The media speaks of a civil lawsuit against South Mountain Secure Treatment Unit involving accusations of violence and intimidation to control underage residents.
It is a prison. The atmosphere and tone can be hard but when judges hand out sentences, they do not order broken bones and bruises as part of the sentence.
The idea with a prison sentence is also to re-integrate the youth into the society at some point and what will the teaching of violence then learn them? That they can use it on the streets if they are the strongest in a group!
It is not supposed to be fun to be there as a teenager but there should also be a limit to how awful it should be.
- Stories of abuse, intimidation revealed in investigation of South Mountain Treatment Unit (Public opinion Online)
- Inside the alleged abuse of at-risk youth in Pa. treatment centers (Herald mail Media)
- Pa.’s youth development center staff are mistreating mentally disabled kids, advocacy group claims in federal lawsuit (Penn Lives – Patriot News)
Here girls were detained for a gender specific crime called immorality. An article describes that it was done in the 1930’s. It is not certain when this was stopped. The Minnesota Home School for Girls was located in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. The facility opened in 1911 and continued under changing names to 1999.
It could not have been fun to be detained for an alleged crime which was only something girls could be convicted of.
- When ‘Incorrigible’ Teen Girls Were Jailed (New York Times)
- The Minnesota Home School for Girls in Sauk Centre (Forgotten Minnesota)
- Novel tells untold history of Minnesota Home School for Girls (SC Times)
Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center has been the center of a riot, gang fights and cases of sex between inmates and staff members. Neither of it should be acceptable even when both parties in a sexual relationship agree because it was supposed to be a place where you treat sexual offenders not a place where sex takes place.
It is safe to say that it cannot be a good place to be as a teenager.
- Three Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center staff injured while breaking up gang fight as facility grapples with severe shortage of guards (The Denver Post)
- https://www.westword.com/news/lookout-mountain-youth-services-center-sex-and-violence-claims-11365587 (Denver Westword)
- Another Teen Uses Bed Sheets To Escape From Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center (Yahoo News)
AMIkids Sand Hills is a wilderness styled youth prison located in South Carolina. The teenagers are sent there by local courts. In november 2015 a boy died while serving his time. Articles suggest that lack of supervision made place for gang related rituals which led to the death of the boy.
It is not supposed to be fun to be there as a teenager because it is a punishment. However it is doubtful that the courts had the thought that the punishment should include death.
- Into the wilderness: Secretive South Carolina camps come under scrutiny following teen’s death (The Post and Courier)
- What’s the deal with DJJ’s secret wilderness camps? (COLA today)
Metropolitan Boys’ Shelter was a youth holding prison for underaged boys who were awaiting trial. It was in operation from 1911 to 1983. It was also known as “Metropolitan Boys’ Remand Home” and “Albion Street Shelter”.
In 2017 the police started an investigation into possible abuse. It was known as a harsh place. Now it has been established that the treatment guided several boys into a life of crime. Some even ended up as murderers.
It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.
- Sydney boys’ shelter abuse claims examined (News.com.au)
- NSW police probe historical matters at the Metropolitan Boys’ Shelter (The Mirage News)
- Sydney boys’ shelter abuse claims examined (The Daily Telegraph)
- Children’s institution that was an incubator for Sydney’s underworld about to reopen for new breed of child offenders (News.com.au)
Highlands Youth Academy formerly known as Avon Park Youth Academy located in Avon Park, Florida became the center of local media coverage as the Sheriff condemned the conditions and management of the facility. A private security company G4S were responsible for the security at the facility and they did a poor job.
Among the incidents happening at the facility the last couple of years were riots, sexual misconduct, sexual and physical abuse by guards. The buildings were poorly maintained and there were lack of staff members talking the fact into consideration that there were lack of cameras and locks.
The responsible people are those who made the choice of selecting G4S for the job. G4S is a private company with no remorse if people suffer when they target profit before anything else. When you hire private operators you need to supervise every step just as close as if you ran the operations yourself. Private firms who outsource knows that. The public sector needs to learn.
Of course you have to place juveniles somewhere they were convicted of breaking the laws but the punishment should be metered by the courts and not by employees at the prisons. It could not have been fun to be serving time under the poor conditions G4S gave these children.
- Sheriff: Highlands Youth Academy is ‘unequivocal train wreck’ (Fox 13 News)
- Report: Highlands Youth Academy is a ‘disgrace’ (Greenville Onlne)
- Former youth academy staff members arrested for child abuse, neglect (WTSP news)
In an early post we wrote about Lincoln Hills School and now it seems that the problems have hit Copper Lake School for girls also.
It is welknown that many of the teenagers who are locked up in reality should have been offered treatment because they in reality are suffering from various mental issues. Suicide attempts are a cry for help and should not be met with punishment but hospitalization instead.
Big central institutions are a thing of the past. Specialized group homes which can make individual plans for the childrens return to the society as productive citizens are the path of the future.
Of course it is not fun to be placed in prison as a teenager but at these two prisons the punishment extend what the judges metered out in courts and that is not fair.
- Iowa girls were abused at Wisconsin facility after Iowa closed Toledo school, lawsuits say (The Desmoines Register)
- Girl gravely injured in suicide attempt at Copper Lake prison (JS Online)
- At Wisconsin Juvenile Prisons, Children Face a Nightmare of Solitary Confinement and Abuse (Solitary Watch)
- 4 months at Lincoln Hills: Nearly 500 incidents, 32 injuries to youth (Wisconsin State Journal)
One of those places youth in Alabama can be sentenced to serve in is Sequel TSI Madison owned by Three Springs. There seems to be a number of people who have tried to escape from this facility and in 2017 it was revealed that a youth counselor had performed oral sex on some of the boys confined at the facility.
It is not every boy who wants to allow this to happen in order for various favors and that is enough to state that it can not be fun for every male teenager forced to live there.
- Madison youth counselor had sex with ‘several boys’ during 2-month span, court records state (al.com)
- Sub-message board about Three Springs (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)
- UPDATE: Teens missing from Three Springs in Madison located (WHNT news)
Lincoln Hills in Irma is a youth prison. However the conditions in the prison makes any punishment worse than the courts decided. The question is whether it is the courts or the prison employees who decide on how severe a punishment should be. In Wisconsin it is the prison employees. In the rest of the civilized world it is the courts.
It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager being the victim of punishments decided by a random prison ward.
2016 marked the second time a boy lost his life while he was forced to stay at Brookhaven Youth Ranch near Waco in Texas. The place is for teenagers courtordered by local juvenile courts but none of the punishment instated by the courts seem to include death penalty. Still two boys didn’t leave the ranch alive.
It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.