A Mainstreet Radio special broadcast from the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Sauk Center. The program highlights various aspects of juvenile justice. MPR’s Rachel Reabe interviews three teenagers incarcerated at Sauk Center. Following interviews, MPR’s Catherine Winter hosts a discussion with Larry Smith, program director at Sauk Center; Tom Van Engen, I-R legislator from Spicer; and Freddie Davis, chair of state female offender task force. The two groups also answer listener questions.
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Minnesota public radio's Main Street radio is supported by a major Grant from the blandin foundation strengthening rural Minnesota communities through grant-making leadership training and conferences. We're coming to you live today for Mid-State Correctional Facility. We're sitting at the edge of the school auditorium where everyone's been getting ready for soccer centers 60th annual holiday tea this room is all decked out with garlands and candles and two Christmas trees flank the stage up at the front at 1 today students and staff and guests from the community will come in and they'll be served coffee and tea and cookies by students will be wearing red vests for three waiters and waitresses. The teenagers who are held here at Sauk Centre are here for a variety of reasons. All of them have committed felonies. But most of them have committed nonviolent crimes. In fact the vast majority of kids who go through Minnesota's courts have committed nonviolent offenses such as running away or stealing most only wind up in court once or twice and then they straighten out, but I haveFull of kids do commit serious violent crimes assault rape even murder and some kids come back to court again and again juveniles who commit crimes tend to come from difficult background. They're far more likely to have been victims of physical or sexual abuse in just a few minutes. We'll be talking with a panel of people who work with juveniles and a state lawmaker and will be taking your questions about Juvenile Justice over the telephone. But first we wanted to hear it from some of the teams themselves, Main Street radio is Rachel reabe is here with three of socks and his residence Rachel. Thank you Catherine Our Guest today sixteen-year-old past 17 year old Pete and 15 year old Wendy. They are all here at the correctional facility at Sauk Centre.Some of them are getting out soon. Some of them are not getting out so soon and some of been here for longer than others. We want to talk to you guys because we want to hear what the juvenile justice system looks like from the inside when it would start out tell me where you been besides Sauk Centre what other places like this have you experienced in the Juvenile Justice System. st. Croix been in Wilson Center Buckeye that's places Ben Foster Homes foster home lockups Regional juvenile detention centers are so you've seen all sorts of things. What's your assessment of the system? Does it work Wendy to some places work better than others? What do you think works for rehabilitating kids in trouble? Some places work better than others cuz you can talk to people you just don't sit there and write. Other places just you just sit there and do your time and get out and do some stuff and that's what happened to you. What would you say is wrong with the system? What's the one thing that if you could change anything, what would you do? Probably sell time being locked up in a Cell doesn't give you a lot of time to rehabilitate. You need to get work with the group and get help your problems when you're sitting someplace doing time. You don't get the hell out. Pet what would you say to that you agree with that? No, not fur. a month or 60 days more net It's too long. It's not helpful and I really How you're 16 years old? How old were you when you first got in trouble with the law? 1112 and what sorts of things? Any stealing in possession of a firearm had a couple 12 gauge. All right away all the time too. So that's what got me back when I get caught I get caught for another offense. I just dig myself deeper. This is your second visit to Sauk Centre third. Why don't you come back here don't you get out of here and think I will never be back in this place. I really don't think about it. You just get sent back here. You're getting out on Thursday. What's going to change about your life? Is this your last time in Sauk Centre? I do my best to make him my last time. What do you do to make it your last time stop getting in trouble? Did something happen here that's going to make that easier for you to learn something or did you know see the lighter to turn over a new Leaf or what happened? That's going to change the pattern in your life. cigars myself to do things like to eat a job not to steal nothing. So when you get out on Thursday, you're looking for John. Pete how would you answer that? What's happening in here? That's when you know, what changes what's going to change for you? I don't know. I don't know. It will if you were running this system and you were the superintendent here instead of Mister on Rick. What kind of program would you have for kids that would ensure them that there was something would happen that they would change this program works pretty good. This program is a PPC. Program which means what positive peer culture which means what are problems? If you get just get more help, you're not sitting just doing time you getting help for what your problem is in what your offences are. Wendy what do you think about the system? What do you think needs to change about it you first got in trouble at age 12 spent three years in the variety of places. You told me to spend your first Christmas away from home. What needs to change about the system how do we treat juveniles? That isn't wrong or isn't right or what should we be doing? I don't know why you shouldn't have like a long-term placement like Turn on sound for a couple months in. I don't see their family more. I don't know. You said that Pat but they need to let you go home or why because the longer you get away. It's hard to go back then. I give you a locked up for a long time and you just forget about home then. Get to any of the program then doesn't bother you to get locked up. Chickens feel like you've almost been raised by an institution. I mean, you're still at the age where we think you should be home. You should be home with Mom and Dad the dog the station wagon. Do you think it's tough to grow up essentially to be parented in an institution? I think it's hard. You don't really get in the real world. Facilities are different than the way you live naturally on the streets. Yes. Pete how would you answer then? I guess I've had said facilities are a lot different than the way we live at home. I mean you said but the mom and dad society today, there's a lot and one parent before you go on up with one parent. I mean if they're working you guys not a lot of people there too. Flat to watch over you. Center this facility is considered to be the end of the road for juveniles in trouble. This is like last stop. Is it as bad as you thought it would be windy you were in all these different places and finally came to Sauk Centre was it what you expected or is it totally different than we would think of it totally different? What ways I don't know. I was told it's really hired and you got to sit in the salad. You beat up and everything is not like that at all. They trying to make it as home like it's possible. You don't live in cells you live in Cottages. You're in smaller groups. You're not liking a huge Ward with beds all lined up that make it any better. Does it seem home like or is there nothing like home about this place? Kind of like a big home. Our system of Juvenile Justice says that when you turn 18 for the most part if you don't get in trouble again, you start over again Sophie in the year when you got you can start over again, you know, you want to have a criminal record that's going to follow you into adulthood. Is that enough to make you think I'm not going to do it again? Because I know if I do I'm not going back to Sauk Centre this time. I'm going to the big house. Is that Saint Cloud for you guys? It is that enough to keep you on the straight and narrow. Do you think do you think about that? Like boy? I'm out of here for good this time. Yeah, that's what I'm going to scare you a little. I really don't really think about it try to take day by day. What's going to keep me out as me wanting to be out? It's not going to be I'm scared of going there. It's me wanting to stay out. I can you picture your life being out and never coming back. I can fix it. I don't know I can't tell the future. So I don't know if that's going to come out to what I wanted to be. When do you when we talked you said it was a series of bad decisions going to one bad decision after another and a group of friends. That really weren't all that helpful. Are you learning something here? That's going to change that when you get out. Kind of not really. So what'll be the keeps you out? Allure thinking of my mom Okay, great. I want to thank the three of you for coming on and I'm have you respond to some questions when we get those. Thank you Catherine. Thank you Rachel you listening to a live Main Street radio broadcast from the Minnesota correctional facility at Sauk Centre. We're here in the High School auditorium where people are starting to assemble for the 60th annual holiday tea, they're sitting at candlelit tables waiting for the cookies in the coffee you start to arrive at about 1 today fischels here at Sauk Centre have invited local dignitaries and politicians and former staff members and number of guests and the students here will be serving them this afternoon in a sort of a a Charming tradition. Joining us today at Lennar broadcast are three people who are well-acquainted with Minnesota Juvenile justice system in the state laws regarding juveniles. Larry Smith is the program director here at Sauk Centre tumbling and an independent Republican lawmaker from Spicer who sits on the house Judiciary Committee and has also been a social worker in Community Corrections and Freddie Davis supervisor of Probation and Parole Unit for Hennepin County Miss Davis chairs, the female offender task force for the state and she also sat on the Supreme Court task force on Juvenile Justice before we go to the phones. I wanted to talk with Larry Smith to start with the program director here at Sauk Centre and ask you mr. Smith. If you can describe the program here a bit and tell us what sort of kids come here and and what happens to them once they get here. Well, we serve. the Western half of the state to 66 County for males and we take in All Counties for Minnesota for adolescent females. The majority of our population is made up of residents who are committed to us. We also take in some detention cases as well as do some of valuation. But what sort of things would get a kid sent here. Well, they have to be adjudicated delinquent by the courts, which has the most cases. They have committed a felony level offense within that they have a previously been program for within the community other facility group homes treatment throughout the state. Depending on what's available in their County. Everybody comes to our security cottage for the first day and we classify them depending on their age depending on size depending on what their personal needs are and we come up with the place them into two groups. We presently have nine groups on grounds. We have five open cottages and one security Cottage we try to program for kids in groups of 9 or 10. However, because the populations have risen lately we've seen these groups Rise To His Highest 15 business is very good hanging is a lawmaker from Spicer who is on the house Judiciary Committee and was on the committee last accession when some new laws regarding Juvenile Justice were passed and we wanted to talk with you about that. One of the reasons we want to do this program is to talk about what those laws will do how things will change for juveniles in the future. What's the upshot of of the new legislation? Well, thanks for having me here Katherine. It was an interesting year to be on the Judiciary Committee with all of this changing. There's several parts to the new juvenile law one of those says to try to make sure that Larry doesn't get too overcrowded in this situation. So there will be some funding for secure juvenile facilities. We want to make sure that we can try to provide the kinds of things that Patton Wendy and Pete were talking about so that we have someone to work with kids make sure that we can get these things taken care of before they need to come here earlier. Larry was saying that it be good to work him out of a job. So we don't need this. I think that overall we'd like to make sure the system tries to do more of that try to to beef up the system at the other end not because we don't need Larry and the work that they do here, but because we'd like to not need them as much. So there are several parts to that we want to part of that is to make sure the juveniles know that we're serious about the crime. We want to make sure that we can prevent it before the crimes happened. I can always do that. But that's why we need to make sure that that people know how serious we are about it. That's the reasoning behind the new part of the law called extended jurisdiction juveniles, so that the juveniles can actually get an adult a sentence but it stayed on the condition that they follow the programming in the other conditions that are set up for them or 17. When you commit a crime unless you're certified as an adult when you turn 18. That's it. You're free, right? That's right. There's also some Provisions to make sure that we do certified people as adults for certain kinds of offenses. And especially I think one of the one of our panelists said something about having a weapon and those are the kinds of things that we're going to make sure that people know at every age Use a weapon in a crime that UPS the ante automatically and that's going to make it a lot easier to certified juveniles as adults. And in fact, we've just about reverse the the proof so that you have to prove that you that you need to be for some reason tried as a juvenile rather than almost automatically going into the adult system for using the weapon set free at 18 of both Freddie Davis and Larry Smith ship their heads Freddy Freddy Davis. Why is that? Well, if young person is committed to the commissioner on parole until the 19th birthday, so I know that was what we were speaking of one of the things that does happen. If a young person commits an offense after they're when they're eighteen then there in a day, but if they're in the system prior to that they're there till 19th if they're coming to know if you if you commit a crime at 17 say and had to wait to go to court and then had to wait for a placement you could conceive of And it was quite a short placement because of turning 19. Then you have a couple of people who are patiently waiting to get their questions through so let's go to the telephones. Hi, what's your comment or question? Hello? Hello. I am a children's Advocate what they think I want it all from the three panelists what things are what they feel is missing or what I can offer you is to help them. Do you mean as a community member? What things are missing or they feel that could have been in their life that would help them stay out of trouble. I think that you can um, like how people think about goals to set for themselves. So they know what they want in life. Pete did you send me one to put in? What about programs like midnight basketball that sort of thing. Is that going to help keep kids out of trouble doing kindness? I mean I don't know. Just like like Pat said talk to people somebody to talk to somebody to help you set goals for your life. So important adult in your life who can help you set goals and work with that sort of thing with you. When did you agree with that or would you would you think that there's something more that we as adults not just in the corrections system, but in the community should be doing to try to try to help kids for me. It's just someone to trust that can talk to you feel like you don't have that now. so if you had a a good adult friend who could help you decide, you know help you make decisions about your life. That would make a difference. Yeah, how would that make a difference? I don't know what this influence me. Help me for all three of you, you know a lot of kids are in the same position as you are right. Do you find that most of them don't have an adult they can confide in and who they can work with. Majority people have a poor family life. I guess like parents are separated or something. I see all three of you nodding your head. Okay. Well, let's go back to our telephone lines for the next caller. Hello. Go ahead with your question or comment. Is akali there. Looks like we may have lost this one. Should we try the next one. Is there a caller on the line waiting? Well, it's a wait and see if they call back thinner for us to put together whatever technical issues. We need to go. The color is there hello, what's your question? I wanted to find out. Why these children are kids are allowed to go out in on a pontoon to go fishing take trips to the Dairy Queen that as well as the movies the movie theaters in the local Town. That's certainly a question. I've heard in the in the interviewing I've done on on this topic all this week is that some people feel like our programs for juveniles are too lenient. We offer them, you know programs like this'll do where they can canoe and Ski and I'm not sure which of our panelists would like to to take that one Larry Smith from the Sauk Centre in with juveniles has to realize that we're working with kids. With responsibility to work them back out into our communities not just to detain them places and part of that says that they have to interact with communities and it's important for them to learn how to have a good time without thinking delinquently. It's important for them to have opportunities. I think one of the key things that parents today effective parents do as they expose their their children to as much as what they can in the world and make some more ready to interact effectively. And I think we have to look look at this and we have to look at when working with kids what opportunities we offer them. Not just how we can contain them. Freddie Davis, do you agree with that? I know that after I went up to thistle do I had a couple of friends say to me they spend $10,000 on a kid to go to thistle Dew but a good kid who didn't get into trouble doesn't get anything. I can certainly see the concern of a person saying that a person's I sent away for a punishment and that they're being treated like, you know with all the goodies, but if you take a look at it again, I ask a question earlier. What's our goal in Corrections and treatment and you look at what is going to change a person that tends to be a person that feels himself for it if you're going to put a person away. Punish them tell them they deserve nothing treat them on like a normal human being. What are you going to get? So I think that's a question we have to ask ourselves when we were talking when children and or adults are sent sent away in and the question is to why are they getting these goodies? What is it? We want to come back to our communities. Do we want to have an animal come back or do we want to have a whole human being that's coming back and going to be a participating productive citizen a member of the community and I don't think you'll get that by sending people away. Just lock it away and throw away the key. I've been really interested in talking with both kids and adults about this subject. It seems to me that more often than not the kids think that juvenile offenders should have tougher sentences and I wonder if our young panelists think that to do you think Pat do you think you got off too easy at first? Not really. You think you had it your punishment was severe enough for what you had done. Well, I guess I didn't make you not do it again. How about you Peak? What do you think? I feel I got what I deserved. I mean I did the crime I have to Come to places like this get help so I don't go back out there and do the same kinds I did before do you think sentences for kids are tough enough? No opinion. How about you? When did you? In certain cases. Yeah and others I think they get either get in or not enough time or too much time. It does seem as though that the studies would indicate that it's not necessarily the severity of the punishment, but how quickly it happens, isn't it? I wonder if Tom Benning and what can the state do to try to set things up? So the kids don't wait for a month to go to trial and then wait a month or longer to get put in a placement. I think there's a series of things Katherine one of them will certainly involve funding making sure that we have adequate funding for the court system for defense and and prosecuting attorney's and all of those things. I think that part of what we have to do is look at all of this a little bit differently. I'm not an expert but I have learned a little bit about a concept called restorative justice and I think that I hope to learn more about it and and see about applying some of the principles especially what we need to do is make sure that the victims of crimes are part of the system instead of we base our entire legal system on the idea that the state is the one that these young people. I have committed a crime again, but there probably are victims out there somewhere not just the state. And so not that the whole idea is wrong, but we have to kind of turn that around so that victims have a part in this and that their rights are protected as well. I sympathize with a collar but I know that there has to be a balance. We don't want to treat these young people. I hope he has a has a good attitude when he gets out next week so that he won't be as motivated to continue the crimes that he's done before there has to be that balance between helping him learn what to do positively with his life and understanding that what he's done in the past. He has to stop that's a pretty delicate balance as I'm sure the staff here would would be able to tell us more about we have a lot of people on the phone waiting to give us their questions and their comment High where you calling from Hello is a Colleen are you? Yes, it's your up. The Lord is with you all and I have met I may have not been through as much as you have, but I have been down my walk. Is it at the team and taking the wrong path as certain steps in my life, but I know that through Bible study and to the person I have been delivered from a lot of that and I know that each one of us has to take that stuff on our own, but I do know that it's there at the church of they're really not out there now helping how they could but I guess it was, you know, if your word of mouth somebody who helped me and just getting pictures and I guess I'm curious to find out how much involvement The people on the panel have had with the Bible and being forced to studying it not in a large group, but more in a one-on-one and that nobody's telling you what you need, but you're getting what you need from it. Okay, let me ask you are there programs for the kids that you're at Sauk Centre is that something the state can't do to the state facility is that our chaplain does contact their home Community part of what we talked about other places we talked about. How do you reintegrate kids back in the community and you try to start that right from the very beginning to understand what connections they have in their community. So we do try to contact their churches and try to keep people in contact with them. 1 statements made by one of our residents heard earlier said that want once they're here. It's easy to start forgetting about where they came from forgetting about home the longer you're away from home. So it's important for us to try to keep them involved with her home Community. It's it also important for their home Community to stay involved with them because it's because they have the biggest share to gain from that because we talked about our youth is our resources for the future. So and part of this is to return the young people that are here back to the community so they can be productive resources. And so in order to do that, we try to keep their home communities in Bob and churches are very good way earlier people asked how they could be involved could help I really is a very key part of how to help kids today is they need a healthy relationship with an adult as much as you can if you are if you have time places, it's important that they be able to have adults that they can trust people who are willing to stay with them to listen to them. I think anybody was going through adolescence. No reason people don't want to become a teenager again. Who do you trust you know, who are you? Where are you and it it's their questions that have to be asked answered and I don't think anybody today has all the answers, but you have to allow kids to ask the questions. Okay, you're listening to a live Main Street radio broadcast from the State Correctional Facility at Sauk Centre. We're broadcasting from a little corner of the auditorium, which has slowly filled with people who are here for the 60th annual holiday tea and it's really quite a lovely sight. There are candles throughout the room Christmas trees and Holly and garlands and quite a few people have come in for this annual tradition. Let's go to our next caller. Hi. Where are you calling from? Can you hear me? Yes, we sure can a merry Christmas and I hope that when go back to the community that you will find those adults there for you that will help you get through this tough time in your life. And that was the original question was he asked if that was important? I've already addressed that but that my question then is to the I get physically to the representative one of the things that I've seen as a registered nurse in mental health is that as institutions were emptied out and people were supposed to go in the community and integrate into community life that the resources didn't appear to help make that happen. And it seems as though we're developing the same problem in Corrections adult corrections if they're talking about now, but that the funding for prisons by and large comes from the state and the funding for keeping track of people and helping them when they come back into the community comes from the county. Can what can we do to work cooperatively between the state and the county to make sure that we're just not simply cost 15 people out of the system, but that were actually truly trying to make the system work better. And that is a complaint. I've heard from many county officials that under the guise of trying to treat people in the community what the state is really doing is shoving its problems off on the counties in some of those counties burden tax burden on their residents just to pay for those Services. It's really becoming impressive. The costs are really very high part of what we can do as we can make sure that the state doesn't intentionally shift those things to send along the unfunded mandates. We need to as a society decide what we'll do and then kind of share that cost for what it is. It's important for us to do that's a matter of setting priorities and not shifting the responsibility and especially the Salon one of the things that this caller can and should do is what many of my constituents of them and that's make sure that your legislators know exactly what it is that you want. We represent people certainly we have our own opinions and we have to use our own abilities and insights to to make legislation, but we must hear from people about what they want. I think that what we're hearing a lot of is we want to make sure that we address this problem of crime and as we've said here is a panelist of set in our discussions before we went on the are hardly. What we need to do is make sure that we addressed the problem a sensibly we need to to look at preventing people from getting too far along in the system that's going to take some money and I think that the public needs to let us know if they want to spend money on prisons. I prefer that we make sure we can spend a adequate amount of money on probation officers and and some of the earlier steps. I think we need to get tough on crime at the beginning so that people don't continue along that path. It's going to take a lot of money. It's going to be a tricky process to set our priorities straight and get the funding everybody wants more funding and there's not an unlimited amount of money to go around in County finding itself. Pretty strapped for funding one reason I ask is because many people that I've talked with have suggested that what's really needed is more funding for prevention on the outset even as early as may be prenatal prevention programs, but there's the one that cuts get made. That's where they get made. Is that a problem for you right now. We are trying to look at the service Continuum are for juveniles and we have a working together with social service to find out where can we cut and where best to cut that's a very arduous process because if you cut one place you seem to leave out the another. Set of people who happen to have any service one of these we are looking at it again, how can we put more money back into the community so that it will not only help those before they get into the system but help those at the front end of the system and as well provide services to those reintegrating back into the community tricky process, but that's where attempting to do with short short of dollars and more more customers ask our younger panelist that color wish you all a merry Christmas and I wonder if them if any of you is going home for Christmas Pat, I guess you will be huh. How about you going to be here or you going home going to my aunt's house? So I'll be gone and Wendy. I'll be here. You'll be here. Have you spend other Christmases and institutions like this one? This will be the first one. So what do you think about that? Just doesn't feel like Christmas. Even with all the the work gone to to make a Christmas tea and apparently there's there'll be some sort of ceremony. I know they try to make it feel like home or whatever, but it just doesn't. What kind of Christmas do you wish you were having at home? My brothers and sisters and my mom. Hasn't either of you patter Peter had to spend Christmas in one of these institutions Before Christmas. Just not matter that much to you. So you don't mind. I don't really have your Christmas is at home been fun in the past. Yeah sometimes. Well, I don't want to keep everyone waiting. I know we have quite a few people who would like to ask questions. So let's go back to the telephone. Hi. Where are you calling from from New Brighton? Okay residents there people on your channel. Do they feel like Has been pressured by their friends. Is any of you involved in a game? Your pan and is is that what has led you to commit crimes? stealing stuff to get to get paid to be able to buy things that you want. So it's to get money for things that you don't have because they don't really give you jobs until you're like 15 years old, I guess when you're low. You take them stealing stuff to get money so you can have things you want and I guess by the time you're old enough to have a job you used to it. So you just keep doing it because maybe you think you can get paid. Is it fun? Is it exciting to steal things? Percent of people like they get high off and I guess I do. If I get away with something. What about you peed? And when did you feel like you've been pressured by your friends to commit crimes when? Like the first time I probably was but then after that just like natural high the rush. So what happened the first time a car you stole a car? How old are you 12? And it was an exciting thing to do but it was a friend's idea then. It's all just fun games to just like that Pete. What do you think? Have you do feel like you had friends? Who was it? Somebody else's idea the first time you got in trouble with the law. I do what they want to do just to be with them. So what can you do? When you get out then do you do try to make different friends? I mean that's kind of a tall order isn't it to come up with a whole new group of friends still have the same friends. You just have to know that what when I get out I'm not going to do that because I don't want to get put them in a place like this again. Cuz I want to stay home and so what if I'm outside the same friends but chances are likely that I won't do some of the things that they are cuz I want to stay out. Will that be hard you think they'll say oh come on just this one has now and I got in trouble again now, I'm here. Okay, let's go back to the telephones for another call. Hello. Are you calling from? Hello? What's your question or comment quite a bit? And I use the word appointment for my help him get back on the right Road and I don't have a way out. They go right back to their old friend girl hang out soon as they're released from one system to another one. The kids about this before they see any consequences and Hennepin County because the court system is so backed up they may get in for their arraignment hearing if they're in detention. There may be a speedier process and even if Dan that's questionable depending on the degree of the crime, but too often kids were released it take a long time. And by the time they get back to court for the final disposition. They forgotten what they've done. So it. That is a problem. The other thing is that he didn't say that the car didn't say that but one of the things that come up from kids as well as for him other concern professionals as well as parents that our court system by rules should look for this position with the least restrictive alternative and Sad because kids are saying if I had had something tougher sooner, I might not have made such poor decisions later because I got a attitude that will I have 5 more chances. So why not and then they're so far into the system. It's too late to turn back. So that is up to full. What can you do to speed up that the whole process? I don't know if you in the probation and parole area can do much to speed things up. But if if there are more kids coming into the system and there will be as the numbers just the sheer numbers of kids in the age group that commit crimes are growing. That's what the demographics show doesn't it look like in the future things are only going to get slower. Yes, yes, it'll take more money and more money doesn't necessarily solve the problem. But we do need it. Look at that issue of the least restrictive alternative for disposition. It really needs to be looked at considering then doing something severe right away in order to sort of shock the system and tumbling and you wanted to add something to you that we don't we don't need to be too severe but that's what I was referring to earlier. I think we need to be a little tougher on crying at the onset self ready to set it a little better than I did maybe but try to make sure people know up front and especially with adults. I see people have gone into jail the third and fourth and fifth time it is absolutely no impact on them. I don't know if our if I wrap analyst here would agree with that but it just seems like without necessarily putting people in prison or in jail at first. To make sure we can be a little tougher at first to help people understand because that's what we really need to do. Ultimately we have to get the whole Community involved in crime prevention and we have to get the offenders to understand that what they've done is wrong and understand what they can do to change that. So I agree with Freddy. And one of the things we should understand we say tougher. We don't mean more punishment necessarily working with kids. I find that a kid who's been in the system for a long time has gone to an institution and that kids have the toughest thing for him was Too Faced his victim that was very tough. But it was also the most helpful thing in the pivotal point in which he starred to take a look at. Hey, I heard somebody so when we say tougher, we don't mean more punishment. We mean taking a look at what's going to have the most impact and that may mean it's time to mention before about the whole restorative justice concept of dealing with your victim that many times as we talked about the the length of time. It takes a person to get the final disposition. They forgotten about the fact that they really hurt someone perhaps I should be having real soon even before sentencing for incest illegal things with the fact that they have to be guilty for it, but I don't know but it's the same time I think have to look at the fact they have done something wrong. We were not just friends. Did any of the of our young panelists did you meet the victims of your crimes any of you? No, you didn't know so you never what did you do with that? Got you here this time. awesome Volvo. Tingling treatment and then I was in the stolen car. You were selling stolen goods. Okay, but you never met the people who that stuff belong to or so, but you are not and you did huh? I was involved with them in the community or I think a couple showed up at my court hearings. One what one lady was in there? I'd gotten sent to a replacement in South Dakota and she was in there saying that. She thought that I should go to a group home. She didn't think that what I did was. I'm so bad that I needed to go out of state, but she was actually pleading your case for you. Huh? How does that make you feel to see the person that you wrong sticking up for you like that? I was surprised. I don't know. Do you think it makes a difference to meet the victim? Sometimes and sometimes how about you any did you meet any of the people that were victims of your crimes a couple and what was that like? weird homo Did it make you feel sorry or that you had done? What you done or did you just not matter? For a couple people that did roses. It's like there's no feeling. You listening to a live Main Street radio broadcast from Sauk Centre and the noise you hear in the background are people filing into the auditorium here at the correctional facility for the annual holiday tea and it looks like the cookies and the coffee are coming out in the the Christmas trees are shining on the sides of the stage and candles are lit all over the auditorium. It's a very pretty sight almost an ironic setting for a discussion on Juvenile Justice. We've a lot of callers waiting in just a few minutes left. So let's go back to the telephones for another call. Hello. Where are you calling from your question two questions before I do that. I would like to wish the young people well with rest of their lives and I hope they can they can get themselves together. First question is for the young family and that is do they have anger yet and do they know how to handle that anger and after they are out of the facility. Will they know how to handle that? Anger and who they can turn to to get some help and then the second question I have is for those that are helping the young people and that is do they make inquiry of the young people in the facility, whether they have some place to go if when they are let go from the facility and is it possible that they don't want to go back to their home and do they have some place they can go if they don't want to go to home. I'll hang up and listen to the responses. Thank you for a teenage panelist. The caller asked whether you feel angry and if so, whether there's some place you can go to vent that and I noticed Pete you are not it. Yeah, I think a lot of kids that come through here have an air Problem lyrics anger built up inside of them and what the staff here are doing is to help us find ways to vent their anger. They Channel it so it doesn't build up inside of us. And cuz if you bottle it up, it just comes out and when it does come on it, I don't know. Do you have some some way to once you're not here anymore and you don't have the staff to help you while you still have some outlet for that anger. Well, I guess certain people have like their parents to turn to but I think most people that are involved but no crying when I guess I don't have a very good parents ending song. I guess I turn to their friends or just try to keep themselves cool calm yourself down by talking to themselves. When did you know I hate to to turn to you as the representative female but do you think the girls feel the way boys to angry like that? I don't know if some of them do you? Yeah, yeah, and you feel like you have any any good outlets for that? I don't know. I just everyday I just take it day by day with my anger. I just I don't think it was going to be in the future. Just got to work on what's in a round now. The second half of the collars question was what happens when these kids leave here and and what happens if friends since they don't want to go back to their families. I know that our court system places of priority on reuniting families putting kids back with their parents if possible Larry Smith, what's done when these kids leave here at 2 to check to make sure that the situation they're going into is going to be okay in that putting the back out in the community as soon as I come in because it's it's no simple task it important to reconnect them with their community. So we work very closely with Their parole agent at Ed with them and with her family, we include that include families and agents at the initial Staffing that we have with kids and we begin talking about what does each resident need in regards to placement planning where possible return them back. Their family often times of family is not strong enough. We try to return them where they can have effective relationships so that you have somebody who can work with him who is able to to assist them and when their anger or other emotions, Take one of the key thing is is how to hook them up effectively with resources in the community so that you can help them turn around and become effective resources. We have just about a minute left and I I I hoped to get this question in and I don't know if I will have time for everyone to address it. I'll pick on you first Freddie Davis what has to happen to fix what's wrong with the system a huge question in a short time, Well, one of the things we have to really take a look at at what we have and what we need and really identify what our goal is in working with you. One of the things that that we have all identified is on the front end there needs to be a very thorough assessment of each individual that comes into the system. Okay. I'm afraid. I'm sorry. I have to cut you off. I had misread the clock and I'm afraid that brings us to the end of our special Main Street radio broadcast. I want to thank our guests State lawmaker Tom Benning and Freddie Davis and Larry Smith and also Wendy Pete and Pat for joining us. This program was produced by Les finger and Sarah Meyer. Our Engineers are ribs in the Allen Strickland and Danny Jansen. Sauk Centre and Randy Johnson and Steve Griffith in St. Paul special thanks to Bill Clement and the Minnesota correctional facility at Sauk Centre. Main Street radio coverage of Royal issues is supported by the blandin foundation providing leadership training through the Blandon Community leadership program on Catherine winter.