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What are Juvenile Detention Centers

Juvenile Detention

Many synonyms are used by authorities in reference to institutions designed to fight juvenile delinquency. While "juvenile detention center" is a perfectly acceptable phrase to use, "youth detention center", "reformatory" and "juvenile hall" (sometimes abbreviated as "juvie" or "juvie hall") are all popular derivatives of this term. This sort of building is a secure, residential complex designed specifically to hold juvenile delinquent groups.

The terms of one's stay in juvenile hall is dependent on the nature of one's juvenile delinquency. For example, for status offenses (age-specific crimes) a juvenile delinquent may spend less than a day in confinement. Detention centers will also be short-term stays for minors who are awaiting trial. For more serious treatments of juvenile delinquency, such as those of drug abuse, however, a juvenile detention center may be in the best interests of a child.

Continuing with this notion of "protection", many would assert that youth detention centers have an explicit and an implicit agenda. Outwardly, reformatories are interested specifically in lowering rates of juvenile delinquency by rehabilitating the young men and women within and helping them become more fit for life in the outside world. Effectively though, much like a "correctional facility" a detention center detains youths under lock and key.

Thus, a juvenile delinquent within is less like a resident or adoptee and more like a prisoner. Under this mindset, calling a facility a "reformatory" is blatantly euphemistic, and if anyone is truly to be "protected" by such a facility, it is non-criminal citizens who would have as little to do with the delinquents as possible.

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