Service Learning: Working at the Youth Detention Center (YDC)

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This semester I have been volunteering at the Youth Detention Center (YDC). YDC is a youth center for those youth ages 13-18 that have committed crimes, from running away from home to cutting the hydraulic brake lines of their parent's car. When is is concluded that the youth can no longer be active members in their communities, they are sent to YDC. There are four different units: H is for the youth that are in court right now but cannot stay at home, E is the girls unit, G unit is for the boys who committed minor crimes and felonies, and F unit is for the boys who committed major crimes and felonies such as sexual assault and dealing drugs. What first drew me to YDC was the fact that an ex-boyfriend of mine almost went there in the …show more content…
To ensure the safety of everyone in YDC there is a control station that has the ability to view every part of the center through the cameras placed every 10 yards or so throughout the center. They also have the ability to lock down any door in the case of an attempted escape or the breakout of a fight. The structure of YDC is effective in keeping the residents, employees, and volunteers safe at all times, and it is also effective in giving the residents as normal of a life as possible.

Before I started volunteering I had no clue what to expect, but my biggest concern was that all of the residents were going to hate or resent me. When the group of volunteers went for orientation I was shocked by all of the rules they had. Nothing in your pockets, no cell phones, and no hooded sweatshirts; these rules seemed arbitrary, but when you think about them they start to make sense. The residents are limited to what they can have access to and whatever you bring in could potentially be used as a weapon. Cell phones are not permitted because you don’t want the residents to get in contact with the wrong people. This rule is also in place because the residents on the H unit are going through trial right now and since they have not yet been convicted of a crime they are not allowed to have documentation of them being at YDC, and if anyone does have contact with

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