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Our Unfinished Business A series of programs tape recorder designed to acquaint you with social welfare problems produced by the Ohio State University under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. Today's unfinished business cold storage for juveniles. The action you heard a moment ago might very easily be like that which takes place any day in a state operated Correctional Institution where delinquent boys from age 10 to 17 are held for periods of eight months or more. Our story today concerns for such teenage boys and the experiences they underwent prior to their arrival at the state correctional school. But let's let the boys themselves tell the story. Are seen as a workshop in a certain average est Training. Boy it is late afternoon and the four boys in the shop are finishing up some work on various individual projects. During a free period to appear to be about 16 17 years younger perhaps 13 or 14.
One of the boys with bright red hair is talking to one of the younger workers. So you've never been there. Too bad. That's a place everybody. Nothing like nothing. How come I send you there like to do the rest. Yeah do they keep any place you know. I had to stay with my aunt till I went to court. No kid. Yeah then they sent me here. What's named saffron mine Terry just called me read a second mail server it just be a choice Anyhow it's not like you're a man you are new it. Kind of takes care of it. But anyway. I went to maybe a hundred years reoccurring joining. The cops to make sure there wouldn't
stay there would be so bad. Like it's supposed to be. But something always gets. In their way. Well can't you work in a shop or shop. Miami got no shop there either GM or now they don't even let you go outside New York Factory. James probably aren't seeing that in the board. Oh yeah yeah. Anything you do in your room. Add to the tension would you do something in your room. All they give you some comic books to read. There just wasn't enough in world affairs. My bad I guess. This here is why he just got here yesterday. Morning from a big city detention joints to read says they're pretty rough places being locked up with nothing to do and. Yeah they drive you nuts. In our town they got a they lock you up in a room all by yourself behind a steel door. What
used to get me with some of the kids they kept in the DNA. What you mainly kids that got no business being in their kids 2 to 10 years old folks ran away and left them or some place else to put up so they stick him in with us there all the time crime and enough to drive. You mean they didn't do anything wrong no. Just got no other place to put him. Talk about low Yeah that was a great what happened. Well I've been home but a week one night they took me over and locked me in the big room there was another guy in there. Well I started talking to him you know. And all the time he's talking kind of funny. I don't think much about it then but pretty soon it dawns on me. The guy's a little nutty. So here I am locked up in the same room with them. I ain't sure what's going to happen. Well I'd tell a there about there being some wrong with the guy and I don't want to stay with them. So you know what she tells me. She says she knows about him but there's no place else for him to stay because they're so proud. No kidding. Yeah can you imagine that turned out OK. The guy didn't hurt nobody or nothing.
I sure slept with one eye open all night. Man I never heard of anything. Yeah you know I even felt a little sorry for this kid. Just seems that they should have places that take care of guys like that. What is this guy's plan a big break. Hey I want to join you know weigh in here this morning. I know what you mean I'd like to blow this place for us. We just saw them places they keep you before they bring you here I don't think you hard to believe some of the stuff you read. I don't blame him. He's never gonna see it to believe it that's for sure. I've been in some of them myself. I remember the last one poor I went out there's a big old jail and you know it's right in the middle of town. Well it was about a hundred years so they got the court house on one side and his detention deal on the other. Even the good D.H. is no big cities there's a crowd and four of us not two but four room
already asleep on top of each other just about they had some tough eggs in there the last time. Don't try to record a train or a district the Rings and go from the passengers after the wreck. Hey what time is it. 4:45 whine we better start cleaning up. We got to be out of here pretty quick. Yeah you know it was rough on that last day supposed to be a good one too. They had some husky guys in there sure made a run for the rest of us. Poor I was I glad they get out of there. They kept me there six weeks you see that broom around anywhere red I think I saw the whole ah get it. Hey any everyone have the guy you met in jail that time. Which one was that was his name Wilson. You know that time you and him broke out was a couple of years ago. Cops picked me up for stealing a car and then nabbed a D.H. in town so they stuck me in a jail and told me I had to wait there till the judge had time to talk to me. No kid in real jail. Yeah you know bars and all the real McCoy OK wiseguy OK so what happened. Well I've been in a cell a couple a day see one night this
guard gets a bug and decides to move me when he takes me down the hall. We come to this big sale OK punkin there take your crummy hands off me I'm gone I'm gone. Are closer in fact Sure. Punk I have to do is chicken once and that fat good for you. What Who are you. I didn't see nobody else in here. Pretty tough but I guess I can take care of myself. Yeah well let's get something straight. I'm tough. So who are you. God for you little I would have slapped your teeth down your throat. OK OK I don't want to trouble. All right. Just remember what I said. Sure I want to trouble. You're kind of jumpy. Something wrong yeah something's wrong All right plenty wrong. What's the matter. I had everything fixed everything worked out the latest side of I need some
company and stuff you would have had what I got it all planned. All plan to bust out of this place kid. You mean you're going to take a break from the way you take a look at see what Fatso is. Down at the desk at the end of the hour. Ok come back year and keep your voice down. Sure Alice. I've been waiting all week for a dark night like tonight. I got the bricks around the boss in the wind all OSen ready to pull out. She took me all week to get things set and I am going to call it off now. So you've got your choice kid. Stay here and keep your trap shut. A cup with me. Well what'll it be. Man I don't know what they catches. I'd never get off this ramp Then they going to catch me. But if you want to stay here that's your business. I'll get back to the door and make sure nobody's looking. Wait a minute I change my mind I'll go. Good boy. Now let's get started on these bricks. Keep your ears open for that guard. Yeah.
What's your handle kid. Right Eddie. What yours is going to yank here. But these bricks on the floor. No noise. OK 11 astound. Last two years. Why I've been hearing trains going through over there somewhere. You know where the railroad is pure Hank. About half mile straight west any freights ever pass through. Yeah I guess so. Plan on hop on a Friday the regular Gigi's kid. But the rest of these bricks down the road. Police boss back around are a lot of hope. OK. Hold it. It would be enough we could squeeze on and once we're on some of these cards. Yeah sounds like Fatso's got us but it is time. Here's where I put the kid he's in there with Wilson. I needed the other so for these drugs they brought in so I figured they could keep each other company.
Yeah two of a kind anyhow. Yeah I know but that said to get him out. It's against a lot of men together including we shut up alright kid come out of their chef don't want no one is innocent and pure as you associate with Mr Wilson might be a bad influence I mean come on hurry out Hank I don't want you to join back by that window. They're on to something. Yes what's going on Wilson cannot avoid not when get not if your kid doesn't get him. Hank I'm stark. May Hank grab the kids and I get jumped from a young bride trying not going anywhere. Let me hold him here I went nowhere Yeah oh me oh oh oh. So they caught you even before you got out of the window. What a rotten break man that must have been some time all right. What they do to you after they caught you. Not much put me in another cell big lecture. You know this Hank got to be a pretty good guy now. Yeah he was real smart I can tell you've been around a lot. He knew the ropes All right. Man that's one guy I'd like to meet up with.
Yeah yeah you know that's just about the only good thing that ever happened to me in any of them details now but Hank I mean he I might really get somewhere with that guy. You ain't kidding. Hey we better get going who want to suffer. Yeah. Hey Wayne let's go. Now that of course was dramatization but based on actual conditions which exist in these United States right now. Mr. Sherwood Newman director of detention services for the National Probation and Parole Association and recognized as the only specialist on detention of children working full time on the problem on a nationwide basis certainly should be aware of what is happening. Listen to these remarks that is troubling children troubling pounds and a troubled community find the need at times to detain children on the haunch own temperamentally father caught
this presents several problems which are very seldom understood by people in general who take court action for granted. Actually the need for temporary care now represents some failure on the part of the child his parents and the community to meet the needs of satisfactory life. Unfortunately the delinquent child is often met with. The tally ation and indifference. His parents and then again by the community who has the responsibility for his care should he be picked up by the police. A lot on treatment resources usually far too little probation service and detention homes for the care of children awaiting court hearing only where there are a lot of
cities and even in these detention homes are often staffed with a minimum personnel consequences we find that the majority of current is at least over 2500 colleges in United States with no other facility but the jail to detain children in secure custody who have been apprehended by the police. Now if they do not have the jail very often a detention home has cells in the basement sometimes a secure facility which is little bout of the children's jail youngster is placed in these facilities. Suddenly. Deteriorate as far as the attitudes toward society are concerned. The hospital become more hostile the withdrawn become more withdrawn and treatable children are pushed beyond the reach of treatment.
What is needed to solve this problem. It seems almost hopeless when you think of the small counties with few resources and really too few children to detain even where they are able to construct a proper detention home and detention home should be constructed they need to be made of fireproof materials and not just makeshift residences screened over with vase heavy iron screens. You can't put a jail cell in a home particularly if this home is a fire trap. You know this is the general practice in counties which do not have properly constructed detention homes. Well the only answer that we can see is far more responsibility on the part of the state to construct and operate Regional Detention homes serving a group of counties so that children do not have to be put into jail or jail like facilities. One of these detention homes like they
are small. They do not have to be large institutions by any means small secure fireproof specially designed buildings for children who need secure custody because they would be likely to run away or commit other offenses. And in court disposition. But this isn't ong. We need a secure building within which there can be ample room for activities school recreation activities even though a child may be they are only for a short time. These activities make it possible to study the child to find out what his real potentialities needs. The point of what Mr. Norman has said about detention care. We are going to listen to two girls at a state correctional school who describe their impressions of the two different jails in which they were detained.
It's a man and worship song it was because his car was in a room and it was the president bouncing from the walls and jeans with about an inch in and two inch mattresses there but there was some dirt and there wasn't a sheet anything just black in the front but they said that since I was the first prisoner for about six months it was something that we have to monitor also enjoy and sleep in a different cell every night that they were also being they didn't have and were watching the syllabus except a little. So good then there's no running water running inside so when I got trays I said take my cup war poor you know some rags or something of the supper sort of working before and I was in there too many weeks and I didn't see anyone being down so I was. Sort of like a tractor
or something through the wall I guess was about three or four feet thick and then there was a door one and the outside and the door mind they just open and slipped a truth through an argument and then I'd slide back out and I was through with it may pick it up and slide it back in the mix and the food was just general jail sentences but the same thing again the person's real durian and they never let you get a better record to me. Stammer but they let me smoke and they wouldn't give me anything more certain and it was the cells were all except one cell for cell can the Senate get in the toilet bowl. But there wasn't any running water was running water in the other cells for 13 the first. Real.
Were the longest hours and there was three weeks and for them to go down when someone else was pretty decent during the day time. So just a blanket on me. They were. Just waiting.
Sometimes the public feels that have severe punishment is meted out to young offenders they will be kept from further delinquency by fear of undergoing this punishment again. It usually does not work out this way. A teenager with Spirit will rebel and become bitter against society. It is possible that some may be so crushed that they conform to the law thereafter. But the essence of our democracy does not lie in the cultivation of a nation of browbeaten conformists that may be acceptable in oppressive dictatorships but not here. We pride ourselves in raising the sights of our citizens to the brighter aspects of life rather than lowering them to the mother of light. Listen to this workout tell of his personal experiences in this field. I've been around a great deal and have observed the housing of juvenile delinquents in many places and the more I see of it the more puzzled I am to understand how some communities can feel to realize the short sightedness of giving inferior care to these boys and girls. We dare not neglect
these youth who have started down the toboggan of antisocial behavior. It's like letting a car with a 6 year old behind the wheel start rolling downhill until its momentum is so great it can no longer be kept from crashing below. You listen to the experiences of these girls in jail. Here are a couple of boys who told us about the jails they had been locked in. As a name of a set up. I said I'd never let them you know again like he said like oneself you know. It was so dark and everything was open. Cars and smoke and we were to interview the sheriff who told us about the accommodations he has for juveniles in his jail. This place was built in 1890 and at that time I don't believe they had so much juvenile delinquency and I don't think they were built for juveniles. Where do you house your women and the jail
the women are housed in the same place same rooms. Doesn't it create a bit of a problem to have you had any instances where it has been a real problem. Yes in fact about a year ago we had some women in jail. One woman especially who was drunk and she was pretty loud and boisterous profane same time we had occasion to put two juveniles in the same corridors separate place of course but they could see each other and talk to each other across the hall. Our authority for this program is Dr. Walter reckless nationally known for his research in the field of juvenile delinquency and currently active in a nationwide study of this subject. Dr. wreckless is a member of the board of directors of the American Prison Association and formerly technical assistant to the United Nations on correctional administration. Dr. wreckless How would you appraise this matter of juvenile detention.
7:03 plastic can be used in the United States. And as you have heard. Only a handful can really operate a detention home separating children who are delinquent from adult criminals who are kept in jail lockups. It is estimated also all that 50 to 100000 American children are sent to jails and lock ups each year in the United States because local communities are unable or unwilling to provide separate detention home situations or institutions for delinquent children. Now what is needed is a detention policy in each local county. The number one plank in this detention policy is to remain and tractable manageable delinquent children
to parents or relatives while awaiting disposition of the juvenile court. The number to plank is to keep delinquent children out of jails and lock up who are adult criminals are kept. The number three plank is to separate young dependent and neglected children from the delinquent children and have the welfare departments or children's homes or county Child Welfare boards look after the separated younger dependent and the collected children. The next plank. Would be to detain only those delinquent children. Who needs to be detained. Namely children who come from families which place children in physical and moral jeopardy. And also detain those children who are runners who are escaping risks.
Children who are missing from far off communities from which they have run away. Now our next. Plank in the detention policy is to set up a good functional detention home in which we have good care and which we have activity projects in which we have a relaxed atmosphere. But at the same time a secure place and in which we have a warm hearted staff. Now in the large detention Herm's of course we can have professional staff such as clinical psychologist part time psychiatrist psychiatric social worker group worker remedial teachers and such professional staff members can practically work up a clinical report for the juvenile judge. But this is only possible in the very large counties of a million or more where they can support a professional staff. Now since.
First counties in the United States cannot afford to set up a separate detention home because they are too small. They do not have the tax base and there's an unwilling interest to develop a detention program. The state must give some inspection must give some advice every service and probably must even enter the detention home business and in entering the detention home business the state could by Granted AIDS support counties who cannot support a Detention Home program by themselves. They can give a certain percentage of the operating costs. The state could get three or four counties to get together and put up a Regional Detention Facility as Mr. Norman previously suggested. Now also you've got to look for some federal participation just as there are many many counties in this. In these United States which cannot support a detention program.
So there are several states that do not have the money to give grant in aid. Such states will need to be helped from federal funds and there will be a double assist from federal firearms to state to local counties to set up the crop or detention program. Now what can we do locally for this unfinished business of still keeping children in cold storage. First of all we need citizen interest and citizen participation. Second we need an informed approach. Citizens who are interested tend to get information from the Children's Bureau and from the National Probation and Parole Association about how to go about getting good detention policy. We need thirdly to get the judge the police the sheriff the school and key people and social agencies together to work out this detention policy and we can send to get this information from the National Probation and
Parole Association on how to get together and how to operate a good detention policy and a good detention facility within that detention policy. As a nation we are concerned about juvenile delinquency. If we try to keep young offenders in cold storage and stead of trying with warmth and understanding to redirect their energies and interest into constructive channels we may anticipate a steady increase in crime and corruption. Is there any unfinished business to be taken care of in your state and community. Listening to a cold storage for juveniles one of a series of tape recorded programs on the theme of unfinished business. Program in the series on mentally ill.
Participating in today's program with Jerry Rice. Jerry James Carl Fleiss Our Allan Richardson and Allen Davis. Production consultant for this program was David Ayers the technician Harold and the entire program was under the direction of Fred Hines and what. Unfinished business was produced by station w o SU and cooperation with the school of social administration of Ohio State University a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center. This program is distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters less sponsor speaking this is the AB tape network.
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Unfinished business
Cold storage for juveniles
Producing Organization
WOSU (Radio station : Columbus, Ohio)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
The tenth episode in this series discusses issues related to the experiences of teenage boys in the juvenile correction system.
Series Description
A series of programs designed to acquaint listeners with unresolved social welfare problems.
Social Issues
Juvenile corrections.
Media type
Advisor: Ayres, David
Host: Spencer, Les
Producer: Himes, Fred
Producer: Ewing, William
Producing Organization: WOSU (Radio station : Columbus, Ohio)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 4949 (University of Maryland)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:29
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Chicago: “Unfinished business; Cold storage for juveniles,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 27, 2024,
MLA: “Unfinished business; Cold storage for juveniles.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 27, 2024. <>.
APA: Unfinished business; Cold storage for juveniles. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from