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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83301 Find in a Library
Title: Leadership Skills Development Institute - Module 4 - Session 2, Part B - Critical Issues Facing the Juvenile Justice System
Author(s): K Wooden
Corporate Author: US Dept of Justice
LEAA Television Branch
United States of America
Project Director: T Gavey
Date Published: Unknown
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr for Community Change
Washington, DC 20007
US Dept of Justice

US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 79-CA-AX-011
Format: Film
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A children's rights advocate suggests strategies for community groups to bring about change in juvenile institutions, as well as successful preventive programs to help juveniles avoid institutionalization. He emphasizes the need to advocate for children's legal rights and cites a recent case illustrating the consequences for one young girl of the failure to protect these rights.
Abstract: The threat of criminal indictment represents one effective way to reform juvenile facilities. However, this must be carefully orchestrated, using one of the following three sources of indictments: the local district attorney, the State's attorney general, or the U.S. district attorney. Successful preventive programs for juveniles in trouble include the Right to Read program in Minnesota, in which adolescents are paired on a one-to-one basis with a senior citizen, usually resulting in a close 'grandparent-grandchild' relationship and in greatly improved reading skills. Vocational education programs need to be emphasized for adolescents to learn critical job skills, and the arts can motivate children by enhancing their self-esteem, pride in their ethnic heritage, and interest in learning to read as a tool toward further enrichment. One 10-year-old girl's resistance during the Jonestown tragedy, in which hundreds of Reverend Jim Jones' followers (including children) committed suicide, illustrates the lax protection of children's rights and government ineptitude. The speaker emphasizes that money is the motivating factor in the brutality inflicted on incarcerated juveniles since the operators of juvenile 'treatment' institutions make millions of dollars at the expense of status offenders. Juvenile correction facilities should be devoted to the 10 percent of the juvenile offender population that requires incarceration; the other 90 percent should be in the community, either in their own homes or in foster homes. For discussion of juvenile institution conditions and reform efforts, see NCJ 83300.
Index Term(s): Abused children; Children at risk; Correctional reform; Crimes against children; Juvenile correctional facilities; Juvenile delinquency; Juvenile status offenders; Misuse of funds; Residential child care institutions; Rights of minors; Youth advocates
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Videotape, 56 minutes, color, 1 inch - The Institute was held in Berkeley Springs, W. Va., May 4-10, 1980. For complete set of tapes for this event, see NCJ-83281-83304.
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