Juvenile corrections pp week 15

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Juvenile corrections pp week 15

  1. 1. CHAPTER SEVENTEEN Ensuring Accountability
  2. 2. Ensuring Accountability• There is very little oversight or regulation in privately-owned juvenile facilities because they have no state funding and can operate as they desire• State and locally operated facilities are now subject to higher levels of scrutiny from the courts, regulatory bodies, advocacy groups and the media• Managers are the first line of defense to follow the vision and mission of the organization and to ensure that staff members are held accountable for their actions• The role of superintendent is strongly influenced by internal and external environments such as community activists, residents’ families, attorneys, the local providers of health and educational services, and other stakeholders• Many jurisdictions are operating with budget restrictions and all managers are being asked to “do more with less”
  3. 3. Ensuring Accountability• Ombudsman or Children’s Advocacy unites give youth a voice without having to resort to the courts• They can monitor conditions and service delivery systems, investigate complaints, report findings, propose changes, advocate for improvements, access appropriate care and help to expose and reduce unlawful deficiencies in juvenile detention and correctional facilities• The interventions of the Ombudsman or Children’s Advocate occur much quicker than litigation• Some agencies have undergone voluntary accreditation through the American Correctional Association (ACA) or the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC)• Abiding by national-level standards is one way of demonstrating that the agency is concerned about the treatment of their residents• Use of Performance-based Standards enables an agency’s manager to increase both efficiency and accountability by using data that is collected about key institutional goals such as security, safety, education and health care and also allows them to compare their facility operation with national-level averages
  4. 4. The Impact of Litigation on Juvenile Corrections• When a juvenile or adult is taken into custody, detained prior to their court dates, or sentenced to a term of incarceration, local or state governments assume responsibility for their care• Facilities have to comply with strict standards regarding health care and access to education• In 1964, Cooper v. Pate declared that jail or prison inmates could seek redress or damages if their rights were violated due to correctional policies or the actions of individual officers under Title 42, Section 1983, of the Civil Rights Act of 1871• Section 1983 lawsuits are typically filed on behalf of juveniles; some seek damages, while most seek some type of remedy, such as a change in policy• Kent v. U.S. (1966) and In Re Gault (1967) provided more due process protections for juveniles• In most juvenile cases, attorneys sue on behalf of all residents to improve the living conditions within a specific facility or the entire system• Typically, cases are resolved by agreements to respond to the specific concerns brought up in litigation and to remedy the problems
  5. 5. The Impact of Litigation on Juvenile Corrections• In lawsuits involving an entire youth correctional system where it would be difficult to determine whether changes were actually occurring, a special master is sometimes appointed by the court to ensure that the terms of these agreements are being upheld• Where litigation involves entire juvenile correctional systems, there is a common set of problems: providing a safe environment, excessive use of force, overuse of isolation, access to mental, dental and physical health care, offering more comprehensive education programs, the development of a better resident grievance system, and changes to the disciplinary systems• In California, the most significant issues in lawsuits relate to general conditions (safety, staff use of force, and use of segregation), access to health care, sex offender treatment programming, complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act, education, and mental health care and substance abuse treatment
  6. 6. The Influence of CRIPA on Juvenile Corrections• In 1980, the Civil Rights for Institutionalized Persons Act, giving the federal government the authority to protect the rights of institutionalized persons, including incarcerated youth• Investigations have focused on a number of important federal rights of juveniles, including rights guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and youths’ constitutional rights to reasonable safety, adequate medical and mental health care, rehabilitative treatment and education• If the DOJ finds that conditions within a facility do not comply with federal laws , they send a letter outlining the violations and identify measures to remedy the problems prior to involving the courts• The federal government strives for collaborative relationships and focus upon solving problems and improving the conditions of confinement• Residents now have a greater voice and can raise issues about abuse, living conditions that threaten their health or safety, or stand up to arbitrary rulings of correctional officials• These approaches generally take a long time and is intended to respond to egregious cases
  7. 7. Ombudsman and Youth Advocacy• One way that youth can constructively address issues of their treatment within a correctional facility is to bring them to the attention of an Ombudsman or Children’s Advocate• They also help the youth to build their interpersonal skills• The access to an advocate may force juvenile correctional officers to act less arbitrary and more consistent with policies• The power that an Ombudsman or Children’s Advocate has varies by jurisdiction; in some places, they can initiate investigations and make recommendations• They are charged with looking out for the interests of children and youth by receiving and investigating complaints• Little research about the effectiveness of these agencies has been published but they do give incarcerated youth a positive outlet for complaints
  8. 8. Correctional Accreditation• Historically, correctional facilities operated with very little oversight or outside review, and few really monitored what occurred in foster homes, juvenile halls or training schools, so very few people knew what occurred in residential placements and most did not care• Operations of the youth justice system can under scrutiny because of reporters, causing an increased interest in making facilities that held juveniles more professional• One way to demonstrate that they were operating according to a set of professional standards was to obtain accreditation, which mean that an agency abides by an extensive set of standards• In 2008, 252 juvenile correctional facilities or agencies were accredited, including entire juvenile correctional systems in Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, New York and Ohio• Correctional agencies must pay to have auditors from the ACA visit their facilities every three years to conduct an audit of the facility operations• ACA standards exist for community-based residential facilities, training schools, probation and aftercare services, detention facilities, day treatment operations, and boot camps
  9. 9. Correctional Accreditation• Why should a facility be accredited? • Improved staff training and development • Assessment of program strengths and weaknesses • Defense against lawsuits • Establishing measurable criteria for upgrading operations • Improved staff morals and professionalism • Safer environment for offenders and staff • Reduced liability insurance costs • Performance based benefits• The accreditation process is lengthy, including a self-evaluation completed by the facility’s managers, a review of documentation by the facility’s managers, and a three-day audit by three corrections professional for the ACA, which is followed by a hearing• A facility must meet or exceed all of the mandatory standards and meet 90% of the remaining, non-mandatory standards• Once a facility is accredited, it lasts for three years and facilities must annually certify their continued compliance• In the event of a significant incident (e.g. a death in custody), the facility administrator must provide the accrediting agency with detailed information about the event
  10. 10. Performance Measures in Juvenile Corrections• They has been growing interest in the use of performance measures in juvenile justice systems• Performance-based Standards establish high standards for institutional functioning and then collecting data about the institution’s performance on seven key goals of juvenile care• This information is used to learn how conditions within a facility are changing and allows for comparisons with other juvenile correctional institutions throughout the nation• The PbS model is based on collecting information about seven different goals of juvenile corrections: safety, order, security, programming, justice, health and mental health, and reintegration• These goals are then broken down into a series of standards and outcome measures upon which that data are collected• PbS lists a number of expected practices that facility managers can use to ensure that the outcome measure is met and processes that support those practices• Facilities that have implemented the PbS approach have reported

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