Phil Wright’s article “Juvenile jail accused of inhumane methods” enraged me. It is vital that we begin closely examining our juvenile detention centers, as they care for our most vulnerable children. Many of these kids have suffered abuse and mental health challenges beyond belief.
The article notes that according to Disability Rights Oregon, children in NORCOR are penalized through isolation. How can children grow and learn social skills and behavior management skills if they are restricted from human contact?
The article also states that sometimes during discipline, the children were not allowed to receive phone calls or visits from family. This is a waste of a useful resource. The families of the children can help the detention centers rehabilitate our kids. Because, after all, they will probably be in the children’s lives much longer than any detention officer.
Our juvenile detention programs need to work harder to engage families for our youth. Parenting courses, family counseling and legal support are just some programs that our detention centers could implement. If we want our world to be a compassionate place, we need to start by showing our children and their families humanity.
University City, Mo.