Juvenile delinquency is one of the most pressing problems of modern society and, in the context of the psychophysiological characteristics of adolescence; corrective work with this category has its own specifics. The main reasons for the growth of juvenile delinquency are usually the negative influence of adults and families, low quality of life, lack of motivation among minors to study and manifestations of aggressive and asocial behavior, ineffectiveness of preventive and educational work in educational organizations. The article actualizes the problem of juvenile delinquency, and reveals the features of the implementation of disciplinary practice in pre-trial detention centers. The authors argue the need to revise and update social and pedagogical work with juvenile convicts, using analytical materials on the state of the organization of the upbringing of adolescents, suspects, accused and convicts in pre-trial detention centers. There is an increase in offenses committed by suspected, accused and convicted minors who are in pre-trial detention centers. The authors, using the methods of empirical research, interviews and questionnaires, analysis and generalization of data, show probable ways of preventing juvenile delinquency through the transformation of social and pedagogical work in pre-trial detention centers and drawing public attention to the problems of adolescents at risk. The presented study fully reflects modern promises to the acuteness of solving the problem of preventing asocial manifestations among adolescents and revising the mechanisms of their upbringing in the educational sphere and society.
The problem of juvenile delinquency is acute at the present time. Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of acts committed by minors. In some regions, “minors determine the crime situation in general” (At present, the statistics of juvenile delinquency in Russia is as follows: 40% of minors have been convicted of theft; 13% – for robbery; 14% – for robbery; 5% – for murder (https://fb.ru/article/245595/podrostkovaya-prestupnost-v-rossii)) .Researchers in various areas of subject knowledge constantly pay attention to the actualization of the issues of deviant behavior of minors (Chirkina et al., 2018; Kraģe, 2019; Rozhnova et al., 2019; Sergeeva et al., 2019; Zusa, 2020, etc.).
The specificity of crimes committed by minors is primarily determined by the (Ganishina, 2018; Golubnichaya, 2011, etc.). In a long-term study of foreign authors, it was also found that the influence of the general environment on the delinquency of adolescents is much stronger than the heritability of antisocial behavior (Ganishina, 2018, p. 58).
It is necessary to focus on the fact that even in the conditions of the institutions of the penal system, the level of juvenile delinquency is high. Therefore, it is precisely the stay in pre-trial detention center often determines that the minors acquire an asocial experience and skills of criminal behavior, which subsequently influence the options for possible behavior both in isolation and in freedom (Yamaletdinova, 2006; Zarubin, 2010).
Detention facilities for minors play the role of a necessary transitional link in a single chain of institutions of the penal system, where the process of re-education and leveling of destructive experience should already be actively carried out.
The negative dynamics in correcting asocial tendencies in the behavior of minors in isolation determines the likelihood of their committing repeated offenses and crimes, which has been repeatedly and previously confirmed by well-known scientists (Astemirov, 1970; Gerbeev, 1993 and others). The previously formed attitude towards the manifestation of antisocial behavior will “help” the formation of another similar one, while such an attitude in a minor not only takes root, but also its illegal orientation can be aggravated over and over again. According to the researcher Vilkova (2018), “once the developed asocial attitude does not disappear without a trace if it was reinforced by repeated satisfaction of unlawful needs” (p. 21). It should be emphasized that when a minor is in an unfavorable environment, the already formed asocial manifestations of behavior will only be reinforced and actualized when he gets into a destructive situation (Vilkova, 2018).
The effectiveness of the adaptation of suspected, accused and convicted juvenile to the new conditions of detention largely depends on the professional qualities of the staff and the administration of pre-trial detention centers. Researchers identify two interrelated processes during the period of juvenile addiction to life in a pre-trial detention center: the implementation of their actions aimed at investigating a crime, and the implementation of enhanced measures of education and socialization in order to prevent destructive manifestations and “criminal infection” (Kostarev et al., 2018). To comprehend these processes, professionals are needed who are proficient in methods of targeting a specific personality of a minor, its subjective (albeit multipolar) experience (Fadeeva, 2020); it is necessary – as elsewhere – to solve the problem of “ordering a new professional” (Ignatieva & Tulupova, 2015). Probably, when training specialists for work in pre-trial detention centers, an approach can be applied based on determining their professional position as a manager of organizing the activities of minors, as a pedagogical designer of an educational program being implemented, and as an understanding teacher-psychologist (Alekseeva et al., 2020).
The organization of educational work in pre-trial detention centers on the basis of the basic provisions of the theory of educational systems will contribute to rethinking the methods of working with suspected, accused and convicted minors to prevent illegal behavior, and to develop the motivation of convicts for correction.
The questions, the answers to which were supposedly projected in the course of the study, are as follows:
Why do juveniles held in pre-trial detention centers incline to committing violations that have already led to the existing situation? What are the reasons for the increase in delinquency of suspected, accused and convicted juvenile?
How to improve the effectiveness of disciplinary practice and educational methods?
Does it make sense to update the socio-psychological portrait of a minor who ends up in a pre-trial detention center due to the emergence of other characteristics of modern adolescents prone to illegal actions?
What is the mechanism for assessing the legitimacy and consistency of all measures of educational influences (persuasion, encouragement, punishment, etc.) on the part of employees of pre-trial detention centers? Should this assessment correlate with the dynamics in delinquency of suspected, accused and convicted juvenile?
Purpose of the Study
In order to answer the topical questions of the research, the main goal was identified: substantiation of the need to transform socio-pedagogical work with suspected accused and convicted minors in conditions of pre-trial detention centers through giving an innovative character to the educational work system and modifying disciplinary practices.
The ways in which the research took place included identifying the specifics of disciplinary practice among minors held in pre-trial detention centers; analysis of the nature of educational and cultural events held with minors in pre-trial detention centers; formation of conclusions and recommendations on educational work with minors, adequate to the analytical data obtained.
To collect the necessary information, questionnaires were used, including studies of the parameters of the organization and conduct of educational, sports, cultural and other activities with suspected, accused and convicted minors. In addition, it was taken the frequency of events, their organizers and performers and the presence of specialists from third-party organizations involved in the work and persons who do not belong to the employees of pre-trial detention centers.
The main conclusions of the study were obtained as a result of a systematic analysis, which made it possible to process the required number of information certificates received from institutions of the penal system.
The method of expert assessment made it possible to determine the attitude of the employees of pre-trial detention centers regarding the results of the applied disciplinary practice measures (in particular, the measures of encouragement and punishment applied to the suspected, accused and convicted minors) and the methods of education, as well as the consistency and legitimacy of their corrective actions to influence juveniles in isolation.
The participants in the study were employees and administration of penitentiary institutions in which minors are held awaiting a court decision or being sent to a place of punishment.
Based on the results of processing the data provided, the increase in the of minors in pre-trial detention centers who committed repeated violations amounted to 20.9% (dynamics: 2018–2019). In total, the increase in the actual violations amounted to 20.4%, while the most often suspected accused and convicted minors committed disobedience to representatives of the administration (an increase in comparison with 2018 – 18.2%). The number of minors registered in the pre-trial detention center also increased – by 10.5%. Of these, the number of suspected, accused and convicted minors classified as negative groups (leaders and active members of negative groupings) increased by 11.1%; the number of persons prone to committing suicide and self-harm increased by 9.5%.
So, why are minors, already suspected, accused and convicted, prone to committing new violations and what is the reason for the increase in offenses in the pre-trial detention center in the studied time period?
In our opinion, one of the main reasons is the unpredictable. A minor with previously manifested asocial attitudes involuntarily triggers the activation of personal destructive characteristics that cannot come into dissonance with the existing subculture of the detention center (otherwise, the minor will become an "outcast" for this environment). Juvenile delinquency differs from adult delinquency in that minors do not think about the consequences of their actions at all. Aggressive behavior and asocial attitudes contribute to increased emotionality and the predominance of excitement over inhibition, and violence acts not as the content of a behavioral act, but as an expression of an emotional-behavioral reaction.
In addition, the presented data may indicate the: the social deformation of the suspected, accused and convicted minors increases, they are distinguished by the instability of the emotional state, increased excitability, unpredictability of behavior, potential danger to themselves and others, and, in general, become less to the processes of correction and resocialization. There is a need to revise the characteristics and composition of the socio-psychological portrait of a minor who ends up in a pre-trial detention center, due to the emergence of other structural components of the personality of modern adolescents prone to illegal actions: this is the task of scientists and researchers (sociologists, psychologists, teachers, etc.).
It should be noted that disciplinary stability is an important marker of the degree of correction of a convict: the ability to control and regulate one's behavior depending on the established requirements reflects a promising opportunity to lead a law-abiding lifestyle after release. Achievement of disciplinary stability depends both on the mental health status of minors, and on the degree of their adequate perception of the surrounding reality, as well as on the system of social and pedagogical work with minors in isolation, in order to increase the effectiveness of disciplinary practice and the methods of education used.
The intensity of the professional activities of the pre-trial detention center employees in the context of the multidirectional educational, psychological, and pedagogical activities is shown in quantitative dynamics. Thus, in 2019, the growth in the number of classes on social and legal issues conducted by the employees of the pre-trial detention center amounted to 9.6%, and the growth in educational activities in general - according to analytical data – was 7.6%.
Analyzing the quantitative growth of the activities, it is necessary to problematize the lack of correlation between the dynamics (namely, the growth) of juvenile delinquency in the conditions of pre-trial detention centers and an increasing number of educational activities: whether these parameters are “communicating vessels” or they should be summarized separately.
The authors are of the opinion that the efforts of the pre-trial detention center staff (both in terms of the measures taken and in terms of disciplinary measures) are inextricably linked to the heterogeneous behavioral manifestations of suspected, accused and convicted minors. The consistency of all measures of educational influences on the part of employees of pre-trial detention centers, as an indicator of the quality of activities, can be diagnosed through the manifestations of personal and behavioral characteristics of minors in a pre-trial detention center. The most common educational activities are lectures and conversations (as well as watching videos), which in the theory of education have not long been considered effective methods of educational influences. The active forms of upbringing that are relevant for modern adolescents (for example, projects, quests, discussions, flash mobs, etc.), unfortunately, are almost absent.
Thus, based on the analysis of the information, we can state the fact that such indicators as violations of minors, their number on preventive records, the number of people prone to committing suicide and self-harm and the number of minors, attributed to groups of negative orientation tend to a significant increase. It is despite a significant number of traditional educational measures and disciplinary measures.
Of course, there will always be reasons for negative tendencies in the state of educational work with minors in pre-trial detention centers (which are beyond the influence and responsibility of the staff and the administration of the pre-trial detention centers). This is, first, a more complex structure of characterological characteristics, claims and needs, manifestations of the emotional sphere and the behavior of the current offender; these are deficiencies in upbringing in the family and educational organization; these are diverse socio-economic contexts, etc. But there are also internal reasons for such dynamics (in particular, reasons for violations of discipline and regime moments, reasons for registration on preventive records, reasons for the growth of reprimands, etc.), which can and should be carefully studied with the aim of further developing recommendations and measures to eliminate them.
Taking into account the above, we consider it necessary to develop approaches for transforming social and educational work with the suspected, accused and convicted minors, first of all, through updating the system of educational work and modifying disciplinary practice measures. The system of upbringing in pre-trial detention centers can be orderly and pedagogically expedient in terms of organizing the life of minors, open (“transparent”) and fair in terms of measures of influence, existing according to the developed norms, rules and traditions. It should, as far as possible, ensure the nature of all educational influences on each juvenile and contribute to their correction (as an example, the failure to commit new violations in the conditions of pre-trial detention centers). The transformation of disciplinary practice measures can include both changes in the (leveling the role of the asocial community in a pre-trial detention center, neutralizing negative moods, preventing disciplinary offenses and destructive behavioral manifestations, etc.), as well as diversifying the (creating information databases on potential organizers and active participants of group excesses, monitoring the identification of negative leaders, the use of modern methods of control and supervision, etc.).
Over the past decade, there has been an increase in the number of acts committed by juvenile offenders. According to data in open sources, in some regions (Murmansk, Sakhalin, Kemerovo, Kamchatka, and Arkhangelsk regions) minors determine the crime situation in general. Therefore, the problem of correcting them is extremely acute, starting with the situation and conditions of detention in the environment where they first find themselves isolated from society, namely the detention center.
Minors held in pre-trial detention centers are prone to committing new violations. Previously formed destructive attitudes activate the corresponding behavioral models; in addition, other suspected and accused ones, whose dominant motives are also antisocial, reinforce their violations. In this situation, the applied disciplinary practice measures and upbringing methods need a deep revision and systemic modification: with the unconditional preservation of effective educational forms, it is necessary to create an on minors, aimed both at the formation of new value attitudes and at the prevention of new acts.
Assessment of the quality of educational activities of employees of pre-trial detention centers also needs updating and revision of the ratio of quantitative and qualitative indicators of the organization of social and educational work with minors. Finally, in connection with a sharp increase in violations directly in the conditions of pre-trial detention centers, it is necessary to pay attention to updating the characteristics of all social and pedagogical work, giving it a consistency, scientific nature and integrity.
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15 July 2021
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Vilkova, A., & Fadeeva, S. (2021). About Social And Pedagogical Work With Minors In Pre-Trial Detention Centers. In A. G. Shirin, M. V. Zvyaglova, O. A. Fikhtner, E. Y. Ignateva, & N. A. Shaydorova (Eds.), Education in a Changing World: Global Challenges and National Priorities, vol 114. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 619-626). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.07.02.74