Sunday, May 22, 2011

What parents fear from the justice system

In a time where politicians cannot expect to be elected if they try to explain how they will solve the financial crisis, they turn to selling very popular messages about fighting crime and increase punishment for those who are caught.

In a country like Denmark we have not yet a 3-strike rule but in the last years we have lowered the age of criminal responsibility and removed a youth discount so 14 year old child can be given life in theory where 8 years were the maximum penalty before.

Of course a crime should not go unpunished if it has been done by a person aged 17 years or younger, but at that age it should be possible to alter and mold this person into a responsible adult.

This work should be done by professionals. It is not about breaking the kids because they are broken when they come in. It is a long, hard move and there would be setbacks.

Unfortunately the general political message is not based on knowledge but rather on what do sell when it comes to the voters.

So in some places the juvenile detentions centers are hardly of a standard you want to see taking into consideration that we are talking year 2011.

In Denmark the staff at group homes has been given increased space to use restraints and lock children into their room. It could be worse.

In a place like Forrest County abuse have been neglected in their juvenile detention center. Southern Poverty Law Center has intervened into this matter.

The question is whether such horrible things take place in other youth facilities protected not only by incompetence by the superiors but also by the politicians because they want to sell a message about being tough on crime.

But parents do know. The private treatment sector lives of fear by parents that a wrong decision may put their children into the hands of such detention officers so in many cases the parents choose to lock their children up even before any law is broken to keep their children safe from such conditions. Also cases where there never would have been any risk of a law being broken.

So in order to keep children from unnecessary treatment we must bring awareness of the conditions at group homes and juvenile detention centers. Such abuse must stop. These kids may have broken the law but they should face consequences decided by the courts or the social services where civil rights is not granted to children instead of a punishment given by a random staff member.

SPLC Sues Mississippi County After 'Shocking' Video Shows Abuses at Juvenile Facility (Press-release)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Teen Challenge also present in Denmark

The Danish market for alcohol and drug rehab are without any governmental control. The two Danish television stations have uncovered both religious influence and in some cases even fraud against public funds aimed at helping people in need.

One of the larger firms in the United States - Teen Challenge - is now confirmed to be operating inside Denmark.

We urge the authorities in Denmark to observe the nature of such religious treatment facilities very carefully.

Behind the walls - Teen Challenge exposed
Teen Challenge category, Fornits Wiki
Global Teen Challenge - Starting with letter D
60 procent af narkobehandling er religiøst funderet (TV2 east, In Danish only)
Fik støtte på forkert grundlag, (TV2 Fyn, In Danish only)
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