In this form of punishment, authorities find infractions, encourage compliance and reward or punish and take away rights depending on the individuals response. In 1957, Fritz Redl and David Wineman (as cited in Vander Ven, 2009) wrote about another approach in their book, the Aggressive Child, which proved to be much more successful at their juvenile residence Pioneer House. However, for various reasons, their methodology never received much of a following (Vander Ven, 2009).
Now, residential institutions are revisiting Redl and Winemans approach, which has greater credibility due to insights in the behavioral sciences over the past several decades. The distinction between typical youth and those who hate and are filled with anger, say Redl and Wineman, is that while neither always behave perfectly, typical children will respond to interventions that remind them of what is good behavior. However, even these “normal” children under certain types of stress may not respond positively and need support from sympathetic others. It is not surprising, therefore, that juvenile delinquents, who are frequently facing a great number of additional stresses, can be particularly difficult. Redl and Wineman emphasize the problem with traditional institutions has been that “treatment” is normally provided by unsympathetic individuals with rigid and structured responses rather than flexible and open to change.
According to Redl and Wineman, staff must be able to reassure youth that they are protected from other children or from themselves, and thus do not have to be afraid. Children must be given enough leeway to express their anxieties and yet receive adequate limits to their behavior that can be easily understood.
In addition, there must be plenty of positive reinforcement and opportunities for the youths to retreat from the immediate demands of their environment and experience no damaging interactions (Vander Ven, 2009).
Every year, there are at least 2 million juvenile arrests. Many of these youths, especially those from poorer populations, are placed in correctional institutions and again lapse into previous illegal behavior. Little has been done within these centers to reduce the amount of recidivism. With programs such as those mentioned in this literature review, encouragement of business entrepreneurism, youth courts and alternative methods of discipline, the hope is that the number of juveniles entering the system will be considerably reduced.
Edmondson, V.C. (2009) a new business: redirecting Black youth from the illegal economy
Reclaiming Children and Youth 18(3), 16-21 Hide details
Edwards, D.M. (2002). From illegal to legitimate professions: Alternatives to low-wage employment. UAB McNair Chronicle 3, 42-47.
Peterson, S.B. (2009) Made in America: the Global Youth Justice Movement: with more than 1,200 local youth and teen court programs in America — Europe, Australia, Asia, and Canada are now implementing this model to harness the positive peer influence of youth volunteers to reduce juvenile crime. Reclaiming Children and Youth 18 (2), 48-53
Vander Ven, K. (2009) Why focusing on control backfires: a system perspective: a narrow focus on reward and punishment works against creating a rich milieu of activities and.