Loading...

The Unique Challenges of Working with Juvenile Detainees

1. Introduction

The existence of a juvenile system in any one given country seeks to facilitate loyalty to the rule of law and escalation of the democratic system. A corrected democratic system is vital for the prevention of crime and the rehabilitation and reformation of offenders. The United States Constitution protects all citizens, including minors, from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. tries In order to uphold this standard, courts have implemented a number of rights specifically for children who come into contact with the juvenile justice system. The goal of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate and reintegrate young offenders into society so that they can become productive, law-abiding citizens, rather than to punish them.

However, due to the unique situation that they are in and some inherent characteristics that distinguish them from adults, working with juvenile detainees presents its own challenges that must be addressed in order for the system to be effective. In this essay, we will explore some of the unique situations faced by corrections’ officials when dealing with juvenile detainees.

2. The Profile of a Correctional Officer

In order to understand the challenges faced by corrections’ officials when dealing with juvenile detainees, it is first necessary to understand the role and responsibilities of a correctional officer. A correctional officer is responsible for the supervision, security, and safety of inmates in prisons and jails. They are also responsible for maintaining order and enforcing rules and regulations. In addition, correctional officers often play a role in providing support and assistance to inmates as they adjust to life behind bars.

Due to the nature of their job, correctional officers must be able to deal with a wide range of individuals, many of whom may be aggressive or violent. In addition, they must be able to maintain their composure in high-stress situations and make split-second decisions. As a result, correctional officers must undergo extensive training in order to prepare them for the challenges they will face on the job.

3. The inmate population

The inmate population in the United States has been steadily increasing over the past few decades. As of 2016, there were approximately 2.3 million people incarcerated in state and federal prisons and jails across the country (Harrison & Beck, 2017). This number has more than quadrupled since 1980 (Harrison & Beck, 2017). The majority of inmates are male (89%), while the remaining 11% are female (Harrison & Beck, 2017). The average age of an inmate is 38 years old (Harrison & Beck, 2017). However, the population of juveniles in detention has been declining since its peak in 1995 (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention [OJJDP], 2018). In 2016, there were approximately 50,000 juveniles incarcerated in state and federal prisons and jails across the country (OJJDP, 2018).

4. Inmate culture and values

Inmate culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, and norms that develop among inmates during their time in prison or jail (Clear & Cole, 2007). This culture often includes a code of conduct that dictates how inmates should behave while incarcerated. In general, inmate culture values toughness, aggression, violence, and respect for those who display these qualities (Clear & Cole,…). As a result, inmates who do not conform to these values may be ostracized or even victimized by their fellow inmates.

5. The need for a different approach

Due to the unique situation that they are in and some inherent characteristics that distinguish them from adults, working with juvenile detainees presents its own challenges that must be addressed in order for the system to be effective. In order to address these challenges, correctional officers must take a different approach when working with juvenile detainees than they would when working with adult inmates. For example, juvenile offenders are more likely to respond positively to positive reinforcement than adults (Schmidt et al.,…). As a result, correctional officers should focus on reinforcing good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. In addition, correctional officers must be aware of the unique developmental needs of juvenile offenders and tailor their supervision and support accordingly.

6. The importance of language

The way in which correctional officers speak to juvenile offenders can have a significant impact on their behavior. In general, juveniles are more responsive to positive reinforcement than adults (Schmidt et al.,…). As a result, it is important for correctional officers to use language that will encourage good behavior. For example, rather than using phrases like “stop doing that” or “don’t do that again,” correctional officers should instead say things like “I appreciate you doing that” or “thank you for following the rules.” By using positive language, correctional officers can help juveniles feel appreciated and valued, which may encourage them to behave in a positive manner.

7. Building relationships

One of the most important things that correctional officers can do when working with juvenile offenders is to build positive relationships with them. Research has shown that a positive relationship between a corrections officer and an inmate can have a number of benefits, including reduced violence, increased compliance with rules and regulations, and improved mental health outcomes (Gendreau et al.,…). In addition, inmates who have positive relationships with their correctional officers are more likely to participate in rehabilitative programming and less likely to re-offend after being released from custody (Gendreau et al.,…). As a result, it is important for correctional officers to take the time to get to know the juveniles in their care and to make an effort to build positive relationships with them.

8. Addressing the issue of development

When working with juvenile offenders, it is important for correctional officers to be aware of the unique developmental needs of this population. For example, juveniles are still developing emotionally and psychologically, which can impact their decision-making abilities (Wasserman et al.,…). In addition, many juveniles come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have experienced trauma, which can impact their ability to cope with stress and make positive life choices (Wasserman et al.,…). As a result, it is important for correctional officers to be aware of these developmental needs and to provide support and assistance accordingly. By doing so, they can help ensure that juvenile offenders are able to successfully reintegrate into society upon their release from custody.

9. The conclusion

In conclusion, working with juvenile offenders presents its own challenges that must be addressed in order for the system to be effective. In order to address these challenges, correctional officers must take a different approach when working with juvenile detainees than they would when working with adult inmates. For example, they should focus on reinforcing good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. In addition, they must be aware of the unique developmental needs of juvenile offenders and tailor their supervision and support accordingly. By doing so, they can help ensure that juvenile offenders are able to successfully reintegrate into society upon their release from custody.

FAQ

Some of the unique situations that corrections' officials face when dealing with juvenile detainees include having to deal with young offenders who may not be fully aware of the consequences of their actions, as well as working within the confines of the law which often provides more leniency to juveniles than adults.

In order to deal with these situations, corrections' officials must often use a combination of rehabilitation and punishment in order to reform juvenile offenders while also deterring them from future criminal activity. This can be a difficult balance to strike, and officials often face challenges in doing so.

Some of the challenges that corrections' officials face when dealing with juvenile detainees include limited resources, high recidivism rates, and public pressure to keep costs down. Additionally, there is often a lack of clarity regarding what constitutes appropriate punishment for juveniles, which can make it difficult to implement effective disciplinary measures.

Some ways in which the way these officials deal with juvenile detainees could be improved include increasing funding for rehabilitation programs, providing more training for staff on how to effectively work with juveniles, and developing clearer guidelines on what types of punishments are appropriate for different types of offenses.

Cite this assignment

Free Essay Samples (August 16, 2022) The Unique Challenges of Working with Juvenile Detainees. Retrieved from https://essayholic.com/the-unique-challenges-of-working-with-juvenile-detainees/.
"The Unique Challenges of Working with Juvenile Detainees." Free Essay Samples - August 16, 2022, https://essayholic.com/the-unique-challenges-of-working-with-juvenile-detainees/
Free Essay Samples April 15, 2022 The Unique Challenges of Working with Juvenile Detainees., viewed August 16, 2022,<https://essayholic.com/the-unique-challenges-of-working-with-juvenile-detainees/>
Free Essay Samples - The Unique Challenges of Working with Juvenile Detainees. [Internet]. [Accessed August 16, 2022]. Available from: https://essayholic.com/the-unique-challenges-of-working-with-juvenile-detainees/
"The Unique Challenges of Working with Juvenile Detainees." Free Essay Samples - Accessed August 16, 2022. https://essayholic.com/the-unique-challenges-of-working-with-juvenile-detainees/
"The Unique Challenges of Working with Juvenile Detainees." Free Essay Samples [Online]. Available: https://essayholic.com/the-unique-challenges-of-working-with-juvenile-detainees/. [Accessed: August 16, 2022]

More Related papers

Top