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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77619 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Detention Administration - Managing a Political Time Bomb
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:45  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1981)  Pages:44-52
Author(s): R C Kihm
Date Published: 1981
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Annotation: By using studies where juvenile detention administrators have resigned, major problems confronting juvenile detention administrators are identified, and some approaches for addressing these problems are suggested.
Abstract: Although it is clearly stipulated in idealistic terms how juveniles ought to be cared for in State custody, the detention administrator must deal with the practical problems providing this care with limited resources and limited control over who is admitted to and discharged from the facility. When crises inevitably explode at the detention centers, the political focal point is the administrator whose career is put on the line. An analysis of cases in which juvenile detention administrators have resigned shows the major problems to be (1) the inability of the administrator to control the detention population, (2) lack of staff and other resources, (3) an apathetic public and a bureaucracy slow to make reforms, and (4) an unsympathetic news media and higher administrators. Steps that can be taken to neutralize problems before crises occur in detention centers are to establish procedures to control admissions to the detention center, primarily through the application of strict detention criteria; introduce a management-by-objectives plan which provides quantifiable objectives that address the major problems identified; and improve relations with the community and the news media by informing them of successes and problems in the center and how they can help improve its operations. Guidelines are provided for agency and staff goal setting. Footnotes are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Case studies; Correctional personnel; Correctional planning; Corrections management; Failure factors; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juvenile detention; Management by objectives
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