Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 10

Running head: CULTURAL IMMERSION PAPER 1

Cultural Immersion
Geveda M.A. Robinson
Wilmington University


CULTURAL IMMERSION 2



The Cultural Immersion group that I will be writing about will be the Caucasian and
Spanish juvenile offenders. They young ladies come mainly from poverty stricken
neighborhoods and have had issues growing up throughout their lives. They seem to attach
themselves to people just like themselves to help them build a higher self-esteem about
themselves. Most seem to have some type of mental issue as well, stemming from the beginning
of their early childhood.
History
Female delinquents have a high frequency of mental health problems, suggesting that
effective prevention efforts should target the mental health needs of at-risk females before they
lead to chronic behavior problems. Once girls with mental health problems come into the
juvenile justice system, says Cauffman, (Understanding the Female Offender) diverting them to
community-based treatment programs would not only improve their individual outcomes, but
allow the juvenile justice system to focus on cases that present the greatest risk to public safety.
In 1980, females represented 11 percent of juvenile arrests for violent offenses. By 2000,
that proportion had grown to 18 percent, and by 2004 it has risen to 30 percent. Even though
arrest numbers remained higher for boys than girls during that period, arrest rates for girls
increased while rates for boys decreased. This increase in girls arrest rates caused juvenile
justice specialists to question why girls were becoming more involved in delinquency. Although
their numbers have increased, females remain a relatively small proportion of the delinquency
caseload nationwide. Juvenile courts handled 448,900 cases involving females in 2007, more
than twice the 1985 number.
CULTURAL IMMERSION 3

The TV show Beyond Scared Straight
Beyond Scared Straight is a television show broadcasted weekly about young teen
juveniles who have gotten in some sort of trouble and their parent feel as though this is the last
resort of steering them in the right direction. The parents feel as though their children will end up
in jail or dead. It consists of the correction officers speaking to them and then the inmates in the
different facilities speaking to them also. Most of the episodes take place in adult institutions and
they show the juveniles how they will end up if they continue down the road in which they are
going. Most of the juveniles are following in their siblings or peers footsteps. Also, they feel as
though they have to be tough to make it in most of their neighborhoods.
It doesnt matter if they are from single or two parent family homes they are just trouble
teens. Most are males but there are females of all ethnicity and backgrounds participating too.
Everyone involved in the program try to do anything they can by trying to convince the kids that
they are going to end up somewhere they do not want to be. The correction officers go as far as
getting up in the juveniles faces hollering and yelling at them till they cry. They even put them in
cells by themselves to show them how isolated they would be twenty two hours out of the day.
They also tell them things like You eat when we say eat. For the most part the juveniles think
it is a joke until the inmates come in.
Now the inmates are allowed to use any tactics they want as long as they do not harm the
juveniles. They show them how other inmates take their food from them or go into their cells and
take what they want. The inmates that are incarcerated usually have five or more years to be
institutionalized, and they talk to the kids about being lonely and no one in there has their back.
Also, they let they know that their friends on the outside do not care either. The inmates demand
some to do physical activity such as push-ups until they say stop or the juvenile cannot handle it
CULTURAL IMMERSION 4

any more. Most of the juveniles wind up crying and making themselves sick and they have to
stop. Close to the end of the show the correction officers will allow the kids to visit their parent
through a glass window and speak on the phone and allow the juveniles to speak their minds. For
the most part the parents say that their kids are not allowed to come home and the juveniles break
down even more.
In the end the juveniles are released to their parents the next day and tend to do better
than before entering the program. Most tend to show a big improvement in their behavior but
there are a couple who tend to fall back into the bad behaviors. The Scared Straight Program is
about trying to help juveniles get back on the right track but it is not one hundred percent
effective, as is any other program. I highly recommend it for any troubled juvenile whether it be
male or female.
Direct Immersion Experience
I have always thought that the Scared Straight Program was essential for all juveniles and
have always participated in it when I worked for the Brandywine School District. If we can get
through to just one child per session that is great. Just participating in the program made me feel
like I fit in. Especially, when we took the young ladies to Baylor Correctional Institute for the
program. I felt comfortable simply because I knew the women that participated in the program,
from the inmates to the Correction officers. Being born and raised in Delaware most of them I
knew previously before being incarcerated. No one made me feel uncomfortable in any way, in
fact they showed me that they were glad to see me since it had been so long. The inmates were of
different nationalities because most of the juvenile ladies were African American.
On the contrary I was able to speak with the inmates and inquire about their situations
while attending the program with the juveniles. They were open because most of them went to
CULTURAL IMMERSION 5

school with me or we grew up together. Most of the inmates incarcerated are from Delaware and
are familiar with the city of Wilmington. Most of them have under five years of their sentences
left and say the worst part in being incarcerated is not being able to see their families and
children but once or twice a week. Also being told what to do and when to do it did not sit well
with them. Thus, this is what they were trying to tell the juveniles that there is a consequence for
every action that you do.
I have had lots of personal experience as a teen with staying on the right road. Just peer
pressure itself made me think twice about some of the consequences of my actions had I gone
through with some things. I was guided by my single father but my friends definitely were
misguided. Most of them lived in struggling single parent households run by women. I not being
discriminatory but my father had that stern attitude and I knew what the outcome would be if I
were to get into trouble outside of the home. Even my friends new the consequences so most of
them would send me in the other direction when they knew they were up to no good. I definitely
understand their experiences and what they have gone through. I dont care what race you are we
all have issues and values. We as people just choose a different way of handling them. Some are
good and some are bad. Also, the manner in which you get caught and have to deal with the
situation. For instance some inmates chose the negative route and I myself chose the positive
route.
Agency Community
The Division of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (Grace Cottage) is
located at 1825 Faulkland Road, Wilmington, Delaware. This location is in the heart of the
business district and looks to be a safe area. It is surrounded by homes and is a highly traffic
area. It is located right off of a major highway. The homes seem to be of high value and they are
CULTURAL IMMERSION 6

located basically in the suburban are of Wilmington Delaware. Most of the juvenile offenders are
from lower Delaware or the inner city. These type of homes are not in the inner city and the
offenders havent been in these types of neighborhoods. This seems to be a commercial area
there is to blocks of shopping malls across the street and also to big companies nearby. There is
public transportation but it only runs in this are every two or so hours. Very much different from
the inner citys movement.
Access
As far as the juvenile offenders most are transported from the courts in a van or a car.
Most are just coming from court and have been court ordered there. These juveniles live
somewhere throughout Delawares three counties. If they dont come to my agency then there
are similar services throughout Delaware. They have some day programs in which the juvenile
can attend and be released at the end of the day or they can be admitted in another program in
Kent county called the Stevenson House, which is run the same but even stricter on the juvenile
offenders.
Receptivity
If I was a member of this particular population I think I would feel welcomed by the staff
but not the other clients. The staff seem welcoming, friendly and compassionate towards the
young ladies feelings. Now, the juvenile offenders themselves seem to have attitudes towards
any new female that comes there. They seem to think they are better than anyone who is sent
there after them. It seems like a control thing in my opinion. They want the new girls to answer
to them since they know the routines already. The cottage actually looks dreary and
uncomfortable to me. As I juvenile I would not be comfortable at all. The young ladies are not
very welcoming in my opinion.
CULTURAL IMMERSION 7

Administration and Staff Training
Yes the agency would train and hire these juvenile offenders as long as their charges
dont come up as felonies. No one can work at this agency if they have a felony on their record.
Training is a month long process and its for everyones protection. Meeting occur once a week
and you are able to bring anything to the table about what you think is of importance.
Funding
Since this is government funded the monies go towards the juvenile clients. Most outside
programs are paid for by the government. Depending on the program a lot of them volunteer
their services for the juveniles. They come in and show the juvenile ladies how they are expected
to act and give them information on who they can contact in the future for help or assistance.
Staff Sensitivity
I have found that all the staff that I have worked with are very sensitive to the clients
needs and feelings. They say the client always comes first and it all about rehabilitating them so
that when they return back to society they can become model citizen regardless of the mistakes
that they have made early in their lives. It seems that the staff are available whenever needed by
the ladies. The staff take time out to talk to them on many occasions throughout the day and
evening. It may take a group session or a one on one but they make time for all the juveniles if
its just to listen so that she can vent her feelings. Just the wake they try to make the young ladies
feel good about themselves at all times shows me that they are sensitive towards the juveniles
feelings.
Agency Program and Services
Effort
CULTURAL IMMERSION 8

I dont believe that they have reached out to the clients specific community but they do
reach out to the family of the client. The client is allowed to give input about the community but
I dont believe that the staff reach out to their specific community hard enough to help the client
in the future. So there has been no designing of programs to assist the client when they are
released. The communities that they are reaching out to are the African American communities
simply because most of the workers are from these areas and they know these surrounding areas.
Quality
In my opinion that the quality of service is minimum. Only because you have repeat
offenders and they dont take their situations seriously. I think the agency could put a little more
effort into some of the services that they give. I feel as though they try but the services are maybe
only offered once a month and the offenders are only there for three months so how does that
help them.
Effectiveness
The effectives of the program in my opinion is working well. Some juveniles return but
most dont. They seem to take in the seriousness of their crimes and havent become repeat
offenders. Most, once released return to school and or college and understand if they reoffend
they will be returned. They want to be out with their friends and family so in some way shape or
form the program has instilled in them the right thing to do.
Efficiency
Yes the agency is using other outside agencies. They use Probation and Parole for getting
the juveniles and their guardian to court dates. Also they connect with organizations that have
functions so that the juveniles can assist throughout the day. Finally they work with Humane for
Habitat in building homes so that the offenders can gain community service hours while being
CULTURAL IMMERSION 9

incarcerated. I feel that linking up with Humane for Habitat is very sensitive to this culture.
Being as though these young ladies come from all walks of life. Most are from poverty or the
inner cities of the areas.
NASW Standards for Cultural Competence
Statement 4 and Statement 12 best fits my agency and its ethics. They must at all times
protect the clients. They have to have approval to share any clients written information with
others at work. Their safety is important and the human service worker has to always keep that in
mind. Also they must be knowledgeable of the juvenile home life and where they come from. It
is important to know where the offender comes from and the relationship she has with her family
and community that she lives in. Human service workers must be knowledgeable of all clients
and why they are here. The importance of this is working on a way to have them return to their
communities and home environment to be productive and not return.

CULTURAL IMMERSION 10

Reference

Cauffman. (n.d.). Understanding the Female offender.
Shapiro. (1987) Scared Straight Series.