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Teaching Juveniles How to Plan for The Future

Pamela Monk Kelley

Contents of Curriculum Unit 94.01.04:

To Guide Entry

As the Special Education Social Studies, and Math Teacher at the Juvenile Detention Center, I am able to develop a positive rapport with my students. They are a captive audience and require a certain degree of nurturing. The students are institutionalized status and severe juvenile offenders who will benefit from a curriculum on “Planning for the future.”

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Learning is the process of growth and change. “An unnurtured child can change and learn new behaviors if he understands himself, values education, and be willing to take the risk of participating in the new growth process.” (Julia Hamilton, 1994).1 The students must be faced with the notion that the harsh realities of being uneducated and choosing a criminal life, could result in a death sentence. Because children are so removed from the consequences of their behavior, the child should develop his own future goals through learning activities that deal with self-concept, self-worth and identity. One learns when he/she is ready to learn. A curriculum that requires a commitment from the learner is a drive for independency and autonomy.

The Dr. William Glasser’s Reality Therapy approach is to encourage students to take responsibility for what happens to them, to make commitments and plan for constructive change.2 My current concern regarding the decline in appropriate social behavior and the detention center housing situation supports the approach that juveniles should be responsible for their actions. Instead, they are continuing to choose a life of enslavement after so many nations have struggled to acquire freedom for their people through bloodshed of their people. Survival does become the major concern, as the juvenile strives to protect his equilibrium in a systematic escalation of crisis among the urban poor. Juveniles are on need of a “rude-awakening,” maybe by participating in a compilation of consequences-oriented activities like preparing their wills, writing their eulogies and obituaries, and arranging their funeral budgets, they will be committed to change their lifestyles. “Crime begins in the mind, a juvenile has to think wrong before doing wrong.”

In this unit, I will present a case that status offenders are not similar to delinquents charged with serious crimes, and they require separate holding facilities while incarcerated. The indiscriminate integration of every juvenile into the same facility, restricts, rather than expands, the scope of educational and social opportunities for children. I am concerned about the current housing plan for secured facilities which do not address status offenders as individuals, but as a sort of generic category in which all juvenile delinquents are somehow considered to be alike.

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A) By using Thematic and Interdisciplinary Unit Designs, I plan to introduce problem-solving techniques and resources for the “Unnurtured Child.” The unit will address the study and concept of delinquency, the doctrine of Parens Patriae and Legal Responsibility, and the changing concepts of Juvenile Delinquency. Learning the nature of the Juvenile process and the foundation of the Judicial Branch of government (while understanding its partnership with the Legislative and and Executive Branches) are extremely imperative when presenting the diversity within the Connecticut Justice System. Juveniles should be made aware of their “confidentiality rights.” One must understand that there are special rules and safeguards which protect the rights and privacy of those who are brought before the Juvenile Court. One must also understand that their rights can be waivered to adult court for committing serious and violent crimes. However, there is hope at the end of the tunnel, and the juvenile offender can have a new beginning. Teaching responsibility and theory enables juveniles to desire human rights that they are entitled to in order to live a decent and dignified life.

B) I intend to provide a list of aftercare programs and services to be used as a source of reference by the juvenile. My students are ignorant of their rights and unaware of the opportunities that are still available to them under state law. I plan to teach them the correlation between programs and their future benefits, so as to enhance the student’s long-term adjustment.

C) Adolescent aggression may be a result of lack of family nurturance. Many diversionary recreational activities are excellent ways to help relieve adolescent aggressions. Students will examine the myriad circumstances that precipitate stress in families and have an understanding of/ and solutions to human dilemmas, a means of accepting and adapting to problems as opposed to becoming overwhelmed by them through social development problem solving strategies, the thrill of completing their genealogical trees, the suggesting of active and sedentary activities for both indoor and outdoor, for teams and individuals.

D) Mainly, my focus will be on the theme of “Freedom,” my goal is to motivate youth to stay free and respect freedom. This effort will be approached by introducing the students to nations who lived under the oppressive system of apartheid and slavery. I believe the majority of these juveniles are giving up their right to remain free among the “normal population” by committing senseless crimes for sport. Even though juveniles experience at length isolation from their families and peers, the recidivism rate is increasing. Despite vivid, well-planned presentations, the juveniles are too far removed from situations to understand the tribulations of slavery. This curriculum will be designed to teach the hardships and triumphs of African-Americans, Jews and South Africans. In spite of their struggles, these steadfast nations, are currently being persecuted for the color of their skin and religion. “Tough times will vanish, tough people will not.” The study of other cultures offers students the opportunity to understand people’s differences and commonalities.

E) My mission statement is to provide each student with the opportunity for empowerment. “What I have learned is that the purpose of education is to allow each individual to come into full possession of his or her personal power.” (John Dewey, Father of Democratic Education) I plan to empower each student to develop their “personal power”. through designing a plan book, with the following questions addressed;

1) Who am I? (Identity) 2) Why am I here? (Purpose) 3) Where am I going? (Direction) 4) How do I get there? (Academics)

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a) Learning Disabilities

Many youths commit delinquent acts because they lack experience and expertise in coping with the pressures of home, school, peers, and community. A child who chronically loses standing in the competition of the classroom may feel justified in settling the score outside, by violence, theft, and other forms of defiant illegalities. Other reasons for doing poorly are minimal brain dysfunction (MBD) and learning disabilities. MBD is defined as an abnormality in the cerebral brain structure which causes behavior that is injurious to a person’s lifestyle and social adjustment. One specific type of MBD which has gained considerable interest is learning disabilities (LD), a term that has been defined as children who exhibit a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written languages. Then learning disabilities may be manifested in disorders of listening, thinking, talking, reading, writing, or arithmetic and include conditions which have been referred to as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, developmental aphasia, etc. They do not include learning problems which are due to visual, hearing or motor handicaps, to mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or to environmental disadvantages.3

The relationships between learning disabilities and delinquency has been highlighted by studies showing that arrested and incarcerated children have a far higher LD rate than children in the general population. While it is estimated that approximately ten percent of all youths have learning disorders; estimates of LD among adjudicated delinquents range from 26 to 73 percent.4

Many youths going into institutions are mentally retarded, have low IQ’s or learning disabilities. As such, they are educationally handicapped and far behind their grade levels in basic academic areas. Most of these youths dislike school and become bored with any type of educational program. Their boredom often leads to acting out and subsequent disciplinary problems.

b) Theories for Delinquency

In conjunction with having learning problems, there are other reasons/explanations for delinquency. Most delinquency theorists are strongly influenced by their perceptions of children’s relationships with elements of their social environment. Some theoretical views on the family and delinquency are: Classical Theory: Parents who don’t teach children the consequences of rule-violating behavior will encourage them to be law violators. Biological Theory: The predisposition to commit crime may be inherited or encouraged by family activities such as diet. Psychological Theory: Family interaction determines such important psychological dimension as personality, intelligence, and learning which have also been associated with delinquent behavior. Social Structure Theory: The area and environment a child grows up in is controlled by his or her family’s socioeconomic position. Social Process Theory: The attachment of a child to his or her family will negate delinquency promoting inducements. Children may learn deviant values from parents. Labeling Theory: Some youths are actually labeled as deviants within their own family and made to feel like outcasts. Also, the justice system is more likely to label youngsters from powerless families. Social Conflict Theory: Socioeconomic conditions within the capitalist system control both the family’s economic well being and their child-rearing practices. These in turn affect delinquent behavior.5

c) Gang Support

Gang activity is of an all time high, even though the media and politicians ignored the warning signs for many years or tried to minimize the signs of gang presence. Gangs normally try to recruit individuals between the ages of 14 and 24. They are known to provide faithful members with care, custody, and protection. Also, they literally take the place of the family. Exiting or termination from a gang family can be fatal. The typical pre-gang behavior includes truancy from school, poor grades, resentment of authority, frequent negative police contact, and a lack of hobbies or activities in free time. These behaviors are very similar to the ones of the status offender.

d) Conclusion

Many social factors beyond my control (family stressors, peer pressure, lack of education, no jobs and opportunities), will continue to hinder the delinquent from being a socially acceptable student. The underlying causes of his inappropriate behaviors must be addressed and dealt with. The system should make efforts to provide changes within the realm of the “people, places, and things,” that affects the juvenile’s lifestyle, so that he can become a motivated learner. As an educator, I envision this unit to empower non-conforming youths with coping skills that address the pressure of home, school, peers, and community.

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a) History

One of the first specialized institutional care program founded in 1825 was the New York House of Refuge. The concept was to remove criminals from their community but provide a family atmosphere and a means of protecting children from the evil influences of adult facilities. Then in 1846, Massachusetts opened the Lyman School as the first reform school. The reform schools were punitive in nature and were based on the concept of rehabilitation or reform through hard work and discipline. Later, in the 19th century feelings about crime among dependent and unruly children were that delinquency could be prevented if one moved away from punishment and more towards rehabilitation, diagnosis, and treatment.6 Many developments were then made in the 20th century ie., forestry camps, ranches, and educational/vocational schools.

b) Children in Custody Today

Despite years of efforts to decarcerate the juvenile justice system, more than 80,000 youngsters are being held in some form of custody.7 Once a delinquent becomes a menace to society, many are given a residential placement or institution where some correctional administrators have described conditions to be horrendous. Health officials have also cited institutions for pollution by vermin, rodents, asbestos, and so on. Many experts believe that institutionalizing young offenders generally does more harm than good. It exposes them to prison-like conditions and to more experienced delinquents without giving them the benefits of constructive treatment programs. I would agree institutionalization teaches them to be better criminals, instead of acting as a deterrent to some. The best source of information on institutionalized youths is the federal government’s “Children in Custody (CIC) series. The public juvenile facilities and per-resident operating costs by region and state in 1984-85, is as follows:

[Table 19-2, Public Juvenile Facilities and Per Resident Operating Costs by Region and State, 1984-85, is available at the Institute.]

(figure available in print form)

This survey provides timely information on the number and characteristics of children being held in public and private facilities around the nation.8 I feel there is a dire need of more programs and placements, where the emphasis is placed in the aftercare treatment, not institutionalizing for the status offender. Incarceration is costly, and ineffective in preventing inappropriate social behaviors.

Let’s view this dilemma from an economic perspective, in 1985, the average cost of housing one resident in Connecticut for one year cost the state $66,100.00.9 However, if the juvenile were a welfare recipient, the parent would continue to receive state welfare assistance, while the child was incarcerated for an indeterminate period. The taxpayers are providing financial assistance twice, for the same child. This is a prime example of misappropriated funds, and welfare fraud. On the other hand, when I was teaching in the public schools, the state mandated welfare recipients to have their child attend school regularly, or risk the possibility of being terminated. Somehow, the parent would encourage the child to attend school to avoid termination. When the parental rights to provide care, custody, and protection become the duty of the state, parents should no longer receive welfare benefits. I’m not advocating total termination, but suggesting if more parents suffered financially, they would be more apt to control their children’s unwanted behaviors. The way the present system works, incarceration becomes a bonus, instead of a family dilemma for the juvenile and the caretaker. Where as the working parents are held responsible for providing legal representation, and all the accruing legal expenses caused by the misbehaving of their child.

The juvenile institutions today are well-equipped with recreational facilities and educational components. Overcrowded conditions are one of the major problems. Expense is the next problem for housing juveniles. The statement “It’s a lot cheaper to send a kid to Penn State then to the State Pen,” is an indication that society should invest more money in educating a child instead of incarcerating him. Overcrowding and attendant problems are reasons why Connecticut and other states now attempt to reduce their secure population and rely more heavily on community-based programs like home release, and referrals to the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Although there are many specialized programs, more transitional programs, or adequate placements should be designed for incarcerated juveniles with social and emotional handicaps.

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Does treatment work? Evidence shows it is too early to rule out rehabilitation for juveniles. The fact is, treatment, as a whole, can work even though not one particular treatment is more effective than another.

a) The Problem of Status Offenders

In a society as complex as the one in which we live, crime and punishment seem ever so prevalent. One may argue that the deterioration of the family has led to the deterioration of the nation as a whole. Some blame parents, while others blame legislatures for the perpetuation of a lawless generation. Is the general deterioration in society due to the faulty, lax, judicial system that provides its youthful offenders with pacifiers instead of workfare? The train of thought is, adults receive time, while children receive treatment for their criminal behavior. Which makes the Juvenile Justice process a civil system, not a criminal system. I agree treatment is necessary for status offenders, but not for all juveniles.

b) The Difference between Status and Serious Juvenile Offenders

Under Connecticut State Law, there are five categories of minors who fall under the jurisdiction of the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters. One of the categories is that of status offender: a child in a family with service needs, who is under sixteen years of age. The child’s behavior warrants court intervention because he/she is a runaway, there is poor parental control, incidents of indecent or immoral conduct, truancy, or disruptive behavior in school. On the other hand, the Connecticut law recognizes a child who commits a crime, inclusive but not limited to murder, arson, rape, kidnapping, armed robbery, and first and second degree assault, as a “serious juvenile offender.”

c) Deinstitutionalizing Status Offenders

The removal of Status Offenders from secure facilities that also house delinquents, is both to reduce their interface and personal relationships with serious delinquent offenders and to insulate them from the stigma and negativity of being incarcerated.10 Due to the overwhelming concern about the possible effects of labeling, (which can be the primary cause of career delinquency), efforts have been made to deinstitutionalize the Status Offenders.

Effective May 23, 1994, pursuant to CGS-46-133 (g), the admission criteria at the Juvenile Detention Centers operated by Connecticut Judicial Branch changed. The change was made because of the significant increase in the number of juveniles being referred to detention. The Centers located in Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport will only accept the following juveniles for admission:

1) Juveniles charged with a serious juvenile offense as defined by CGS-46-120;

2) Juveniles who are the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant or other court order to take such child into custody; or

3) Is ordered by the court to be held in detention; or

4) Is being transferred to such center from another center to await a court appearance;

Juvenile who does not fall within one of the above categories of this admission criteria is considered a Status Offender. In the case of juveniles for whom detention is sought solely because a parent or guardian can not be reached or the parent, guardian or shelter refuses to take the juvenile, the officer must first notify the DCF.11

Housing status offenders with serious offenders can be easily compared to putting juveniles in adult jails. Rosemary C. Sarri, debate 17, in Children’s Legal Issues, agrees there should be an absolute prohibition against the placement of children and adolescents in adult jails and correctional facilities, and the jailing of children and youth is wholly unnecessary. She is more concerned about the experience the juvenile will encounter, through abusive language and treatment while incarcerated. Incarcerating children does not “teach them a lesson.” Sarri suggests other effective alternatives and humane conditions should be considered. The fact is, the majority of youths are charged with misdemeanors and treated as if they committed felonies. Minorities are unfairly represented in the Juvenile Justice System, as well as being educationally disadvantaged youths.12 Treatment should be proactive, not reactive, as the aftercare for juveniles is patterned after the adult parole criminal justice system. This period is crucial, and determines whether the juvenile will need further rehabilitation and supervision. Also, supported by the empirical research of Thomas Kelley, he concluded that, “Status Offenders (and other offender types) may be pushed toward more serious types of behavior because of the effects of court processing. . . These findings would appear to lend support to the position that status offender statutes should be substantially revised or that most such offenders should be removed from juvenile court jurisdiction.”13 Justice Boochever and Chief Justice Rabinowitz shared the same view when concluding on an opinion in the LAM vs State of Alaska, Supreme case,”Protection of parental rights to care, custody and supervision do not seem to be an appropriate rationale for placing a child in an institution”. In cases involving status offenders, only after all else falls, should placement in a closed setting be justified.14

To express my opposition towards the disservice and wasted tax dollars absorbed by the Juvenile Justice System for children with family needs is to call the present system obsolete and unsatisfactory. Recently, the dilemma of a pregnant algebra student was disturbing to me, because she had, “no place to go.” Unfortunately, she was the product of drug abusive parents, who were unable to provide care, custody, and protection. The mother was in a “rehab” program, and the father continued to refuse treatment. The student was placed in detention because she disobeyed a court order to attend school. Being incarcerated, pregnant and with no where to go are extremely stressful risk factors for a fourteen year old adolescent. In spite of many court appearances, authorities were contemplating over adequate placement, and the mother had agreed to relinquish parental custody rights to the student’s boyfriend parents. Other alternatives were available, however, finding the “best interest for the child,” seemed to be way overdue.

As indicated in LAM vs State, the gender of delinquency is no longer male-oriented. The female is incarcerated for minor status-type offenses, like truancy, running away, sex illusions, or misadventures. Aftercare facilities are very limited for the institutionalized female and the chances of receiving an adequate placement after incarceration are even slimmer if she is pregnant. This phenomenon has serious implications towards the changing role of women in today’s society. During the 60’s and 70’s, the overwhelming impact of missing fathers from their homes have help develop many dysfunctional families. As a single-parent, mothers were forced to maintain their families and take on additional responsibilities by becoming the “breadwinner” of their families. However, for the past two decades, younger children are becoming victims of neglect. Children are being arrested for hanging out after hours, not attending school or being left to provide for their own welfare. I asked, Where are the mothers, today? Women who exercise the right to care, supervise, or guide their minor children? Many mothers are young adolescents and lack social and parenting skills. Institutions need to be designed to expose the young female and male to cultural family traditions, proper etiquette, good grooming, and other elements that are missing from his/her family structure. Cross-cultural family phenomenons are victimized by alcoholism, divorce,child abuse, drug abuse, incest, and poverty, just to name a few. At one time these problems were predominately limited to lower-class, uneducated families. Recently, more comprehensive and convincing data supported that family problems are unevenly wide-spread across all social classes and all educational levels.

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The Children’s Bureau Standard proposes the court should be required to find out either that the child cannot receive in his own home the care, supervision, or guidance needed, or that his removal is necessary for the protection of the community.15 Depending on each state law, the need for institutionalization and the duration of confinement are based on a limited or indeterminate period. In Connecticut (If tried as a juvenile), delinquent children are committed for an indeterminate period not to exceed two years, but subject to an extension.16 When intervening in the parent-child relationship, the intervention process is based on three stages of decision; invocation, adjudication, and disposition.17 During the invocation stage,the child’s circumstances are investigated and determined whether a court order is required. The second stage of adjudication is to question the parental autonomy and allow the parent the opportunity to defend the accusations. The final stage is the disposition, this stage is based on the outcome of the investigation and where to place the child (most often back with the parent). Grounds for state intervention is based on gross failures of parental care as when implications of convicted, or acquittal by reason of insanity, or sexual offense against one’s child, or incompetency of caretaker is evident.18 Status Offenders are subjected to this process because of the nature of their court order, which most often relates to poor parental control.

The Parens Patriae is the power of the state to act in behalf of the child and provide care, and protection equivalent to that of a parent. Literally, it empowers the state to be the father of the child.19 To incarcerate children to control them misrepresents what “fatherhood” is all about. The common denominator is control, however, love, and nurturing are the missing factors. To deemed it necessary for the state to control so many children, leaves me to conclude, “We don’t have a youth crisis, we have a parenting crisis!”

Under the 1976 law, the Welfare & Institutions Codes # 600, 601, and 602, cover the three different types of juvenile clientele who penetrate through the Juvenile Justice System daily.20 Type code 601 covers the handling of the status offenders and have been of overwhelming interest and concern in the study of delinquency. Immoral lives and disobedience prior to attending court do not improve after court intervention. In most cases, behaviors get worse.

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I have been a Special Education Teacher in the New Haven Public Schools for the past seventeen years. My experiences have been working with the high school students at Lee, and Hillhouse High School with Learning Disabilities, as well as teaching children who were Educable Mental Retarded and Emotionally Disturbed. Also, I taught inmates at the Cheshire Correctional Center and my present placement is teaching Special Education to Juveniles at the Whalley Detention Center. My degrees are a BS in Special Education and a MS in School Psychology and Counseling. I have a 6th year degree pending in Special Education. With a combination of my experiences and training, I have the necessary knowledge to suggest a curriculum of such a magnitude, as this one!

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We must understand the purpose of this curriculum is to educate the unnurtured child and to provide useful resources for the offenders. With the public outcry for stronger penalties against juvenile offenders, politicians and law makers are satisfying society’s requests without focusing on the underlining causes for delinquent behavior. Incarcerated youth require an authentic adaptable curriculum, which will be able to reach students who have been truant from school for periods of time, variation of ages and levels, culturally deprived, and extremely unmotivated. We all prefer that none of this be deemed necessary, but that is sadly not the kind of world we can afford to live in today. In talking with my students, I discovered what the fear of nuclear war was to kids at my age; the fear of homeless, lack of love and violence, are to kids of today. With that in mind, this curriculum seeks to educate and thus empower incarcerated youth to desire a world of freedom. Hence, incarceration is another form of slavery.

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Teaching Juveniles how to plan for the future NEVER ALONE PLAN BOOK

Never Alone is a typical diversion curriculum, designed to provide resources for young offenders who are incarcerated at the Juvenile Detention Center. The PLAN BOOK is divided into five different Interdisciplinary lesson planned units; 1) Introduction of Freedom, 2) Who am I?, 3) Why am I here?, 4) Where am I going?, and 5) How do I get there?

This flexible curriculum is designed for “reluctant learners,” a very unique population of students. The reluctant learner is described as a delinquent offender, who is apprehended for persistent brushes with the law, and/or behaviors that are excessively violent and destructive. Also, he exhibits poor social and adaptive skills, erratic attendance, different abilities and grade levels, and is temporarily placed for a short or long indeterminate period.

The teacher is unaware of whether the student is a status or severe offender. Juveniles’ charges are confidential and not assessable to the classroom teacher. Therefore, classes are grouped heterogeneously, in deed, the common bond is incarceration and institutionalization.

Due to the uncertainty of the daily routine of my classes, the most effective classroom management activities are those that are individualized and can be completed on a daily basis. The suggested PLAN BOOK serves as a structured tool for a revolving population, which organizes the search for pasonal identity, and acquires that knowledge of the “Total Self,” By using the PLAN BOOK system, the following skills are developed; Math, Language Arts, Vocabulary, Functional Living, Decision-making, Responsibility, Organizational, and appropriate behaviors. As the student begins to work on the PLAN BOOK, he/she will log/record critical incidents to assess and reflect his/her own personal growth.

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Hands on experiences, visual/auditory stimuli, role-playing, current events, cooperative learning, social network, role development, activities, individualized plan book, recreation and education.

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Note to teachers: You do not need to feel that you should know every thing about the various subjects to teach these self-exploration to career exploration lessons. Each lesson begins with a question, and the students are encouraged to elaborate on their answers. You are to supply the students with materials and writing utensils, and guide them through the journey of finding the answer “within,” through self-exploration. Movies are available for rental at your local video store. The list of recommended tests, materials and worksheets are provided upon request and could be found at the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.


Goal: To study other cultures and offer students the opportunity to understand what it means to be free to nations who lived under the oppressive system of apartheid and slavery.


Objective: Students will design a cover for the Never Alone PLAN BOOK.
Question: What does freedom mean to you?
Materials needed: Construction Paper or File Folders, Color Markers or Crayons.


Objective: Students will make a list of unfamiliar words used in the Declaration of Independence, Emancipation of Proclamation, or the Bill of Rights, and use a dictionary to discover the derivations of the words.
Question: How do “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” fit in with your idea of being free?
Materials needed:A copy of each document and a dictionary Worksheet #1 Declaration of Independence


Objective: Students will view the movie “Glory,” and tell about the plight of the first black regiment.
Question: What issues are worth fighting for? Which ones are not?
Materials needed: Movie - Glory


Objective: Students will be able to make a display on the bulletin board using photographs or clippings of Civil War heroes.
Question: What is a coward, and how do you feel about one?
Materials needed: Copy of pictures from books, encyclopedias, etc.


Objective: Students will be able to role play a slave auction.
Question: Which characteristics of being a slave are similar to your incarceration?
Materials need: Characters: auctioneer, overseer, slavemaster, slave and script. Worksheet # 2 A Live Stock Auction


Objective: Students will view the movie “Queen,” and learn about one’s transformation from slavery to freedom.
Question: What obstacles made it difficult for Queen to make an easy transformation?
Materials needed: Movie - “Queen,” by Alex Haley


Objective: Given a list of Juvenile rights, students will be able to determine which of their rights were violated.
Question: Which rights do you think juveniles abuse the most?
Materials needed: Worksheet #3 Juvenile Rights


Objective: Students will be able to make up “Juvenile Bill of Rights”.
Question: Do juveniles have the same constitutional right to be free from reasonable search and seizure as adults?
Materials needed: Worksheet #4 Juvenile Bill of Rights


Objective: The students will view the movie “ Mandela,” and learn about the struggles of South African through the oppressive movement of Apartheid.
Question: Why did Nelson Mandela decides to remain in prison after the offer for his release?
Materials needed: Movie - Mandela, starring Danny Glover

UNIT TWO- Who am I? (Identity)

Goal: The students will be able to assess their personal characteristics, personal interests, goals, and values, to determine their identity.


Objective: By using art, writing, etc. the students will be able to assess their need for love, power, security, status, autonomy, self-image, and social relationships, by describing their role-model.
Question: Why do you admire this person? (for love, power, etc.)
Materials needed: Request may vary


Objective: Given a $10,000.00 allowance, students will make a list of ways they would spend the money, and assess their use of money to examine their self-concept.
Question: What can you earn by working at a place.like McDonald’s?
Materials needed: Worksheet # 1 For the Love of Money


Objective: Given a series of learning assessment tools, the students will be able to recognize their studying habits effectiveness, and their different styles of learning.
Question: Summarize your style of learning, How do you learn best?
Materials needed: Worksheet # 2 Your Thinking and Learning Style


Objective: Given a series of hemispheric mode indicators, the students will be able to recognize which mode they process information.
Question: What mode do you process information?
Materials needed: Worksheet # 3 Hemispheric Mode Indicator (HMI), Are you left or right brained?


Objective: Given a genealogical chart, the students will be able to fill in information about their family ancestry to the best of their knowledge.
Question: What does the quote, “You can’t make a place for yourself under the sun if you keep sitting in the shade of the family tree!” means?
Materials needed: Worksheet #4 Genealogical Chart


Objective: Given a picture of different identities, the students will be able to select a personality or identity, and describe in what ways they could introduce their own original ideas for a variety show.
Question:What is easy for me, I can do quickly, I enjoy it, I am competitive at it, and I do it very well?
Materials needed: Worksheet #5 Seven Intelligences


Objective: The students will want to know more about themselves, and their identity.
Question: Answer the question, Who am I?
Materials needed: Tape Recorder and Cassette Tapes

UNIT THREE- Why am I here? ( Purpose)

Goal: The students will be able to assess their role in their school, home, and community to determine their purpose in this society.


Objective: After identifying a problem, the students will be able to develop problem solving solutions.
Question: How many different solutions can you suggest to solve the crime problem in your community?
Materials needed: Worksheet #1 Defining your problem


Objective: Based on inappropriate social behavior, students will be able to complete a time line with crucial events that lead up to their incarceration and include a realistic projection of their future.
Question: What period of time would you change and why?
Materials needed: Worksheet # 2 Time Line


Objective: The students will trace the process and origin of the Juvenile Justice Court System.
Question: Should family situations fall under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court?
Materials needed: Recommended publication: Searching for Justice. Connecticut Courts, pg 22. External Affairs Unit, 231 Capitol Avenue, Drawer M. Station A., Hartford, Ct. 06106. (203) 566-8219.


Objective: The students will learn about the landmark Supreme Court decision on Juvenile Justice. The Gault case.
Question: What constitutional right protected the in re Gault case?
Materials needed: Worksheet # 3 In re Gault Case


Objective: The students will role play a hypothetical criminal case of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Question: Are minorities treated differently in the criminal justice system?
Material needed: Recommended text: Delinquency: A mock trial, Opportunities for Learning, Inc.


Objective: The students will view the movie, “ Mrs. Doubtfire,” to debate a judge’s decision on a custody dispute.
Question: What application of family law is in the best interest for the children?
Materials needed: Movie - Mrs. Doubtfire


Objective: The students will role play a hypothetical civil case involving a legal question of child custody.
Question: When should parents be denied the right to provide care, custody, and protection for their child?
Materials needed: Recommended text: Custody: A mock trial, Opportunities for Learning, Inc.


Objective: The students will be able to select a career that is realistic and reachable.
Question: What criteria did you based your career selection on? (Money, experience, enjoyment, etc.?
Materials needed: Worksheet # 4 Job Preference


Objective: The students will be able to express their purpose in life, and take responsibility for their incarceration.
Question: Answer the question, “Why am I here?”
Materials needed: Tape Recorder and Cassette Tapes

UNIT FOUR- Where am I Going? (Direction)

Goal: The students will be able to face reality, and realize a criminal lifestyle may lead to destruction. Where as the care and custody falls into the hands of the undertaker. The students will be able to take responsibility for what happens to them.


Objective: The students will be able to watch films on college life, and note the advantages of college life vs incarceration.
Question: What are the advantages of college life?
Materials needed: Video on College life


Objective: The students will be able to design a “missing child,” poster, milk carton, or a family portrait with their picture missing from it.
Question: How is being incarcerated similar to being considered “ missing” from your community?
Materials needed:Worksheet# I MIA


Objective: The students will be able to write their eulogies, and last will and testaments.
Question: Who would be affected by the untimely event of your death?
Materials needed: Worksheet # 2 Last Will and Testament


Objective: The students will be able to plan their funeral budget.
Question: What kind of funeral ceremony would you prefer, and how would you pay for these arrangements?
Materials needed: Worksheet # 3 Funeral Budget


Objective: The students will be able to determine consequences for their actions.
Question:What people, places, or things do you need to change to live a more productive life?
Materials needed: Worksheet # 4 Corner to Coroner


Objective: The students will be able to listen to a mortician, and ask questions about cremation, embalming fluid, and a career in mortuary science.Question: What are the side-effects of embalming fluid when misused?Materials needed: Speaker from a funeral parlor.


Objective: The students will be able to write their short and long term goals.Question: How does your juvenile record effect your long term goals?Materials needed: Worksheet #5 Short and Long term goals


Objective: The students will be able to choose what direction they want to go?Question:: Answer the question, “Where am I going?”Materials needed: Game - “Wheel of fortune”(torture), or “Monopoly.”

UNIT FIVE- How do I get there? (Academics)

Goal:The students will make firm commitments to change and plan for a constructive future.


Objective: Based on a specific problem, the students will explore appropriate resources to address their needs.Question: How do I get there?Materials needed: Worksheet # 1 The Map of Life


Objective: The students will be able to continue their educational goals and receive course credit.Question: Why is it so important to get an education in today’s society?Materials needed: Worksheet # 2 Planning for the Future


Objective: The students will be able to use sound therapy as an alternative to relieve stress.Question: What does Michael Jackson’s song “Man in the mirror,” mean?Materials needed: Karaoke - Video Sing-A- long

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End Notes

1. Julia Hamilton, “Nurturing can resolve family troubles,” New Haven Register 5/26/94.
2. William Glasser, “Reality Therapy”,
3. General Definitions (10-76a-1), “ Children Requiring Special Education,” pg. 2.
4. Larry J. Siegel and Joseph J. Senna, Juvenile Delinquencv Theory Practice. and Law. 3rd Edition, West Publishing, 1988, pg. 104.
5. Ibid., pgs. 121-209.
6. Ibid., pg. 552.
7. Ibid., pg. 552
8. Ibid., pg. 529.
9. Ibid., pg. 528.
10. Ibid., pg. 381.
11. Change in Juvenile Detention Admission Criteria, pursuant to CGS-46b-133 (g).
12. Rosemary C. Sarri, “Putting Juveniles in Adult Jails, Debate 17, Children Legal Issues, pgs. 298-305.
13. Siegel, pg. 16.
14. Judith Areen, “The Role of Juvenile Court,” Family Law. Cases and Materials. 3rd Edition, University CaseBook Series, pg. 1639.
15. Ibid., “Proposals for Reform,” pg. 1645.
16. Ibid., pg. 1645.
17. Goldstein, “The Framework,” Before the Best Interest of the Child. pg. 17.
18. Ibid., pgs. 59-89.
19. Siegel, pg. 8.
20. Areen, “The Status Offender,” pg. 1640.

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Bibliography for Teachers

Kopp, Sheldon, If you meet the Buddha on the Road. Kill Him, The Pilgrimage of Psychotherapy Patients, Bantam Book, 1981. A fresh, realistic approach to altering one’s destiny and accepting the responsibility that grows with freedom. “A grownup can be no man’s disciple”.

Phillips, Steven, No Heroes. No Villains The Story of a Murder Trial, Vintage Book, 1989. A novel that deals with a fine and simple explanation of the process of criminal law and its practice.

Siegel, Larry J., Joseph J Senna, Juvenile Delinquency. Theory, Practice, and Law, 3rd edition, West Publishing Co., 1988. An excellent text of theory, practice and law that presents the diverse views and perspectives of juvenile delinquency.

Skolnick, Jerome H., and Elliott Currie, Crisis In American Institutions. 3rd edition, Little, Brown and Company, 1976. A balance and analysis of American institutions. Elaborating on the environment, workplace, and welfare, including social services as child care, housing, and problems of the aged.

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Elkerd, David, All grown up and no place to go, “Teenagers in Crisis,” 1988. A generation under stress, alcoholism, suicide and crime. Deals with how to respond to the social fabric for adolescents besides education.

Kimbrell, Gladys and Ben S. Vineyard, Entering the World of Work. 2nd, Edition, Mcknight Publishing Co. 1983. Many ways of searching for employment, and how to develop self-confidence and money management skills.

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1) Unit One - Freedom, Lesson Plan Forms for lessons 1 -9, and worksheets 1 -4.Worksheet #1 Declaration of Independence Worksheet # 2 A Live Stock Auction Worksheet #3 Juvenile Rights Worksheet #4 Juvenile Bill of Rights

2) Unit Two - Who am I? Lesson Plan Forms for lessons 1-7, and worksheets 1-5.Worksheet #1 For the Love of Money Worksheet #2 Your Thinking and Learning style Worksheet #3 Hemispheric Mode Indicator (HMI), Are you left or right brained?Worksheet #4 Genealogical Chart Worksheet #5 Seven Intelligences

3) Unit Three - Why am I here? Lesson Plan Forms for lessons 1-9, and worksheets 1 -4.Worksheet #1 Defining your problem Worksheet #2 Time Line Worksheet #3 In re Gault Case Worksheet #4 Job Preference

4) Unit Four - Where am I going? Lesson Plan Forms for lessons 1-8, and worksheets 1-5.Worksheet #1 MIA Worksheet #2 Last Will and Testament Worksheet #3 Funeral Budget Worksheet #4 Corner to Coroner Worksheet #5 Short and Long Term Goals

5) Unit Five- How do I get there? Lesson Plan Forms for lessons 14, worksheets 1-2.Worksheet #1 The Map of Life Worksheet #2 Planning for the Future

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Recommended Texts

Smith and Sullivan, United States Government. “How and why it works”, Media Materials, 1987.

Delinquency A mock trial, Opportunities for Learning, Inc.

Custody: A mock trial, Opportunities for Learning, Inc.

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Recommended Publications:

Searching for Justice. Connecticut Courts, External Affairs Unit, 231 Capitol Avenue, Drawer M Station A., Hartford, Ct. 06106 (203) 566-8219.

Step by Step Through The Juvenile Justice System: A Handbook for Connecticut, Second Edition, the Hartford Institute of Criminal and Social Justice, 1988. (190 New Britian Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut 06106, (203) 527-1866.

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