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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76929 Find in a Library
Title: Incarcerating Children - A Study of the New York State Secure Detention System
Author(s): P M Frisk; M F Rosen
Corporate Author: Statewide Youth Advocacy, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 44
Sponsoring Agency: Field Foundation
New York, NY 10028
Florence V Burden Foundation
New York, NY 10020
Foundation for Child Development
New York, NY 10017
New York Foundation
New York, NY 10017
Statewide Youth Advocacy, Inc
Albany, NY 14614
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings are reported from an analysis of the current status of juvenile detention in New York State, and recommendations for change are offered.
Abstract: Based upon a composite set of standards and regulations for juvenile detention, together with insights from the literature review, interview schedules were developed and used in interviews with various detention site staff associated with the different topic areas, as well as individual youth at the facility. Monitoring teams visited each of the State's seven secure detention facilities. The study also analyzes 1978 and 1979 secure detention statistics for the State. Findings show that detained youth are adequately fed, clothed, and cared for; generally, they are not sexually molested or subjected to harsh physical punishment. Still, serious problems were found in the detention system; the most basic one was the extensive overuse of detention. The failure to provide quality legal representation for detained youth, the unnecessary restrictions of personal freedom, the weakness of programs, particularly in education, and the absence of adequate supportive mental health services are all problems endemic to the system. Of immediate concern is the growing backlog of sentenced juveniles waiting for placement with the New York State Division for Youth. New statutory criteria for juvenile detention should be developed, based on national juvenile justice standards which permit detention only when there is compelling reason to believe that a youth will not appear in court or will commit a violent crime. The criteria should make clear that the burden is upon the State to show that detention is necessary. The monitoring mechanism recommended should give immediate attention to the disproportionate detention of minorities and girls (upstate). Ongoing monitoring of admissions and length of stay is vital. Emergency shelter, clear guidelines for police and intake officials, and aggressive outreach to families of alleged delinquents must be developed if the numbers of unnecessarily detained youth are to be reduced. Specific recommendations are offered in the areas of education and recreation. Tabular data are provided.
Index Term(s): Corrections statistics; Inmate academic education; Inmate recreational programs; Juvenile detention; New York; Program evaluation; Standards
Note: Juvenile Justice Monitoring Project.
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