Culture, Nature & Freedom: Treating Juvenile Offenders

Essay by "BuglboyUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 1996

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In Kansas, Juvenile offenders are sent to "Youth Centers". These

are merely Child prisons, lockdown facilities for kids. This style of

treatment goes against every idea of growth put forward in this class. In

this paper I will try to justify the use of residential treatment schemes

through the ideas found in several of this semesters authors; including

T.Huxtley, Rousseau, DuBois, Freud, A.Huxtley, and Mill. The Ideals set

forth by these intellectuals should be the basis for all treatment, to better

the individuals and society.

First, We can look to DuBois. He believes that people can change

their own consciousness. He shows this through his Immersion narrative.

This can't work in a youth center. The only cultural ideal here is the

Master/slave dialectic between staff and youth. The sides work apart. The

two can't join because one does not experience the other. There is no way

to be "above the veil" of their status.

In a residential treatment modality,

Relationship building is key to success. The youth need to feel the veil

has been lifted. It allows them to explore safely and see the world in a

greater view. The view as other is removed and a true balance displaces

the master / slave one.

Next, we can look at Mills Ideas on culture. He would like to elevate

the morals of the human mind. To do this, we must continually test the

standard. New ideas must be able to circulate freely. We must weigh how

all actions effect others. This can not be done in these Youth centers as

well. They have very specific codes and any questioning is reprimanded.

Cultural influx is at a standstill and Censor ship is at it's highest possible

level. A residential treatment modality gives all ideas a free shot. Self

Government, A system...