of counseling could have ever achieved the same result. That 8 year old taught ME more than I can say. Every single one of those kids did. I learned more about human nature in those five years than a lifetime could have. That is the bottom line of the problem. We think that we are OK. We are not. We are adults, but we are not without problems. We have to share our humanity. We are not perfect. They are not perfect.

Good luck in the field. I still love working with children--especially the grammer school aged kids. I have 13 grandchildren that are still teaching me about life. If there is one thing that I have learned above others, it is that little children simply love you for who you are--not for what you do, what you say, what you give them, etc. Love begets love. Simple as that. Love the kids rather than building walls between your authority and their response to it. Don't judge and dont visably react. Kids love reactions--even negative ones. They will literally throw themselves down stairs to get the attention they need. Put yourselves in their places. Try to remember your own childhood. Relate. Empathize. Love.
Anonymous Coward
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12/30/2008 11:39 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Are the little fuckers ever given liquid coshes etc ?

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