Teachers may have to deal with students who have made major mistakes and are sent away for breaking the law. This post will provide insights into youths who are sent to these training schools because of mistakes they have made. Teachers, who have to deal with this have to be aware of the challenges of this young person as their life is put on hold for several months if not years.
State Training Schools
State training schools are the juvenile name for prison. Essentially, delinquents are sent her after their petition is found true (found guilty) and their disposition (sentencing) calls for this. Often these schools are built like adult prisons but sometimes a cottage system approach is used in which there is a form of dormitory style of living. The approach depends on the philosophy of the state of incarceration.
Within training schools, there is often an emphasis on academic and or vocational training. Other programs available can be remedial academic skills, life skills, and behavioral subjects such as anger management, drug abuse, and other programs. The primary goal is always to empower the delinquent to not return to the system by breaking the law again.
Some schools also place a strong emphasis on behavior modification. This can involve some sort of point system for desired behaviors. Examples include lining up properly, getting out of bed on time, etc. These points can be used for various privileges such as phone calls, watching tv, or some other desirable opportunity.
Profile of Typical Resident
Delinquents who are placed in state training schools often have certain characteristics. For example, mental health is a major concern. Approximately 70% of youths in the juvenile justice system have mental health concerns. Examples include depression, anger, and anxiety, to name a few. These problems are further exacerbated for students placed in a training school as placement in such a facility is usually due to serious infractions of the law.
The challenges with mental health can lead to serious repercussions such as suicide. The majority of juvenile suicides in confinement happen inside training schools. The most common method is hanging.
Youths who experience residential placement are also at a higher risk of victimization from other youths in the facility. Youths in placement fear such things as being attacked by other youths or even by staff members. Sexual assault is another concern of youth that can be perpetrated by other youths or staff members. Victimization can be further complicated by racial tension. Youths from different ethnicities will target and attack one another.
A unique problem of training schools is a lack of heterosexual physical contact. Researchers have found that youths will temporarily switch to same-sex companionship while at the training school to deal with this situation. Naturally, this is a controversial topic but there is some evidence to support this has happened in the past.
There have been calls to close down training schools. The argument is that they are an outdated form of helping delinquents who need intervention. However, there is room in the system for a variety of ways to help delinquents learn from their mistakes. Training schools are one method that is appropriate in some situations. It is equally harmful to remove training schools just as it is to send every youth to one of these whose mistakes warrant such an intervention.
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