Brave Experiment at a California Boys Ranch Pays Off, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
The past decade has seen an encouraging trend in juvenile justice. Increasingly, experts are recognizing that the best way to improve public safety is to rely less on state correctional institutions for treating youth offenders, and more on the dynamic therapeutic approach delivered at the county level.
In late April, the staff of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) toured a facility that exemplified this trend, the William F. James Boys Ranch in California’s Santa Clara County.
James Ranch is a co-ed, 96-bed residential facility for young people between the ages of 15 ½ and 18, situated in the rolling foothills south of San Jose. The facility and staff are not only driven by a passion for improving the lives of local justice-involved youth, but challenge the conventional thinking by showing that they can receive successful, positive treatments locally. The facility has adopted many components of what is now recognized as a model system, including small dorm facilities, staff focused on youth wellness, and therapeutic programming that is gender-specific and culturally competent.
The recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been challenging for United States military personnel, and especially so for the families of those individuals in the armed forces who have faced long-term, and multiple overseas deployments of their loved ones.
While service members are known to suffer various kinds of physical and mental ailments after being exposed to combat, from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to anxiety, substance abuse and more, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently published a studyshowing that children whose parents are in the military are equally susceptible to similar issues, psychological and otherwise.