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NCJ Number: 211120 Find in a Library
Title: From Houses of Refuge to Youth Corrections: Same Story, Different Day
Author(s): Randall G. Shelden
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 31
Sponsoring Agency: Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
San Francisco, CA 94103
Sale Source: Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
440 9th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper summarizes the most recent scandals linked to the juvenile custodial facilities of the California Youth Authority (CYA) and compares them to the institutional abuses of the earlier "houses of refuge" for juvenile delinquents.
Abstract: Three reports in the 1980s documented extreme brutality and the lack of meaningful treatment in juvenile custodial institutions managed by the CYA. A more recent report found that the "wards" of the CYA often lived in constant fear of gang-related attacks. Again in the fall of 2004 a report on CYA institutions documented extreme brutality, suicides, and demeaning physical conditions that belied CYA's lofty mission statement. Media accounts continue to describe brutal and inhumane conditions inside the statewide juvenile prison system. Finally, an audit by the Office of the Inspector General was released in January 2005, accusing the CYA of "failing to give offenders the education and training that could save them from a life of crime." Assessments of juvenile custodial institutions in other States also bear witness to the failure of the juvenile custodial regimes to provide a therapeutic environment. This is confirmed by recidivism data on juveniles released from correctional institutions in many States. The research is clear in showing that recidivism rates are significantly lower among juveniles who receive dispositions other than imprisonment in custodial institutions. Apparently little progress has been made from the abusive conditions of the early houses of refuge for children and youth. Treatment programs and humane conditions designed to address criminogenic needs and promote responsible behavior continue to be rare where delinquents are housed. 1 table and 83 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile correctional facilities
Index Term(s): California; Inmate personal security; Inmate suicide; Juvenile correctional reform; Juvenile inmates; Prison conditions
Note: Paper prepared for the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, September 29-October 1, 2005; downloaded September 2, 2005.
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