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Criminology: Juvenile Detention Center Essay

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Updated: May 8th, 2020

Juvenile Detention Center is the center used for holding young offenders as they await court processions and court arraignment. They are colloquially known as Juvie. (Worral, 2007). The juvenile detention center is a requirement for an effective judicial system.

There are many challenges the correction officials are facing being entrusted with the responsibility of managing the young delinquents. They range from the peculiarities of the young offenders’ traits to the offenses they have committed. Also, the civil rights of young offenders is another challenge to the officials.

Correction officials working in juvenile detention experience difficulty in balancing between the forces required to effect change and the limit of the force stipulated by the law. Therefore, it is a problem to administer punishments to some of the delinquents without breaking the law. The problem is multiplied when dealing with teenagers who are aware of the law limits because they tend to misbehave deliberately knowing that the punishment is bearable. On that note, many non-governmental organizations, which act as watchdogs overdo their job making the officials afraid of administering punishment to the offenders (Seiter, 2011).

Some of the young offenders have gone through painful past experiences, for instance, betrayal from the closest family members. Consequently, they end up learning not to trust people and cannot communicate clearly whatever they have in their minds (Worral, 2007). This is a problem for counselors since getting through to these types of children is a daunting task that can also be highly discouraging. Communication is the key to an effecting behavior change of these young offenders, therefore, when they cannot communicate, the work of the correction officials becomes difficult.

There are crimes that are unnatural for individuals at such a young age to commit, they are cold blood murder or organized crime, just to mention a few. It is strange for any child to be able to embrace emotions similar to that of hatred to such an extent that they end up committing murder (Worral, 2007). Such a case, however, is referred to as the field of psychopathology. The point is that delinquent children suffer from different types of psychological abnormalities comprising mild neurotic symptoms along with ultimate psychosis. Correctional officials have difficulties in dealing with these abnormal offenders since the punishments defined by the law are not applicable to them.

In numerous juvenile detention centers, the officials do not have the capacity to handle effectively, the high influx of juvenile delinquents on a daily basis. The number of delinquents who requires professional help is numerous compared to the number of professionals. For example, many delinquents have psychological problems but the number of counselors and psychiatrists is inadequate to meet the demand. Consequently, most of these children continue disturbing the guards making their work harder than it is supposed to be.

Most of the young offenders who pass through juvenile centers are likely to undergo sexual harassment (Seiter, 2011). The form of sexual harassment can be between a child and warden or the two young offenders. The majority of the young offenders is vulnerable and can resort to the sexual act in exchange for favors from the guards. The vulnerability is caused by their experiences and a child’s state of mind being an enormous problem for the management to curb these acts of sexual harassment. Even though sexual molestation is a common occurrence in jails and prisons, the problem is aggravated in juvenile centers. Sexual harassment by a warden has a chain effect on young offenders making them lose trust in the system. The management experiences hardship in regaining the trust of these young offenders and thus help them.

Despite the fact that the offenders are suitable to acquire emotional intelligence, it is a challenge for correction officials to influence their emotional intelligence (Seiter, 2011). It happens because the environment in juvenile centers is not conducive. Emotional intelligence comprises emotional skills, abilities, and characteristics that enable a person to lead a rational life. It is, therefore, a problem for the management to influence these skills in such an environment because of factors such as frequent violence, inadequate personal attention, and proper communication. The young offenders are likely to end up in jail later in their lives if they are unable to get these skills related to emotional skills.

Juvenile centers also act as holding centers for kids awaiting placement in special care centers. These centers sometimes receive kids with unique needs who need special facilities (Worral, 2007). This makes the management of juvenile centers more expensive than the normal jail. The number of funds that the federal government channels for managing juvenile centers is not enough compared to the needs. It is difficult for the officials to use the limited resources which are available to handle these kids with special needs.

In juvenile centers, there are kids of different age groups. This makes cases of bullying and taunting common in these centers. Bullying affects the self-esteem of some younger children, a problem which can persist for life. Correction officials experience difficulties when managing these children and curbing cases of bullying. The fact that correction officials are sometimes not able to prevent bullying is saddening since some of the children cannot lead a normal life. They grow up to be unstable adults.

It is vital to address these problems facing juvenile detention centers (Seiter, 2011). Juvenile centers cannot meet their responsibility because of several challenges.

References

Seiter P. Richard (2011). Corrections: an introduction. Upper Saddle River, N.J. ; Pearson Education/ Prentice Hall

Worral L. John (2007). Criminal Procedure: From first contact to appeal. Boston :Pearson Allyn and Bacon.

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