Incarcerated Delinquent Youth
A required course for all administration of justice
majors and minors, Juvenile Justice features a service learning component that
requires students to spend at least 10 hours working with at-risk youth. Most students choose to tutor incarcerated delinquent youth at the Rhode Island Training School in Cranston, R.I.
Residents who need tutoring and who want to be tutored
are matched with Salve Regina students, either working alone or in teams.
Subject areas include English, math, geography and social studies. Many
residents are studying for the GED diploma, and the extra help can enhance their
chance for success. The Salve Regina students are also positive role models for
the incarcerated youth.
Students who cannot make the time commitment to tutor at
the center may work in any community-based organization that assists youth. Many
students have worked with at-risk children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of
Newport County, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Thompson
Middle School's Human Services Mall and Child & Family group homes.
Students keep a reflective journal and present their
experiences to the class, allowing greater light to be shed on each
individual's experience. Questions are asked, commonalities and differences are
explored and linkages are made. Students are left with a better understanding
of the juvenile justice system and the youth in danger of entering the system,
as well as the programming essential to try to help them.
There are many goals and learning outcomes facilitated by
this service learning requirement. Students examine the roots and risk factors
of delinquency and suggest solutions such as innovative programming. As well as
the gratification of assisting troubled youth by mentoring them, students gain
an appreciation of the needs of these youth and their backgrounds. They also
see firsthand the problem of minority over-representation in the juvenile
justice system, because the majority of incarcerated residents at the center are
youth of color.
Since the fall 2006 semester, an estimated 200 students have
spent approximately 2,000 hours in organizations working with disadvantaged