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Author Topic: Teen Prison Camps?
Confused boy
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Perhaps a similar topic has been raised before, but this struck me as a worrying cultural development in attempting to deal with teenage rebellion. Growing in the US, but possibly being exported to the UK soon.
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine/story/0,11913,987172,00.html

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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PoetgirlNY
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That was really upsetting. It sounds remarkably like the adolescent ward of the psych hospital I was in. They were trying to break me, and it was making me feel crazy- the whole point was to convince us that we were sick and bad and could only live productive lives if we gave into their program and did everything they said. We even had points and levels like they did in the article. Eek. Thank god it was only three weeks and I can act- they might have broken me otherwise.

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You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!
-Allen Ginsberg


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Confused boy
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Yes. All these things are about setting up a supposed norm and then forcing people to conform to it, going to almost any lengths. It is quite sickening and displays such closed minds that don't appear to understand the concept of liberalism.

Whats even worse here, is that there doesn't even need to be that fig leaf of supposed mental distress before teenagers could end up there. All it needs is the say-so and the money of fairly rick parents.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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Beppie
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That is absolutely shocking. 11-17 year olds are humans just as much as those over the arbitrary age line of 18, and the idea that they can be kidnapped and taken to such a place legally is sickening.

I know some people would argue that "some kids are just uncontrollable, extreme methods are needed", but this is beyond extreme- for instance, the poor 13 year old who was punished and ridiculed for masturbating- how in the world does that have anything to do with controlling dangerous unlawful behaviour (although it's quite possible that the boy was sent there simply because he swore at his parents when angry).

There aren't words to describe how disgusting this is.


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Ecofem
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Here's another article to check out, entitled "Youth Rehab or Killer Camps?" available at http://www.nospank.net/camps.htm

I wrote a short paper on these "camps" last year in a sociology class. I do not believe in violence in any form, whether it's "corporal punishment" or global militarism, and find these programs to be quite saddening and shocking. The aforementioned site also lists the names and ages of youth who have died in such facilities.

The American "justice" system is already unjust enough for the vast majority of citizens, but I still can't believe the courts support, directly and indirectly, such programs. Then again, having the "camps" off-shore in places like Jamaica frees the organizations from pretty much any prosecution under US law, while taking advantage of cheap, underpaid labor on local economies...

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"Tear up the cloak of indifference that you have wrapped around your hearts! Make up your minds before it is too late!" ~Sophie Scholl

(Edited to fix a bad link.)

[This message has been edited by Ecofem (edited 07-21-2003).]


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Ecofem:
Then again, having the "camps" off-shore in places like Jamaica frees the organizations from pretty much any prosecution under US law...

Bingo. The courts don't support this stuff because they can't. With no jurisdictional control over anything that happens in foreign territory, the court system cannot condone or condemn such camps with anything other than words. They simply don't have the power. It is the parents who are sending their kids to these places, not the courts, and I don't see any evidence that the court system has even taken notice of this bizarre program.

I don't have a huge issue with violence. Humans are violent creatures who sometimes do stupid things to one another, and so it goes. Global militarism, spanking, corporal punishment, what-eva. It happens, and doesn't really bother me too much. What does bother me, however, is stuff like this where the failures of the parents lead to the suffering of their children.

The fact that one's children are "out of control" should serve more as a wake-up call to parents that they may have screwed up someplace than as a catalyst to send their kids off to boot camp. Yet all too often, the parents settle for the "next best thing." Rather than modify their parenting techniques, they'll just throw the kids off someplace else to watch them, not bothering to wonder if perhaps it was that same laissez-faire approach that led to their child's misbehavior in the first place.

Obviously there are no "perfect parents" out there, and I'm well aware that it's awfully difficult for single parents to spend the amount of quality time with their children that they may like to. But there really can be no excuse made for shipping a child offshore to be reformed in a prison camp. There are enough Stateside options (which fall under the watchful eye of regulatory agencies) to get the job done if it became necessary, so why go completely overboard and leave the country entirely?!

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BruinDan, "Number Three," FHOM

Beware the naked man who offereth you his pants.


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Ecofem
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quote:
Originally posted by BruinDan:
The courts don't support this stuff because they can't. With no jurisdictional control over anything that happens in foreign territory, the court system cannot condone or condemn such camps with anything other than words. They simply don't have the power. It is the parents who are sending their kids to these places, not the courts, and I don't see any evidence that the court system has even taken notice of this bizarre program.

I'll have to look through my notes, but I believe that some US courts do support some of these camps located on American soil, in the sense that they offer attendance at a private program as an alternative sentencing to a juvenile's participation in a governmental-run program if the parents are willing to pay the fee. (Ruuuuun on sentence!)

quote:
I don't have a huge issue with violence. Humans are violent creatures who sometimes do stupid things to one another, and so it goes. Global militarism, spanking, corporal punishment, what-eva. It happens, and doesn't really bother me too much.

How do you feel about the use of torture, like for prisoners of war? If violence, and I'm thinking rape and homicide, for example, is "stupid" and due to human nature, does it make it o.k.?

I personally am very bothered by violence at all levels, from the home to the battlefield, as I believe they are both causes and effects of each other. I'd include some examples but I'm having trouble with their wording right now.

The amount governments like the US spend on "defense" is insane compared to how much they spend on human rights concerns. To quote from Petra Kelly's 1994 Thinking Green! "For the cost of just one jet fighter, 3 million children could be inoculated against childhood diseases. The cost of one nuclear weapons test could provide enough money for 80,000 Third World villages access to safe water through the installation of hand pumps."

We obviously have different views on violence, which is fine (not that my approval was asked for or even appropriate), but I wanted to respond anyway.

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"Tear up the cloak of indifference that you have wrapped around your hearts! Make up your minds before it is too late!" ~Sophie Scholl

[This message has been edited by Ecofem (edited 07-22-2003).]


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Ecofem:
I'll have to look through my notes, but I believe that some US courts do support some of these camps located on American soil, in the sense that they offer attendance at a private program as an alternative sentencing to a juvenile's participation in a governmental-run program if the parents are willing to pay the fee.

Yes, that is correct. There are various boot camps spread throughout the United States that are sanctioned by state and local governments as part of their juvenile offender programs. The big difference here however is that the juveniles are given the choice to go there. Many choose boot camp because a 12-week sentence there is shorter than the 2 years they may have received in juvenile detention. These camps are also regulated by local, state, and federal regulatory commissions who set forth guidelines that prohibit many of the kinds of activities we saw depicted in the aforementioned article.

Not all of the ones on US soil involve the paying of a fee. For example, the State of Arizona offers camps that are paid for out of the same fund that would cover the imprisonment of the juvenile offenders. So it all comes from the same pot, and does not require "rich" parents. It all varies from state to state, but the premise Stateside is still far different from what exists offshore.

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BruinDan, "Number Three," FHOM

Beware the naked man who offereth you his pants.


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perceived thought
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After I read the article about the Tranquility Bay prison camp, I was just completely appalled. It's sick - too sick to describe in my own words. Just imagine having to be told on command to share your private information with so-called family leaders, or whatever it is that they call them, and then being ridiculed later in any way the family leaders find possible. Is this supposed to psychologically rewire a child? I'd think that after some time, this would break down the child's emotional strength. Maybe the people at Tranquility Bay think that by insulting and demeaning they can create a poster kid of America, but it just simply seems to me as a way of trying to do something that only life's experiences can do to you. You could possibly think of it as trying to force children to be familiar with all negativities of life, and also become familiar with experiences in life, but it's just no good. I don't possibly see how parents could support such extreme punishments. I mean, I can see it coming with parents that have extremely horrid kids, but this is just not the way to do it. That is my opinion, at least.
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Beppie
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quote:
Originally posted by BruinDan:
Bingo. The courts don't support this stuff because they can't. With no jurisdictional control over anything that happens in foreign territory, the court system cannot condone or condemn such camps with anything other than words. They simply don't have the power. It is the parents who are sending their kids to these places, not the courts, and I don't see any evidence that the court system has even taken notice of this bizarre program.

Can't the courts prevent parents from forcing their children to leave the country to attend schools like this? Surely, if there are laws to prevent people from leaving the country for the purpose of molesting child prostitutes, there could be laws in place to prevent parents from sending their own children away to places in which they will be subjected to abuse?


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Beppie
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After doing a little more research I found this article (written by a teenager no less) about a teen who was removed from Tranquility Bay on court order.
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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Beppie:
Can't the courts prevent parents from forcing their children to leave the country to attend schools like this?

No, because again it's a question of jurisdiction. The sovereignty of any nation stops at its borders, or at its territorial waters if it borders an ocean. Beyond that, a country cannot make applicable laws and have them be enforceable...because who would do the enforcing? Unless one intends to march a cavalry division up the streets of that other country, it just can't work that way.

The child prostitution stuff you're talking about is taken care of by Interpol, which has a fairly broad scope and does have the ability to enforce some laws with the help of cooperative governments. But in order to accomplish this, it took the signing of a multinational agreement condemning the child sex trade and a mutual aid agreement with the signatories before any action could be taken. And even then, it's extremely difficult to prevent someone from leaving the country for the alleged purpose of partaking in such child prostitution...simply because one needs to be able to prove the specific intent to do so, and this is often a difficult task that involves the thorny issue of prior restraint.

And as for the article you've cited, that had more to do with custody issues than anything else. Jurisdictional restrictions prohibited the courts from ordering the boy's return, but it was a custody dispute that changed that. Since the complainant was able to prove that the decisions being made by the child's custodial parent were harmful, a change in custody was ordered. And it was this change in custody that remanded the boy back to Virginia. Because while Jamaica does not recognize the same abuse laws as the United States does, it has signed custody and guardianship treaties which commit the country to returning children to their homelands when their home courts order it to be so.

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BruinDan, "Number Three," FHOM

Beware the naked man who offereth you his pants.


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Confused boy
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Yes, it would be the custody issue that would be the method of breaking down this particular industry. Surely a parent's decision to send their child to such a place would be significant evidence in itself to suggest that they were unfit?

Thus, if courts were opposed to these institutions and a government social work agency kept a track of international travel by minors, the solution would be simply to remove custody from parents who would take this action as a matter of course.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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Heather
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Thing is -- per uisual -- if you're talking about our current US administration, that ain't likely to happen, because as grotesque as this stuff is, what you're mostly talking about are not only what get called "throwaway kids" (in other words, social services and feds think troubled kids are only going to end up in prisons anyhow, so who cares what happens to them), but the sort of thing plenty of the good ol'boys in office would think was totally fine.
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