Describe a detention center, and its effectiveness

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Regular detention centers are temporary residential facilities, either federally or state funded, to where individuals awaiting trial or awaiting placement in prison are contained. These facilities vary from state to state, and from county to county, depending on state budgeting.  

What is known as a minimal security detention center is where individuals accused of minor or petty crimes are sent. In these cases the inmates are mainly put to work in community service. They are provided a bed, a chance to keep an account of no more than $50 for the purposes of getting food or additional food from the commissary, and visitations are limited. In most cases, inmates go by alphabetical order (last names) to get no more than 20 minutes of visitation rights once a week. All visitors must present an ID and cannot provide outside items of any kind. 

The inmates must follow strict protocols of discipline and conduct and penalties /consequences are brought about when not following them. A typical detention center for adults offer dormitories, three meals that add up to the basic amount of calories needed to perform during a typical day. 

Other available services include counseling, mental health assessment, religious ministries (either by a chaplain or by church volunteers), parenting skills, basic problem solving skills, and some even offer meditation/prayer time. 

This availability of services is precisely what makes detention an effective process for individuals whose behavioral or cognitive skills were never moderated. Due to the pettiness of their crimes, perhaps they can still be molded to become better citizens. 

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