Juvenile corrections pp week 6

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Juvenile corrections pp week 6

  1. 1. Chapter SixTHE DANGERS OF DETENTION
  2. 2. The Dangers of Detention Despite the lowest youth crime rates in 20 years, hundreds of thousands of young people are admitted to and discharged from the nation’s 757 secure detention centers each year Detention centers are intended to temporarily house youth (typically a day or two, but lasting as long as several months) who pose a high risk of reoffending or who are deemed likely to not appear for their court appearances In 2006, there were about 26,000 youth in detention on any given day About two-thirds of these youth are detained for nonviolent offenses Exposes troubled youth to an environment that more closely resembles adult prisons and jails than the kinds of community- and family-based interventions proven to be most effective Admitting youth into these facilities may lead to harmful effects, leaving them at higher risk of injury or self-harm
  3. 3. Detention Can Increase Recidivism A study in Wisconsin reported that in the four counties studies, 70% of youth held in secure detention were arrested or returned to secure detention within one year of release An Arkansas study found that 60% of the youth studied were returned to the Department of Youth Services (DYS) within three years The most significant predictor of recidivism was prior commitment and the odds of returning to DYS increased 13.5 times for youth with a prior commitment
  4. 4. Congregating Delinquents Negatively Affects Youth Behavioral scientists are finding that bringing youth together for treatment or services may make it more likely that they will engage in delinquent behavior, especially when low-risk youth are mixed with juveniles with higher levels of risk and longer histories of delinquency Congregating youth together for treatment in a group setting causes them to have a higher recidivism rate and poorer outcomes than youth who receive individual treatment – called peer deviancy Youths treated in a peer group setting reported significantly higher levels of substance abuse, school difficulties, delinquency, violence and adjustment difficulties in adulthood and negative changes in attitudes toward antisocial behavior, affiliation with antisocial peers, and identification with deviancy, including recruitment into gangs
  5. 5. Alternatives to Detention Can Curb Crime and Recidivism Studies have shown that youth who are incarcerated are more likely to recidivate than youth who are supervised in a community-based setting or not detained at all Research from Texas suggested that young people in community- based placements are 14% less likely to commit future crimes than youth who have been incarcerated Elliott (1994) suggests that as many as a third of young people will engage in delinquent behavior before they grow up but will naturally “age out” of the delinquent behavior Establishing a relationship with a significant other as well as employment usually results in youthful offenders of all races aging out of delinquent behavior as they reach young adulthood Incarcerating juveniles may actually interrupt and delay the normal pattern of aging out because detention disrupts their natural engagement with families, school and work
  6. 6. The Impact of Detention on Youth’s Mental Health Upwards of two-thirds of young people in detention centers could meet the criteria for having a mental disorder Detention has become a new dumping ground for young people with mental health issues because there is no other place that can provide services to him or her Adolescents in detention and correctional facilities are about ten times more likely to suffer from psychosis than the general adolescent population Young people with behavioral health problems simply get worse in detention, not better Research shows that for one-third of incarcerated youth diagnosed with depression, the onset of the depression occurred after they began their incarceration A Oregon study shows that 24% of detained youth were found to have thoughts of suicide over a seven-day period, with 34% of the youth suffering from a significant level of depression A 1994 study found that incarcerated youth experience from double to four times the suicide rate of youth in community with 11,000 youth engaging in more than 17,000 acts of suicidal behavior in the juvenile justice annually Suicide in juvenile facilities is the leading cause of death, making up almost one-half of all deaths in state operated juvenile correctional facilities
  7. 7. The Impact of Detention on School and Employment Juvenile detention can interrupt a young person’s education and, once incarcerated, some youth have a hard time returning to school – although this depends on the length of time that a youth is placed in detention, the youth’s educational history, parental support, and the willingness of the community school to accept the youth Many community schools are reluctant to readmit these troubled youth once they are returned to the community 43% of incarcerated youth receiving remedial education services in detention did not return to school after release; another 16% enrolled in school but dropped out within five months Most incarcerated 9th graders return to school after incarceration but within a year of enrolling, two-thirds to three-fourths withdraw or drop out of school; after four years, less than 15% of these incarcerated 9th graders had completed their secondary education The failure of detained youth to return to school also affects public safety – dropouts are 3.5 times more likely than high school graduates to be arrested Areas with the most rapidly rising rates of incarceration are areas in which youth, particularly African-American youth, have had the worst earnings and employment experience
  8. 8. Detention is More Expensive than Alternatives to Detention The annual average cost per year of a detention bed – depending on geography and cost of living – could range from $32,000 ($87 /day) to as high as $65,000 a year ($178 /day) The cost of building, financing, and operating a single detention bed costs the public between $1.25 and $1.5 million over a 20-year period of time A number of communities that have invested in alternatives to detention have documented the fiscal savings they achieved in contrast to what they would spend on detaining a youth The NTC Department of Juvenile Justice (2001) reported that one day in detention ($385) costs 15 times what it does to send a youth to a detention alternative ($25) There will always be a need for juvenile detention, but because of the potentially damaging effects, detention must be used sparingly and only for the youth who most require such a setting A juvenile justice system that concentrates spending on detention or confinement drains available funds away from interventions that may be more effective at reducing recidivism and promoting public safety The cost of a youth offender’s crimes and incarceration over his or her lifetime (including adult) can cost as much as $2.6 to $5.3 million
  9. 9. The Rise of Youth Detention: Policy or Politics? Why do juvenile justice systems continue to spend valuable resources building more locked facilities to detain low-risk youth?  The traditional mission of the juvenile justice system has been altered by the politicization of crime policy in this country  Rising warnings of youth super-predators, school shootings, and the excessive media reporting of serious episodes of juvenile crime in the biggest cities fuel political momentum to make the system tougher on kids
  10. 10. The Rise of Youth Detention Borne by Youth of Color By 1997, in 30 out of 50 states minority youth represented the majority of youth in detention In 1997, the OJJDP found that in every state with the exception of Vermont, the minority population of detained youth exceeded their proportion in the general population In 2003, African-American youth were detained at a rate 4.5 times higher than Whites and Latino youth were detained at twice the rate of Whites. Minority youth represented 69% of all youth detained in 2006 White youth self-reported using heroin and cocaine at six times the rate of African-American youth, but African-American youth are almost three times as likely to be detained for a drug crime In many jurisdictions, stereotypes may influence the decision of whether or not a youth will be detained or released
  11. 11. Juvenile Detention Reforms Taking Hold Across the Nation The Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) is a response to the inappropriate and unnecessary detention of youth in the nation’s juvenile justice systems Their goal is to make sure that locked detention is used only when necessary Core strategies to achieve reductions in detention:  Intergovernmental collaboration  Reliance on data  Objective admissions screening  Expedited case processing  Alternatives to secure confinement  Improved handling of “special cases”  Express strategies to reduce racial disparities  Improving conditions of confinement The goal of JDAI is to reduce the number of youth confined on any day and admitted to detention over the course of a year and a reduction in the number of young people exposed to the dangers inherent in detention In the counties implementing JDAI, juvenile crime rates fell as much as, or more than, national decreases in juvenile crime as well as experienced an improvement in the number of young people who appear in court after they have been released from detention, further reducing the need for detention
  12. 12. Rural Detention Reform Justice systems in these communities often have fewer community- based resources and facilities are often underfunded Why detention reform is necessary in rural communities:  A substantial share of America’s youth and America’s delinquency problem resides in rural America  Rural areas face different and often more difficult challenges than urban communities in operating detention programs and in implementing detention reform  Rural jurisdictions have identified a number of innovative strategies and promising practices for addressing the special challenges of rural detention reform  Bringing detention reform only to urban and suburban communities and not to rural areas would allow an unacceptable double standard in the treatment of court-involved youths Fewer juveniles are arrested and a youth might be detained for a longer period of time before his or her court date; additionally, there might not be detention facilities in many rural counties and youth might be held in adult jails
  13. 13. A Better Future: Invest Juvenile Justice Funds in Programs Proven to Work If detention reform is successful, communities should be able to reinvest the funds that are spent on detention beds and new detention centers in other youth-serving systems or other interventions proven to reduce recidivism Several programs and initiatives are proven to reduce recidivism and crime in a cost effective manner:  Treatment occurs with their families or in a family-like setting  Treatment occurs at home or close to home  Services are delivered in a culturally respectful and competent manner  Treatment is built around the youth and family strengths  A wide range services and resources are delivered to the youth, as well as their families These proven programs identify the various aspects of youth – their strengths and weaknesses as well as the strengths and resources of their families and communities. Progress is based on realistic outcomes and carefully matches the particular needs of the youth and family to the appropriate intervention strategy

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