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Discipline Alternatives to Punishment Introduction Discipline alternatives are the positive methods of procedure or practices which child and youth workers use to control or correct inappropriate behavior There is sufficient evidence to indicate that punishment one form of discipline is not an effective technique to use with troubled youth Krueger 102 Punishment may provide immediate control in some situations but over time it usually leads to more severe behavior patterns than the ones the user was trying to correct In other words punishment reinforces poor self-images and this often leads to more self-destructive behavior Discipline alternatives on the other hand can be effective if used as part of an overall positive approach or treatment plan Effective discipline alternatives improve childrens self-images and lead to more self-fulfilling behavior Pearce 1 Significance of Issue More than 125000 of Americas youth were in custody in nearly 3500 public and private juvenile correctional facilities across the nation Snyder The majority of youth enter correctional facilities with a broad range of intense educational mental health medical and social needs Large numbers of incarcerated juveniles are marginally literate or illiterate and have experienced school failure and retention Center on Crime Communities and Culture 24 These youth are also disproportionately male poor minority and have significant learning andor behavioral problems that entitle them to special education and related services Because education is critical to rehabilitation for troubled youth it is considered the foundation for programming in most juvenile institutions Helping youth acquire educational skills is also one of the most effective approaches to the prevention of delinquency and the reduction of recurring crime Literacy skills are essential to meet the demands of a complex high-tech world in school and at work Higher levels of literacy are associated with lower rates of juvenile delinquency re-arrest and crime recurrence Building Blocks for Youth Discussion of Issue Before a discipline alternative is used all preventive alternatives should be exhausted first This means that children
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