Juvenile Detention Centers

JuvenileDetention Centers


Thisarticle is about what happens in juvenile jails that the parents ofthe inmates and the general society do not know about. When the youngboys are apprehended and taken to these centers, the aim of theirdetention is to help them correct their bad behaviors. The questionis whether this objective is attained, and if so are the methods usedeffective (Bartollas, Miller, 2014). There have been cases of theyoung men escaping from the prison and getting back to the society.It is worth noting that some juveniles turn themselves to authoritywhile others are arrested again by police.

Itis very difficult to try imagining what motivates the young boys toflee from the prisons. However, there are many reasons that could bethe reason for this. This article recounts the experiences of theyoung boys when they are behind bars. The people who are supposed totake care of them sexually abuse them. The female members of stafftake advantage of them and involve them in sexual activities(Bartollas, Miller, 2014). This happens in the confines of theprisons and no one gets to know about it. Therefore, while having theboys locked may be good for them in the end, it may not have theexpected results. It is not easy to prove any of these claims as theauthorities can always pour cold water on them. The kids have no wayof providing proof of the molestation.

Aftermany cases of molestation being reported in some of the juvenileprisons, an investigation was carried out in 2010 that found somecases of sexual harassment that were never unearthed or punished bythe authorities. In some of the instances uncovered by theinvestigation, a female staffer in one of the prisons married one ofthe inmates when he came out of the prison (Bartollas, Miller, 2014).This matter was not punished by the authorities even after it washighlighted by the papers. This is just a token of what happensbehind the prison walls where the young men are held.

Alarge number of the respondents to the survey reported that they weresexually assaulted while they were in prison. The victims wereteenagers who were assaulted by female prison wardens who weresupposed to take care of them. It should be noted that there arefewer female staffers in the juvenile prisons (Bartollas, Miller,2014). The number of molested inmates would be higher if there weremore female prison warders. The respondents reported that theincidences were repeated on a number of occasions.

Thesurvey covered a period of over 12 months. A majority of the victimsreported that the incidences occurred more than once. Some said thatthey were handled indecently more than 11 times during the year undersurvey. The abusers rarely used force or threats. In many cases, theydeveloped a relationship with the young boys (Bartollas, Miller,2014). They used their positions to offer them gifts such as alcohol,cigarettes and other special favors that would earn them the trust ofthe boys. When the boys are treated in this manner, they are easyprey for abuse and it will make it hard for them to report theincidents.

Whilethis is happening, the boys may not be aware that they are beingabused. As teenagers, they may be motivated to make moves on thewomen. Some of the respondents said that they were the ones who madethe first move. Irrespective of whether the boys made the move or notdo not matter (Bartollas, Miller, 2014). The female prison stafferstook advantage of the situation that is wrong. Similar matters may begoing on in other prisons without the knowledge of the authoritiesand the public.

Thematter came to the attention of the Department of Justice in 2010.The DOJ released its first report after sampling a number of juvenilejails. This report was based on small group of centers. Later thesame findings were confirmed in another sampling of a larger group ofdetention centers (Bartollas, Miller, 2014). It is hoped that theproblem will be addressed through policy changes regarding the prisondepartment. However, this vice will continue to fester, as there islittle chance for it to be brought out in the public limelight.

Theprison female staffers blamed for being involved in this kind ofharassment often blame the boys for being very persuasive. This is avery wrong attitude for a person who is supposed to take care of theteenage boy (Bartollas, Miller, 2014). The boys already have aproblem that should be dealt with in order to improve their lives andmake them worthy to the society. For the female wardens to give in totheir persuasiveness shows a very high degree of irresponsibility.

Inconclusion, the article is a revelation for the public andparticularly for parents whose sons are locked in detention centers.It helps the society to see what actually happens away from its glarebehind the high prison walls (Bartollas, Miller, 2014). Laws beingmade may do very little to get rid of this problem. The femalewardens should be aware of the fact that they need to treat the boysas people are in need of help.


Bartollas,C., Miller, S.J. (2014). PearsonCriminal Justice.Boston, MA: Pearson