Troubled Teen Options

Brat Camps

From a recent report one could include that the city of Washington, D.C. will need to employ some brat camp type programs to help stave off a dramatic increase in juvenile crime. “Three times as many youthful offenders were being held in the D.C. Jail in May than during the same month last year, according to a report released by a group advocating for juvenile justice reform. The report, “A Capital Offense,” released today by the Campaign for Youth Justice, finds that the rate of children spending time at the D.C. Jail for serious offenses is on the rise despite changes in the city’s approach to rehabilitating its less-serious offenders.

In May, 42 youths were being held — up from 14 a year ago. The increase was even more pronounced for April, with 40 being held this year and only 11 in the same month in 2006. Those 16 and older can be jailed if they are charged with more serious crimes, including murder, armed robbery, rape and assault.” (unknown source) The city claims to be using “very aggressive approach toward better insuring that they [youthful offenders] receive the services that are conducive to their positive growth.” How effective those services are depends on what “conducive to their positive growth” actually means. If it is in the form of hand holding therapy sessions that do not teach troubled teenagers accountability for their crimes, then it is no wonder that the city is experiencing juvenile delinquency woes. A teen isn’t served well when they are not made to own their actions, good or bad. by Ann Walker