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

 
Shen Long

User ID: 372008
Canada
12/30/2008 11:43 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.
 Quoting: Zerubbabel 582595


Another thoughtful post. Thx.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 487325
United States
12/30/2008 11:48 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
What state are you in?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 572246
United Kingdom
12/30/2008 11:48 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
What state are you in?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 487325






a very sorry one
izzy
User ID: 5594386
United States
11/17/2011 10:58 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
what did you need or do.to get this job I want to work at a juvenile detention center
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 5181695
United States
11/17/2011 11:39 PM
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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.
 Quoting: Zerubbabel 582595


Another thoughtful post. Thx.
 Quoting: Shen Long


clappa
I start tomorrow!
User ID: 5639507
United States
12/05/2011 11:27 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
I start tomorrow. I am a Speech Therapist. Young, female...get along well in general with all ages and backgrounds of people. I believe I come off as confident usually...laid back and fun-loving...with an edge though. I know my patients/clients tend to have a lot of respect for me, though they see me a a softy. I have been told that these "children" are potentially dangerous and I must always, always be on guard, confident, consistent and decisive with expectations and punishments. And at the same time, I was told that they rarely act out in therapy, usually work very hard, aim to please and bring great reward to us clinicians. I feel perplexed by all the "before hand" information. Both sets of information are almost contradictory and I really have NO IDEA what I am truly in for. That NOT knowing part is what has me losing sleep. I hear this facility is on top of it's game with security, organization, team work and support across the board especially compared to other facilities run by the same state agency. I hope I am not making a mistake to sign up for this. I plan to only do it for a short term period of time and only 2 times/weekly. I want the experience, I am very intrigued. I hope to grow professionally and as a person, though I do have concerns for my safety---I have read many horror stories online. Yikes. Thoughts?
Britt
User ID: 9758296
United States
01/28/2012 03:49 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Are you employed by the detention center itself or by the county probation department? I want to get a job at a probation camp, but I don't know whom to ask.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 7570540
United States
01/28/2012 04:01 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
I've worked with seriously at-risk kids for years (some were back from juvie while others on-track to be sent there). You have probably seen what I have - kids who give themselves tattoos, kids who are rapists, kids who are junkies (and they have lots of ways they claim to clear stuff from their systems b/4 the next drug test), and of course, the murderers who write lists of things they need to do before taking off out of town (get money, pack jeans, kill grandma...).

It makes you happy when one makes it, and sad when you spend so much effort on a child and think they've made progress only to have him/her screw up and get picked up again.

One thing I always saw, however, was each child's problems could be tracked back to issue(s) at home. It didn't matter if they were wealthy or poor as church mice.
Anonymous Coward
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United States
01/28/2012 04:03 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Hey, OP, do you find a lot of the kids will spend hours trying to figure out how to get out of work that would only take an hour to do in the first place?
SFettig16
User ID: 12745495
United States
03/18/2012 08:09 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
How do I become a corrections officer? I want to work in a JCC . What steps do I need to take?bump
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 2427876
Turkey
03/18/2012 08:15 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
What happens when you catch them sexing?
Anonymous Coward
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Turkey
03/18/2012 08:22 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
What happens when you catch them sexing?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 2427876


Hello????
Coach
User ID: 18535223
United States
06/24/2012 09:24 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
What does the Recreational Framework consist of...is it Fitness and traditional sports.
Anonymous Coward
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06/24/2012 09:31 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
i fairly recently shied away from working at what i found out was a juvenile det facility i have worked with youth groups before and got a great deal of job satisfaction from it i felt like i was making a difference helping kids to be better adults (mainly outdoor education development)

i guess im wondering would i have been dispointed with
juv det work or do you feel like you are helping kids
to grow up and become better adults?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 17351914
United States
06/24/2012 09:35 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
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.


what do u mean a lazy eye is abnormal?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 17351914
United States
06/24/2012 09:38 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
I start tomorrow. I am a Speech Therapist. Young, female...get along well in general with all ages and backgrounds of people. I believe I come off as confident usually...laid back and fun-loving...with an edge though. I know my patients/clients tend to have a lot of respect for me, though they see me a a softy. I have been told that these "children" are potentially dangerous and I must always, always be on guard, confident, consistent and decisive with expectations and punishments. And at the same time, I was told that they rarely act out in therapy, usually work very hard, aim to please and bring great reward to us clinicians. I feel perplexed by all the "before hand" information. Both sets of information are almost contradictory and I really have NO IDEA what I am truly in for. That NOT knowing part is what has me losing sleep. I hear this facility is on top of it's game with security, organization, team work and support across the board especially compared to other facilities run by the same state agency. I hope I am not making a mistake to sign up for this. I plan to only do it for a short term period of time and only 2 times/weekly. I want the experience, I am very intrigued. I hope to grow professionally and as a person, though I do have concerns for my safety---I have read many horror stories online. Yikes. Thoughts?
 Quoting: I start tomorrow! 5639507


that is true be prepared for sudden outbursts
throwing things screaming all of a sudden as im sure some kids will have bi polar , anxiety ptsd etc
Hawk-02
Hawk-o-Holic

User ID: 897951
United States
06/24/2012 09:40 PM

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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
You ever give an inmate the Sandusky Clutch?
WAR INSIDE MY HEAD.
didi768
User ID: 28861571
United States
12/09/2012 07:54 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
I think I know what state you are talking about LOL.
Anonymous Coward
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12/09/2012 08:18 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
You join in on the gang bangs or just watch and stroke it?
n/a
User ID: 27138018
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01/08/2013 11:56 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Could you Describe the Organization Structure/Career Ladder..
Jess
User ID: 2099809
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01/17/2013 01:51 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
My boyfriends in a detention center and I am pregnant with his child but his probation officer won't answer my calls to add me on the list what should I do dr. Appointments are getting more and more important and i want to be able to contact him when I have the baby
Vonb
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Australia
02/12/2013 07:36 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
I am very serious in working in a youth detention centre
but I haven't finished school left in year 11 but am cerintly going back this year will this effect anything?

Do you think I will be eligible to work in this career and if so / how do I go about it what lessons at school or qualifications would I need to look at getting?
plus what is the actual name for you what you do I have been struggling to find a proper professional name so I can look up more of this info on the net.

It would be GREAT if you got back to me I would help me like you wouldn't understand thank you for you time,
Anonymous Coward
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02/12/2013 07:42 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
What is the black/white ratio?
jessica.
User ID: 1582320
United States
02/14/2013 10:38 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
I would love too know how you got started in working in the Juvenile Dentention? I would love some tips in how to get involved into this profession. Right now I do have an assiocate degree in Criminal Justice and working on more education.
Karina
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06/02/2013 05:36 AM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
How was the interview for the position that you got? I just applied for a youth advisor position in a youth detention center and I don't know what to expect if they call me for an interview.
punkcornell@yahoo.com​
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United States
07/23/2013 11:15 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
If I where to want to work in a juvi and I'm going to get my associates degree what should I major in
Anonymous Coward
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United States
07/23/2013 11:18 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
hows the tail?
punkcornell

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United States
07/24/2013 01:52 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
if i where to get a career working as a staff what kind of degree would i need if i needed one
creep
Anonymous Coward
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08/26/2013 05:55 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
What are the requirement to work at a juvenile detention center? Do you have to go through training.? Do you have to get a degree.? Interested in working with juveniles, but can't find the right, full information about the requirements. Please help thank you.
mccuean1503
User ID: 25718788
United States
10/28/2013 02:08 PM
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Re: I work at a juvenile detention center, ask me anything.
Hi I am looking to major in criminal justice and criminology if doing this and simply getting my bachelors degree would I be able to work in juevinile courts and do something similar to you. I really am looking to work and help children and direct them in a better way. I love leading and doing anything to help anyone . Is this the career for me please email me

Mcc6752@gmail.com


thank you so much !!!
Lacey McCuean

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