Building A Future- Part Two

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

Around 48 juveniles usually inhabit the Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center, with their lengths of stay varying from a couple of days to several months.

According to the center, as of the July 28, 175 juveniles from Warren County have been booked into the center this year.

The second highest number out of 23 counties the detention center services with only Daviess County having more at 259.

Its the time spent there though that may be the most life-changing for these offenders as they are taken through the world of imprisonment and taught real-life lessons.

"One thing to keep in mind about juvenile detention is its not the first place people go, its usually the last, and there's been a number of resources that have been used up until that point."

Caleb Asbridge is the superintendent of the Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

He says he's seen almost a thousand teens pass through the halls of the detention center in the past year alone.

More than 200 of those offenders had status offenses.

These are the charges that only juveniles can face such as truancy and running away from home.

Nearly 700 were public offenses. These are those crimes that are simply against the law no matter how old you are.

"We have always had a number of assaults whether that be fighting or domestic violence situations. We always have a certain number of burglary, robbery, those kind of charges."

Marguarita Whiteside said she used to be one of those kids out on the street getting involved in delinquent behavior.

"There's drugs everywhere. There's shootings and people getting killed and I mean it's not worth it."

Whiteside says she began to get in trouble because she didn't want to play by anyone Else's rules.

"I just felt like I wanted to do things my way. Everyone Else's way just wasn't working for me. So I decided to do things my way."

Asbridge says that the programs at the detention center, which include schooling, athletics, and counseling, gives these young people an immediate sense of structure they might have been lacking.

"What we find many times is that they take a sense of comfort from knowing that here are the boundaries. They live in a world where there aren't too many boundaries and so coming in and knowing these are the boundaries, they feel safe, they feel secure and that's why they are able to excel in things like academics, when maybe they weren't before."

The counselors at the facility aim to rehabilitate the offenders.

"One is to teach the juvenile how to be responsible and accountable for their own behavior and we do that by teaching them you are responsible for what you do. If you break the law, you will get punished."

Asbridge says the goal of the detention center is more than just a place to house these juveniles, but a way to help keep them from coming back once they're out.

"Being able to work with those kids and reducing the chance they'll re-offend and what that takes is not so much punishment but its teaching us right from wrong."

Asbridge says that as of 8 o'clock Wednesday morning, 73 percent of the juveniles that have been in the detention center this year, were there for the very first time.

Asbridge also says that some of his graduates do end up back inside the detention center, but he takes a lot of pride in those who are able to turn their lives around after just one visit to the detention center.

Breakdown by County
Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center
Booking Report for 2006 through 7/28/06
0
1 Adair
20 Allen
44 Barren
19 Butler
2 Calloway
1 Christian
259 Daviess
4 Edmonson
1 Hancock
139 Henderson
92 Hopkins
2 Jefferson
1 Laurel
49 Logan
1 Marshall
12 Mclean
3 Montgomery
50 Muhlenberg
40 Ohio
25 Simpson
18 Todd
1 Union
175 Warren
Total Number of Juveniles Booked: 959

WRJDC Information

2006
# Juveniles Admitted 959
# Juveniles Released 948
Average Daily Population 48.67
Average Length of Stay 5.47
# Public Offenders 721
# Status Offenders 209
# Traffic Offenders 29


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