The time a detained juvenile spends in Detention provides an opportunity for change. Many juveniles come into Detention with a distorted and or shattered belief in themselves. Some detainees come in with anxiety, hostility, and aggression. Some are withdrawn. Detention has the obligation to help youth learn ways to curb their impulsive behaviors, learn appropriate methods of communication, and increase their social skills in a positive manner. Through Detention programming, detained juveniles are given tools they can use to increase their positive experiences and lawful behavior and decrease their negative and unlawful behavior.
The Detention Center works actively with the community, public agencies, and private agencies to provide a wide range of helpful services that support the juveniles physical, emotional, and social development. These services also promote justice, education and the prevention of delinquency and abuse.
Detention Programming Goals
Detention programming serves to afford detainees...
● Opportunities for individual growth and change regardless of length of stay,
● A release of emotional tension and physical energy,
● An opportunity to learn fair play, rule following, and teamwork,
● A socially acceptable outlet for hostility,
● Ways to develop a better understanding of himself or herself,
● A chance to develop new interests or skills to be followed upon release,
● The opportunity to work within a structured setting,
● Experiences that will help break down resistance to adults and adult standards,
● Learning the fundamentals of recreational activities.
Benefits of Detention Programming
● Through programming, youth are placed in many social situations that serve to alter their distorted view of themselves and their situation. Aggressive and impulsive behavior can be controlled by the rules of the activity, the opinion of their peers, the close supervision by staff, and by learning new positive ways of thinking.
● A universal trait of delinquents is that they have little regard for their own ability and worth. Many detainees lack confidence in themselves. Programming can help them discover hidden abilities, develop new skills, learn basic facts and develop new feelings about their responsibility to improve. They can come to a more realistic appraisal of themselves.
● Confined against their wishes, detainees experience increasing tension. Good programming provides for a release of emotional and physical tension.
Detention Programming Topics
Special workshops, events, and special speakers are a key part of Detention's programming efforts. Programming has been a great success in stirring the imagination of the juveniles and bringing a welcomed change to their daily routines. Recent special programming events included:
● A visit by the band Chicago.
● Visits by Arizona Diamondback pitchers Miguel Batista, Edgar Gonzalez, and Jose Valverde.
● A performance by the Bahai Dancers whose choreography promotes peace and unity and de-glamorizes drug use.
● Poetry reading and a discussion of the craft by nationally known poet Bill Keyes.
● The use of Native American Talking Circles which can enhance detainee's communication and problem solving skills as well as lead to spiritual enlightenment.
● A visit by Richard Chavez, brother of the late labor leader Cesar Chavez.
● A "Community Read to the Detainee" program. Guest readers have included a juvenile court judge and a county supervisor.
● Folk tales told by African storyteller Elva Smithwhite.
● In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, a performance by the Sunnyside School District Mariachis.
Detention Programming Team
A specialized team
enhances detainee programming. This team, consisting of experienced
Juvenile Detention Officers, has received specific training in cognitive
skills, relaxation, visualization teaching techniques and
methodologies. By focusing entirely upon programming activities, this
team daily increases the effectiveness and consistency of the