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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70779 Find in a Library
Title: Institutional Treatment of Juveniles in the Netherlands
Journal: Annales de Vaucresson  Issue:16  Dated:(1979)  Pages:85-127
Author(s): J Junger-Tas
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 43
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: Dutch techniques of institutional treatment for juveniles are evaluated using the Zandwijk Center and the Heldring Foundation as examples.
Abstract: Since 1967 authorities have favored placement of juveniles under guardianship or at risk and of juvenile delinquents with their own families or with foster families rather than in institutions. Most of the special custodial institutions are designed to aid individuals with social and scholastic problems who need help in coping with society. Such juveniles receive social, cultural, physical, and occupational education for about 1 year in groups of 4 to 12 under the supervision of social worker group leaders. Afterwards they return to their families or strike out on their own. The Zandwijk Psychiatric Center for Adolescents treats 90 pubescent boys suffering from emotional disturbances rooted in childhood experiences, neuroses, and adjustment problems of puberty which are manifested in vandalism, theft, running away from home, and other behavioral deviance. The program attempts to reinforce juveniles' independence and to help them build new lives. The rather traditional program provides work training and individual, family, and group counseling. Unfortunately, evaluation indicates that the recidivism rates for former Zandwijk residents is almost as high as for controls. However, as social and work relationships of former Zandwijk residents do improve, the author suggests that postrelease therapy might reduce recidivism. The Heldring Foundation at Zetten accepts 80 to 85 girls with mild or severe behavioral or mental deficiencies; most are neurotic and impulsive, with little resistance to frustration. Treatment is designed to provide structure and order in the lives of the girls. Methods used are psychotherapy; creative, play, and gestalt therapy; and a pedagogical framework. Open and closed living groups are available, depending on the nature of the problems. Isolation techniques (e.g., 'time out') are used to correct behavior; tranquilizing drugs are also employed. Communication is conducted on an informal level but functions inefficently. The approach, treatment techniques, and communication are deemed inadequate, as is the case for many such 'last stop' institutions. In fact, the juvenile institutional system in general fails because it does not consider the effects of returning problem adolescents from an ordered, stable institution environment to their chaotic natural environments. For this reason, treatment of juveniles whenever possible in their natural environment, specific institutional changes, and postrelease programs such as supervised residential groups are recommended. A bibliography, tables, and graphs are supplied. --in French.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Corrections effectiveness; Failure factors; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juvenile shelter care; Program evaluation; Recidivism; Rehabilitation
Note: Part of an international seminar held at Louvain-La-Neuve from May 18-20, 1978, on the theme of institutional placement.
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