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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76973 Find in a Library
Title: Caught in the Act
Journal: Social Service Quarterly  Volume:50  Issue:4  Dated:(April-June 1977)  Pages:285-290
Author(s): J Hill
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The article addresses the detention of juvenile offenders in Great Britain's adult prisons and then describes programs undertaken by voluntary organizations to provide alternatives to custodial treatment for juveniles.
Abstract: Over 5,000 offenders under age 17 are held in Great Britain's adult prisons each year for periods averaging 3 months prior to sentencing. This situation occurs because social workers and law enforcement officials rarely cooperate despite the mandates of the Children and Young Persons Act, and many magistrates continue to commit a juvenile to local authority care pending disposition. Furthermore, a critical shortage of juvenile detention facilities exists. Only when the practice of imprisoning juveniles is prohibited will the authorities be forced to develop alternatives to incarceration. The cost of operating residential care programs is enormous in comparison to noncustodial alternatives, but few local governments have been willing to shift their financial resources to community-based projects. Currently, many intermediate treatment programs are operated or sponsored by voluntary organizations. The Pontefract handicraft club and activity center in Yorkshire relies heavily on volunteers to provide a club and supportive services for youths in trouble and their families. The National Association of Boys' Clubs has established an East Midlands center which offers classes and other activities for delinquent boys. A Family Service Unit in Islington assists boys and girls who have personal difficulties in attending school. Volunteers can also help prisoners through visits, tutoring, and organizing special activities to relieve the monotony, as illustrated by the Holloway borstal program. In another experimental project, young people of a slighly older age group known as 'linkers' try to develop a close supportive relationship with problem youths between 11 and 16 years old. The program emphasizes practical activities, and a professional staff support and train the linkers. The article contains seven references.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community involvement; Community-based corrections (juvenile); Great Britain/United Kingdom; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile detention; Juveniles in adult facilities; Volunteer programs
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