The Woodland Hills Youth Development Center is a detention center in Tennessee. A number of articles paint a not so bright picture of the facility. Riots, improper relationships between employees and the young detainees, sexual abuse and some of the children running away.
It course it is a prison. It is supposed to be a place where the youth can be held while the society tries to make them good citizens again. But with all those things happening there, they might turn out worse compared to when they went in.
It is not supposed be a fun place to be as a teenager but it is far worse as it should be.
The Don Dale Youth Detention Centre has been hit with a lot of negative press coverage as result of photos leaking from the prison showing children in shackles and forced to have their heads covered by hoods. In year 2000 a boy died there.
Plans have been made to close the detention centre down but it has not been implemented yet. Maybe the authorities believe that the entire matter would be forgotten once other media topics take the front pages over. All the inmates lately seems to be Aboriginal.
Australia have recently introduced legislation to prevent foreign NGO from taking interest in the facility because they demand that social media like Facebook that activists use as communication have to pay too much for quoting articles from Australian newspapers, so this tool can no longer be used to inform people abroad about conditions in Australia.
It cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
The Youth Development Center in Manchester is in the news due to the investigation into the actions of so-far two former counselors who has been charged with repeatedly raping a teenage boy in the 1990’s. Dozen of former victims have stepped forward.
While a youth detention facility is punishment, the punishment should never include rape. We can only hope that the victims are able to ask for a compensation using a private lawsuit against the state, which should have ensured that this form of abuse could not take place.
Today the detention center is known as: Sununu Youth Services Center
It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager during the periode described in articles.
- AP Exclusive: Dozens allege abuse at youth detention center (Associated Press)
- Two ex-Sununu Youth Services Center counselors indicted for sexually assaulting a child (Concord Monitor)
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)