Youth Prisons

Dear Editor:

The whole phenomenon of sending troubled youth to stonewall-celled prisons has to be something just a couple decades old. I’m gambling that declining living standards are responsible for plunging young people into a cold, dog-eat-dog world where cops are now a presence in every high school and in every community twenty-four, seven.

The Democrats and Republicans have every intention of serving the ruling class’s desire for increased profits, and they are willing to destroy those youth in prisons who cannot fit into the status quo of bowing down to the man like compliant slaves.

Kids need discipline as they grow up, but how can parents supervise their kids adequately when they can’t make ends meet; when they are compelled to work multiple jobs; and are damned exhausted when they come home from work?

When I was a kid, and we got into trouble, the cops would come by and straighten us out and we’d get an ass kicking from our parents after he left. We never went to court for our offenses. Jim N. was in junior high when he called in a bomb threat to the “0” operators saying there was a bomb in the IDS (Investors Diversified Services) Skyscraper. Jim never went to court; his only punishment was to be forced to take a tour of Bell telephone. Sneeze wrong these days and a kid is going to court.

Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, if we were hard cases in Minnesota, then the last straw was Red Wing Reformatory. Red Wing was a correctional facility but kids weren’t warehoused or mistreated. Administrators gave out passes for the residents to go see movies in town. Church groups would come visit.

Many years later my wife and I are driving past this venerable institution (I was never an inmate there I just knew of it and where it was) and the change was unbelievable. They surrounded the campus with a steel fence topped by ungodly razor wire coils. But, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle dated February 28, 2007, entitled, “Grim Conditions in Youth Prison,” by Mark Martin, not only do kids routinely suffer deplorable conditions in such prisons today, but they are being locked up for 22 hours a day; less than one percent receive any educational services; and some have lost their lives by violence, suicide, illegal restraint, and overexertion from drill instructors.

You can never “adequately administer” a youth prison as the nutty liberals advocate. Once a society has deteriorated to where youth are too dangerous to house in clean, campus-like environments geared towards reform, it means that society at large has been damaged beyond reform.

As revolutionaries we understand it was the ruling class and their Democratic and Republican politicians who drove down the living standards of the working class by breaking strikes and keeping the minimum wage low. Both Parties have diverted social and educational budget appropriations in favor of subsidizing weapons manufacturers. Democrat’s and Republicans spared no expense bailing out the collapsed savings and loans during the 1990’s—today grants are still given to capitalists.

Youth are really the victims of the ongoing crime of subsidizing U.S. Capitalism with working class tax dollars. Unfortunately there is no leadership at the present time able to organize American Youth for their self-defense against the predatory juvenile courts and prison systems.


Brian Schwartz,

Minneapolis, MN