Juvenile justice correctional facilities
Research Question: What are the optimal types of programs, implemented in the juvenile justice correctional facilities that would resolve the problem of juvenile delinquency?
Spatial definition of the subject of research (area of research): This case study will discuss juvenile justice correctional facilities in the United States
Time frame of the subject of research: The period from year 1990 to year 2017
Target group: Minors
Methods: comparative method, historical method, qualitative method, description, method of proof
Techniques: data collection, including: interview, surveys, content analysis
Key words: minors, juvenile, correction facilities, program, crime, reintegration, society, substance abuse, recidivism
Results: The main purpose of undertaking any research process is coming to new and undiscovered solutions about the specific topic, as well as coming to those findings which may help the profession and the community itself. This research study aims to prove that a well implemented program can lead to the reintegration of minors in the society and can therefore have an impact both on social security, improvement of the life of specific minors and at the same time help the government budget.
Terms and definitions:
Minor – under the legal age of full responsibility (this age varies in different countries); the term which legally demarcates childhood from adulthood.
Correctional facility – any residential facility with construction fixtures or staffing models designed to restrict the movements and activities of those placed in the facility. It is used for the placement of any juvenile adjudicated of having committed an offense, or, when applicable, of any other individual convicted of a criminal offense (https://www.ojjdp.gov/mpg/litreviews/Correctional_Facilities.pdf)
Program – a plan of action aimed at accomplishing a clear objective, with details on what work is to be done, by whom, when, and what means or resources will be used (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/program.html)
Reintegration – restoration to a unified state; to integrate again into an entity; restore to unity (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/reintegration)
Society – an organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes
Recidivism – a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; especially: relapse into criminal behavior (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recidivism)
1. Introduction on Intervention Problem
The subject and the intervention problem of this case study is determined by the chosen theme – Juvenile Justice Correctional Facilities. The structure of this case study will be handled by presenting the theoretical basis of the research subject and then the practical basis of the research subject.
The theoretical basis of the object of research will include the research of this topic in the existing literature – Juvenile Justice Correctional Facilities and minor behavior / juvenile delinquency as perceived in the theory, their classification and purpose; the practical part of this case study will include the application of scientific knowledge in practice – finding and implementing the optimal program in selected juvenile justice facilities and the track of its implementation in practice.
Foundations of this research paper are based on the research and therefore identification of the optimal type of program that would resolve the problem of juvenile delinquency. This case study has the pretension to explain this aspect from various points of view; primarily from the legal, security and criminological point of view.
Why is it important to identify and implement the best program of juvenile justice correctional facilities? In simple terms – juvenile offenders, due to their young age, must be, after leaving the juvenile facility, reintegrated as equal members of the society.
One other question that arises in this aspect is the following: how can the state ensure the implementation of the given program (program that would lead to the reintegration of the minor) along with the necessary human or material resources needed in order to do so? States are already spending enormous amounts of money in this sector.
Costs and resources needed to obtain juveniles in correctional facilities are quite big. On report given by The Justice Policy Institute in 2009 said that it costs on average of $240.99 per day for one juvenile to obtain juveniles in correctional facilities founded by the state. This is approximately $88,000 per year.
But although the spending, this approach does not contribute to improving the problem of minor delinquency. Therefore and due to the budget constraints, many states are rethinking their steps in this area. Implementing a program which would reduce the number of juvenile offenders and contribute to general security is certainly a step in the right direction.
2. Program to Resolve the Problem
This part of the case study will provide the answer to the previously stated research question: what is the optimal program / are the optimal types of programs, implemented in the juvenile justice correctional facilities that would resolve the problem of juvenile delinquency?
The program that would be optimal for the problem identified in this case study is a program that would contribute both to the deterrence of the existing juvenile offenders from committing criminal offenses while at the same time combating crime rates among this population in general. This is according to Gendreau and Goggin (1996) the main principle of effective correctional programming.
The program that will be presented in this case study represents a program that will be a result of research and discussion between different focus groups and created primly in order to contribute to reducing the number of juvenile offenders. The program provides direct work with minors and individuals employed in selected juvenile facilities as well as other professionals working on its implementation.
The analysis showed that there is a need to introduce effective mechanisms for preventing and combating juvenile delinquency; the need of a program that would be effective in combating crime among minors, lead to less drug and alcohol abuse among this population, educate the minors and would in the long run lead to lower state costs for this particular subject. (Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative)
The purpose of the adoption of the program is to sensitize professionals, parents, children and young people as well as the entire society to the problem of juvenile delinquency and increase their level of awareness of the existence of this problem, the establishment of systems solutions and mechanisms of action for the prevention of its occurrence and to alleviate its consequences.
For this purpose, the program is designed as a series of practical steps in the area of prevention juvenile delinquency. This program aims to promote various forms of communication in order to create a healthy and stimulating environment for the targeted group: the minors, and all of this by using different scientific methods and techniques that will be described further on.
Also, special attention is paid to the mechanism of introducing new interactive methods in the existing education system, both in schools as well as while the minor is incarcerated in the juvenile correctional facilities. Educational background aims to build better grounds providing a healthy environment in which juvenile delinquency is minimized. As it can see, the backbone of this program is education.
2.1. Duties and principles on which the program is based
The main tasks of the Program are as following:
- to create a positive attitude towards respect for basic human values;
- to mobilize social resources in promoting the prevention of juvenile delinquency;
- to teach the culture of peace, tolerance, communication skills and mediation;
- to develop the skills of critical thinking, analysis and non-violent conflict resolution.
The main principles on which the program will be based are:
- pluralism of opinion,
- priority of educational tasks,
- unity of experts from different areas of expertise,
- creative organization of educational activities,
- connection with other programs (eg. Program against drug addiction and the like.),
- maximum involvement of minors in practical activities,
- involvement of family or community as a source of information and an active participant in the process,
- implementation of interactive educational forms and methods.
This program does not aim to completely abolish juvenile violence nor has any country done this so far; this program aims to reduce the rate of juvenile delinquency and to put it under social control. Accordingly, in addition to the above, this program is expected to do the following:
- increase the overall level of knowledge of all participants in the educational process about the problem and the consequences of juvenile delinquency as well as other socially unacceptable behavior (drug and alcohol abuse among others);
- encourage civil / parental initiatives, initiatives by nongovernmental organizations, as well as initiatives for children and young people in different states and areas;
- reduce the rates of juvenile delinquency on other types of behavior to a reasonable, socially acceptable level.
2.2. Main aspects of the program – implementation of the program
The initial steps in this program will include the following activities:
- introduction to the program;
- mobilization of teams to support the program;
- training for different professionals;
- finding the juvenile justice correction facilities which will implement the program;
- linking with other governmental and nongovernmental institutions;
- lobbing support for changes in laws and regulations;
- support of NGOs dealing with the protection of children’s and minors rights, drug and substance abuse and other similar aspects;
- implementation of the program in specific juvenile facilities on specific individuals –juveniles;
- track and measurement of the results of the program.
Introduction to the program – the society will be properly introduced with the program and its main elements and purposes. This will be done by promoting the program in the media, different institutions, schools and other relevant aspects of the society.
Mobilization of teams to support the program – prior to the implementation of the program, team of specialized professionals from different fields of expertise will be recruited. These trained professionals will work on different aspects of the program, from its start to the final steps leading to its finalization and implementation.
Training for different professionals – upon their recruitment, professionals will be trained in order to provide their best skills and knowledge in the implementation process.
Finding the juvenile justice correction facilities which will implement the program – various juvenile justice correction facilities in different part of the United States will be approached to participate and take part in this program. Those juvenile facilities that fulfil the set conditions will be made part of the implementation process. It is important that these facilities are based in different part of the US in order that economic, social, cultural and other factors can be taken into consideration when analyzing the results.
Linking with other governmental and nongovernmental institutions – the implementer of the program, will make an effort to link the program with relevant governmental and nongovernmental subjects.
Lobbing support for changes in laws and regulations – the team members will make an active effort lobbing support for changes within the legal framework (introduce the program to relevant policymakers).
Support of NGOs dealing with the protection of children’s and minors rights, drug and substance abuse and other similar aspects – within the entire process, the program shall make an effort to be linked and supported by nongovernmental organizations dealing with similar topic and implement certain strategies together with these organizations.
Implementation of the program in specific juvenile facilities on specific individuals –juveniles – the implementation is the crucial step of the program. The program will be implemented on individuals incarcerated in juvenile facilities, not taking into consideration the following subjective aspects:
- the gender of the minor;
- the age of the minor;
- crime (type of the crime) committed by the minor;
- number of previously committed felonies,
- his or hers economic or social background;
- his or hers national, ethnic or religious background;
- his or hers family status;
- his or hers educational level;
- or any other subjective aspect of the person of the minor.
This will provide transparency, an equal and objective approach as well as the diversity of the given results.
This program will be implemented in at least six different juvenile justice correctional facilities, in different parts of the United States as previously stated.
In this aspect the juvenile justice correctional facilities play a huge role: if these facilities are established in a way that the juveniles exit them “transformed”, this has a significant value for the entire society. (Snyder, H, 1999)
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