Juvenile Detention Facilities in New York State: The Ghetto Dynamic at Work

I was horrified to read of the number of juvenile ‘prisons’ in NY this morning. Most of these are located far from the homes of the offenders and so from family support. Needless to say there is racial bias at work in locking up kids. I know from the experience of a close friend who provided medical care in one such facility that these kids are all too often brutalized — either by staff or each other. There are undoubtedly some bad apples by nature. But most kids in trouble either have mental disabilities or abuse or neglect by parents.

Apparently state authorities are beginning to check things out per the report below. But our Governor is cutting budgets now and where this problem solving will end is uncertain. The school drop out rate is horrendous for minorities in particular and without education there is no viable future these days for most people. Public employees are being cut back and working with troubled kids is a nightmare for caring people.

I have heard nothing further about public examination of this disaster area since the piece below was posted February 19th, 2010. And with the elections in process, I doubt much attention here from either party. Needless to say the Republicans are killers so far as troubled people are concerned. And if they do well in the elections, we can only expect worse things to happen with these kids’ lives. Who cares about ‘criminals’ when one’s own situation is shaky? Freezing or lowering our budget allocations will be the name of the game, whatever Obama tries to do. One has the sense that his Chicago experience alerted him to what is going on and he has tried to be a conciliator as President as he was when working there.


Juvenile Detention Facilities in New York State: The Ghetto Dynamic at Work

Posted By The Editors | February 19th, 2010 | Category: Criminal Justice

In the past six months two separate bodies investigating New York State’s juvenile prisons – one a federal agency; the other, a state-appointed commission — have produced scathing reports of a system beset by longstanding calamitous problems.

Both reports documented the existence of significant violence among the facilities’ youthful inmates, excessive use of force by guards against inmates, and a chronic lack of adequate funding and staffing of the facilities that has led to a seemingly complete inability to address even the most basic needs of the youths in their care.

[More at this site]


“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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