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Understanding Crisis Intervention

Crisis Intervention

Certainly, with the needs of juvenile inmates for specific programs tailored to their individual needs, the presence of rehabilitation programs in detention centers and jails is not likely to diminish any time soon, and as a matter of fact, should receive more national attention and funding.

The word "crisis" is often made synonymous with that of an "emergency" to the extent that "crisis prevention" and "emergency services" are frequently ā€“ and incorrectly ā€“ conflated. Granted, there may be some similarities, especially with regard to the connotation contained within the words of urgency.

Nonetheless, they are distinct concepts, especially as they refer to the involvement of the individual. Whereas suicide hotlines and medical response teams are more along the lines of emergency service, as the term is truly conceived "crisis intervention" implies active participation on the part of the juvenile inmate or other child to address his or her most pressing dilemmas. Moreover, these are problems that the juvenile inmate recognizes and chooses to direct energies toward rather than having this assessment forced on him or her by a social worker.

Thus, juvenile inmates and caseworkers, in the best case scenario, will maintain an open dialog and otherwise work in concert for the good of resolution and therapy. They also will review coping strategies, since the goal is for the juvenile delinquent to access his or her inner strength and resolve to achieve improvement for when the juvenile party is released.

Some of the main goals of crisis intervention include identification of underlying issues, stress management and other remedial strategies, and restoration of functioning in the outside world. Then again, juvenile inmates and those who have gone on to live a life of crime may also be invoked in crisis intervention and delinquency prevention initiatives.

One type of program that has taken off since its inception in the 1970s is Scared Straight and other setups like it. In a format such as this, individuals who have spent time as a convict or juvenile inmate will relay their stories of what life is like in a secure facility, often in an adversarial and graphic nature, as a means of shocking at-risk youths to better behavioral standards. Unfortunately, much research suggests that Scared Straight programs and boot camps for kids are poor solutions for long-term prevention of recidivism, and many states have chosen not to fund such initiatives.

NEXT: Understanding the Funding and Management

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