A Justice Site
California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: July 27, 2001
Latest update: July 27, 2001
Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata: July 2001. "Fair Use" encouraged.
On Friday, July 27, 2001, Susan wrote:hi! jeanne,
finally got a chance to read the two juvenile corrections links from the new york times. great resource for our students, especially because i'll be teaching criminology and corrections in the fall. i hope my students will join in on this discussion.
the first article on juveniles going to adult prisons really made me wince. we have known since several years after the first prisons were built, that the prison experiment had failed, and yet we insist on building more prisons. this lock'em up, throw away the key approach is not working. and the scary thing about all this, is that most of these prisoners will be released some day. and released as "walking time bombs" just waiting to explode. scary.
in the kids going to prison article, the beginning reminded me of "Holes" when Stanley is standing in front of the entrance of the juvenile camp scared. Again like "Holes," the article (actually the boot camp article also) reminded me of what little say so that the kids have (their silenced voices). in other words, it makes me wonder "who is really looking out after the welfare of these children in the boot camp? in the adult prisons? who is advocating on their behalf when things go wrong?
and the bottomline, is that even if you put the baddest of bad kids in adult prisons, they are still "children." instead of locking them up, we need to look to prevention. with proportionately more money spent on building new prisons and on corrections than on education (from k through college), it's no wonder kids are going to adult prisons.
the scariest comment is at the end of the article where the Louisiana Public Safety head says, "forget about whether we should do this or we shouldn't. Help us. Give us direction."
the article on camp in samoa, reminded me so much of "Holes" and probably the extent to which parents and higher authority are not aware of some of the things that go on. again, who speaks up for these kids? We know that boot camp really doesn't work all that well either. goes against fellman totally. is boot camp discipline what we really want for our kids? (i sure hope not). the article reminded me of some of the mindless tasks in "holes" like digging a hole each day.
when the fall semester starts up, i hope to get my students to add to this process text.
On Friday, July 27, 2001, jeanne responded:Will get this up right away, Susan. I agree. Those articles scared me to death by the lack of attention they document to the validity claims of juveniles, who are our future.
Liked your linking the articles conceptually back to Fellman. I'd also like to send our kids back to Freire and his recognition that a teacher who presumes to know what the learner needs without listening to the learner's validity claims in good faith is no longer teaching. Will have to look up the reference for that one.