Children need love, care, and safety; they need families

The Greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell of fears...... And, with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with crime, guilt - and there is the story of humankind. John Steinbeck, East of Eden

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Children Locked Up - A Must See Video on Institutionalize Child Abuse

We have thousands of children in the juvenile justice system, in residential treatment facilities, and institutions.

While of course, we must keep society safe, and there are certainly children who need psychiatric help, there are also children locked away from family, friends, and the public; children wallowing in congregate care with little to no care from outside the facility.

Often these children do not have access to anyone outside the institution to discuss what is going on or how they are treated. Even, within the law these children can be dangerously restrained, secluded, and isolated. Yes, there are rigid rules but there are also ways to get around them, loopholes that allow for abuse.

The following documentary is an exceptional glimpse into what can happen to children behind bars. It is difficult to watch.

While many children need serious help, locking them away, demanding compliance, exerting extreme control, treating them as animals is not helpful. Abuse, confinement, keeping children away from those who love them only creates more problems and elicits more difficult behavior.

As with any of us, if we are locked up, unable to communicate with those we love, removed from other human beings who care about us, we will act out. Human beings, especially children are not meant to be isolated, kept away from loved ones.

Why anyone thinks this is helpful is beyond me.

I invite you to take some time and view the following video; while it is deeply disturbing, it powerfully speaks to how society often deals with difficult children and challenging behavior.

Children Behind Bars

While this video takes place in Canada, many youth in the United States face similar situations.

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