Juvenile Detention Centers


William Ecenbarger

“Kids for cash” scandal book

Juvenile Detention Centers are basically prisons for minors. They can affect a minor’s mental health, and they can be emotionally scarred. My research shows some problems in the juvenile system.

Anxiety and depression can be the outcome of being in a detention center. The text “Intersection between Mental Health and the Juvenile Justice system” states, “Juvenile detention and correctional facilities may impact youths with mental health issues due to overcrowding, health issues due to overcrowding, lack of available treatment/services, and separation from support systems (such as family members and friends).”  The text also states, “Mental health disorders are prevalent among youths in the juvenile justice system.

A problem in the juvenile system is abuse. The text “Abuse, Chaos and Cruelty in Louisiana Juvenile Detention” states, “Guards beat and choked their wards. Several forced children to endure sexual abuse as the price for phone privileges. They frequently maintained control by bribing children with food to assault other children.” This shows that abuse could happen behind the closed doors of detention centers. In my opinion, the system is cruel and doesn’t protect the children that it should protect. 

Another problem in the juvenile system is corruption. The text “Kids for cash scandal” states, “In 2008, judges Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella were convicted of accepting money in return for imposing harsh adjudications on juveniles to increase occupancy at the PA Child Care for-profit detention centers.” This shows that in 2008 two judges were corrupt and sent juveniles to detention centers unfairly.

All of my research shows that some juvenile detention centers can negatively affect youths, mentally and physically.