Institutionalized juveniles are given certain rights. Under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) all institutionalized individuals including juveniles have given rights and it is upon the Department of Justice to ensure that these rights are observed. The three rights that institutionalized juveniles have include the right not to be subjected to cruel or unusual treatment, the right to treatment, and the right not to be treated.
Juvenile offenders have the right not to be ill treated. The constitution forbids the use of corporal punishment as well as the use of other unusual methods to control juveniles such as the use of Thorazine or other medication to control the juveniles in confinements. Every juvenile offender has a right to treatment. This is one of the major rights in juvenile legal process. Bartollas & Miller (2011) argues that, without this right, juveniles would never be in a position to be rehabilitated and have a chance to be reincorporated back to the society. On the other hand, juveniles have the right not to be treated. Treatment of juveniles, though their right should be voluntary. It should also not be associated to the period of institutional confinement, and should not humiliate, punish, degreed or dehumanize the institutionalized juvenile. Regardless of treatment being beneficial to the juvenile, they must not be forced to undertake it (Bartollas & Miller, 2011).
The Civil Rights Division is responsible for investigating whether youths` rights are violated in the various confinement facilities under the jurisdiction of the CRIPA. It relies on information from the Department Of Justice together with other state agencies including the Department of Education, the Civil Rights Commission, and the Department of Health and Human Services, to establish where these rights are violated (Zalkind & Simon, 2004). Advocates, parents, social workers and the juveniles are also responsible for reporting any violations of these rights, to the civil rights department that in turn challenges the Department of justice to ensure these rights are given to juveniles in all confinement facilities.
Bartollas, C., & Miller, S. (2011). Juvenile justice in America (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Zalkind, P. & Simon, R. (2004). Global perspectives on social issues: juvenile justice systems. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books.