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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 170830 Find in a Library
Title: Youth Supervisor Instills Values in Troubled Juveniles
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:58  Issue:3  Dated:(June 1996)  Pages:70-72
Author(s): J R Furniss
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 3
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: George Tyus, who is a correctional officer in the Intensive Reintegration Unit (IRU) of the Illinois Youth Center in Joliet, has the insight and experience to determine when the youths in his charge need discipline and when they need compassion, advice, or just someone to listen to what is troubling them.
Abstract: The IRU (Dorm I) is the only maximum-security juvenile facility in Illinois' system. The youths in this unit, ranging in age from 13 to 20, are considered to be too emotionally disturbed or self-destructive to be sent to any other juvenile institution. Some are dealing with emotional, psychological, and sexual problems that stem from years of physical and sexual abuse; others are substance abusers. The IRU is a self-contained unit, meaning the youths' housing, school, and counseling are all under one roof. Although security is always the top priority, the support services offered in Dorm I are the unit's strength. Counseling and therapy are major components of the treatment received. One of the keys to the effectiveness of the IRU program is the interaction between staff and residents. George Tyus realizes this, and he focuses on responding to the residents individually and appropriately. Although he can be intimidating when youth do not comply with the treatment regimen, the youth know that he cares about what happens to them and how they feel. This is evident from the number of youths who ask to talk to him about personal problems, or conflicts with other residents. Occasionally, youths who are released from the unit will keep in touch with Tyus and let him know how they are doing. His consistency and fairness, combined with his wisdom, understanding, and empathy, provide the kind of adult role model and presence that the youth need to benefit from their treatment.
Main Term(s): Juvenile/corrections staff relations
Index Term(s): Juvenile correctional programs; Secure juvenile units/facilities; Treatment/Therapeutic Community
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