The correction’s officials are equipped with the necessary skills and equipment to deal with the unique situations that come up by the virtue of dealing with juveniles. Minors who find themselves on the wrong side of the law may end up on probation, home confinement or even in a wilderness-based boot camp. When the crime is stringent enough, the juveniles are placed in juvenile correctional facilities. Juvenile delinquency has to be abetted at all cost. This has led to the establishment of the juvenile justice system that handles cases regarding minors (Anderson, 1999).
In the past, the minors used to be incarcerated with their older counterparts. This was not ethical hence the separation between the two. The main focus of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate the juvenile offenders. This is mainly because the offenders are minors and are still being shaped to fit into the society. This rehabilitation involves a wholesome program conducted by corrections’ officials. This program involves physical and physiological child development practices, punishment of the crime committed and the avoidance of a repetition of the similar crime. This is what is referred to as rehabilitation.
Correctional officials are faced with the need of understanding the basic principles of developmental psychology. Juveniles are mainly at the age of puberty that exhibits the most radical developmental changes in both their physical and mental faculties. This goes ahead in giving considerable insight of the individuals’ needs regarding their neurobiological, psychological, social, and moral development. Lack of this knowledge could lead to negative results on the very purpose these institutions serve (Archambeault, & Deis, 1996).
The correction’s officials have to keep in mind that most of these delinquents are at school going ages. This means that they have to incorporate the educational curriculum in the normal incarceration activities. This is difficult to implement because as a correctional facility, the delinquents are not supposed to mingle with other school going kids. This is because they are considered to be of harm to either themselves or others. To counter this, the educational curriculum in taught at the correction centers. In order to cater for the pressing physical needs of the juveniles, the correction’s officer expose the juveniles to sports facilities and practices.
The juvenile corrections officer is faced with the task of being a group leader. This is because one is usually charged to lead a small group of minors and be responsible for the group of young offenders. The officer is given the duty of meeting on a daily basis with the group of delinquents and discusses the activities for the day. The young minors need to have recreational activities. This means that the officers are to lead them through the recreational activities. Unlike the normal prisons, the recreational activities for the minors have to be supervised and the officer has to be sometimes engaged in the activities. The officer has to be on alert at all times since he or she has to know and account for the whereabouts of each of the individuals he or she is responsible for. This means that it is advisable to have one or a few activities at a time.
The juvenile corrections officer is sometimes faced with the unique situation of being a counselor to the minors. This is mostly a deterrence procedure aimed at aiding the minors to abate their delinquency. The officer instructs the minors and impacts them with the necessary skills to enable them coexist with others peacefully in the society. The minors are impacted with conflict resolution skills that enable them to stay out of trouble. The officer instructs them on other prudent methods of resolving conflict other than violence. These include forgiveness, dialogue or reporting to the necessary authorities.
The officer instructs the minors on the importance of taking responsibility of their actions. They are advised on the natural philosophy of consequences following their own wrong decisions. They are made to understand that there are repercussions for every decision that they make in life. The counselor enables them to realize that the system is not their enemy but is necessary for the peaceful coexistence in a society. This makes it necessary for the juvenile correctional officers to have the necessary counseling skills. This is important because it could lead to a complete transformation of a delinquent minor or make the situation even worse. This requires that the officers to take up counseling classes prior to taking up this responsibilities (Avio, 1998).
The correction’s officer faces the situation of having to keep the minors secluded from the outside society. This makes him to take on the responsibilities of being the security agent for the minors and at times the designated driver. The officers are charged with the responsibility of maintaining the safety of the juveniles. He takes care of the juveniles during the time that he is designated them. Since the minors are delinquents, the job will entail going through their stuff to check for contrabands. Some of the minors may try to sneak in weapons such as knives or substances like illegal drugs. The officer is also charged with the responsibility of quelling fights within the group or any disorderly conduct. The officer must maintain order in the group that is designated to him at all times. Although it is best for one to keep a friendly relationship with the group since they are minors, this is however, sometimes impossible and the officer is forced to take up a strict role in order to maintain peace and order in the group.
The officer at times plays the role of designated driver to the group because some of the activities that the group is to engage in are not centrally located. This means that the officer must be able to drive and have flawless driving record because of the nature of their passengers. The officer is involved in transporting the juvenile delinquents to different centers and facilities. This includes taking them to their respective mental facilities, educational facilities and their recreational facilities (Armstrong, 2001).
This means that there are indeed many unique situations that the corrections officers find them in. the officers have to take on different roles because of the nature of their clients. They have to act as counselors to the minors and influence them with the necessary skills that will enable them to make it the society. They also have to quell the violent fights and other conflicts that present within the delinquents. Most of the delinquents lack parental figures and the officer though not obligated to, is supposed to take up such roles and teach the minors some moral values.
Anderson, D. A. (1999). The Aggregate Burden of Crime. Journal of Law and Economics, 42, 611-42.
Archambeault, W. G. & Deis, D. R., Jr. (1996). Cost Effectiveness Comparisons of Private versus Public Prisons in Louisiana: A Comprehensive Analysis of Allen, Avoyelles, and WinnCorrectional Centers. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University School of Social Work.
Armstrong, G. S. (2001). Private vs. Public Operation of Juvenile Correctional Facilities. New York, NY: LFB Scholarly Publishing.
Avio, K. L. (1998). The Economics of Prisons. European Journal of Law and Economics, 6, 143-75.