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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 18, 2006
Latest Update: March 18, 2006

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

Index of Topics on Site Juvenile Justice in Privatized Boot Camps
From Ny Times article on 2nd autopsy of Martin Anderson: "And recently Arkansas canceled the contract of Associated Marine Institutes, a company based in Florida, to run one juvenile institution, following questions of financial control and accusations of abuse." (Programs currently run by Associated Marine Institutes) Notice that Arkansas no longer seems to have any programs.

Checking Sources from the News Media:

Awareness of social and criminal justice issues comes in large part from the media available to us. Not all of us have computers on which we follow the news. We figure that listening to the nightly (or morning) news keeps us up to date. For me, that means that one plausible way for those of us who are in school or who have computer skills at our fingertips can effectively contribute to our local communities, is to check out the sources on which the latest news is based.

For example, In the Florida case of Martin Lee Anderson, 14, cited in References below, the death of Martin Anderson was attributed in the first autopsy to "sickle cell trait."

Discussion Questions

  1. What could we say now to the counselors, the guards, the adults in charge of this young man that might encourage them to listen to future offenders in their care in good faith?

    Consider that accusatiions lead to defensive affect, and bear in mind that we want to teach them illocutionary understanding. We want them not to kill needlessly again. That's our goal. Not retribution.

  2. Does privatization affect the guards' situatedness with respect to justice?

    Our system of incarceration is primarily for public protection against dangerous offenders, to punish in the interest of wiping out the bad behavior, and to rehabilitate the offender in the hope that he/she will take a better path when incarceration is ended.

    There are some wicked little unstated assumptions in those goals.

    • We are assuming that temporary incarceration with protect the public, not make the dangerous offender more dangerous upon release. With sexual predators we have begun to re-examine that underlying assumption.

    • In assuming that punishment will change the offendor's behavior, we have assumed that punishment works to eradicate behavior like rewards work to encourage it. Not true. Thorndike's second law of learning says that punishment does not eradicate bad behavior.

    • Rehabilitation requires interdependent learning in which the facilitator (teacher) and the student (offendor) listen in good faith to one another and explore together what the student needs to learn.

  3. Why do jeanne and susan insist that you check beyond the newspaper article for sources?

    Consider that to say that Martin Anderson, 14, died of comlications of "sickle cell trait," sounds like there was a fancy medical reason for his death that had nothing to do with the way he was treated. But I have dealt with sickle cell anemia. That's a devastating disease. Not "sickle cell trait." So I went to the web to check on my recollection. Googled sickle cell trait. Look what I found:

    Question: My toddler son has Sickle Trait. I know that he can live a full, happy life with relatively no complications. However, will his having the Trait prevent him from any dreams, such as being accepted to a prestigious military academy? Can people with Sickle Trait enter the military? I understand about heights, what about submarines? Will strenuous athletics and endurance tests, i.e. underwater, be potential hazards for him? And throughout life, will he be able to participate in any sport which doesn't include highest altitudes?"

    Answer: . . . Sickle cell trait affects about 1 in 10 African Americans, so there must be many many other people out there doing all kinds of things. The super-strenuous activities that can cause problems for people with sickle cell are pushing to the limits of human endurance (survival treks in the desert) or doing things foolishly, such as trying to exercise at high altitude (climbing in the Rocky Mountains) when dehydrated & out of shape & not adjusted to high altitude. So I think that sickle trait should not limit your son's potential but, again, each person is different. There is an excellent review at the Harvard Sickle Cell Web site at http://sickle.bwh.harvard.edu/sickle_trait.html. (See References below.)

    From Sickle Cell Information Center, Frequently Asked Questions about Sickle Cell Trait.

  4. Would you want more information if your son were said to die of complications from sickle cell trait after:

    "The guards at Bay Boot Camp in Panama City kneed, kicked and hit Martin, 14, after he stopped running during an orientation drill on Jan. 5. He had been sent to the camp for violating probation after stealing his grandmother's car. In a videotape, which the state released after news organizations sued for it, the boy appears limp throughout the encounter." ?

    This is the website of Bay Boot Camp in Panama City, Florida. It is a public school.

    From Hard Time Consulted on March 18, 2006.

References:

    Sickle Cell Trait

  • Sickle Cell Trait By John Kark, M.D. (formerly of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD.) Howard Universty School of Medicine. Center for Sickle Cell Disease. Revised December 20, 2000. Consulted March 18, 2006. Explanation of rarity and generally less significant effects of sickle cell trait as compared to sickle cell anemia. Needed for most of us to understand what the coroner was saying in Martin Anderson's autopsy report in Florida case in 2006.

  • In Memoriam: A Child is Dead For Want of a Way to Make His Validity Claim Heard Earlier boot camp death, California child.

  • Privatizing Prisons and Juvenile Justice Camps

  • Problems with Privatizing Prisons: Tallulah Correctional Facility in Louisiana

  • Hard Time: A special report.; Profits at a Juvenile Prison Come With a Chilling Cost By Fox Butterfield. New York Times. July 15, 1998


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