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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 211656 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: Ctr on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
San Francisco, CA 94103
Sale Source: Ctr on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
40 Boardman Place
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Historical Overview; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This critique of the conditions of California's juvenile custodial facilities compares them to conditions in the first juvenile custodial facilities known as houses of refuge.
Abstract: Imprisonment has been a dominant form of punishment in America for approximately 200 years. For young offenders, imprisonment began in the 1820s in New York City, with the founding of the New York House of Refuge. The stated purpose of this institution and similar ones that were subsequently built in other States was to encourage work habits; provide instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, and moral and religious values; and provide treatment for any deviant behaviors. In actuality, the houses of refuge generally became places where youth were placed under tight controls enforced with discipline that included abusive corporal punishments. Abusive conditions became scandals so notorious that houses of refuge were eventually closed. Abuses continued, however, in the institutions that followed. Reports on current conditions in California juvenile institutions under the California Youth Authority (CYA) show that conditions in juvenile institutions have not changed much over the years. A series of reports in the 1980s condemned abusive and neglectful practices within the CYA. In the fall of 2004, the CYA was again reported to maintain conditions of extreme brutality, degrading physical conditions, a lack of effective education and treatment programs, and a high rate of resident suicides. The State and the CYA have yet to commit the resources and personnel required for the major reforms needed to provide a rehabilitative environment in juvenile residential facilities. This country has yet to escape the legacy of almost 200 years of abusive imprisonment of juveniles. 1 table and 83 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile correctional facilities
Index Term(s): California; History of juvenile justice; Juvenile correctional programs; Juvenile correctional reform; Juvenile Corrections/Detention; Prison conditions
Note: Paper prepared for the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, September 29-October 1, 2005; downloaded November 10, 2005.
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