Project Identity was designed to reach as many youth as possible – regardless of class, race or societal borders. This week the gates were opened and all borders breached as PI made its way into the Ethan Allen School for Boys. In short, it is ‘prison’ for delinquent youth aged 12 years or older to the Department of Corrections (DOC) in a Type 1 secured juvenile correctional facility (JCI). Getting into this facility meant that Professor Barany had to surrender a great deal of his equipment just to get inside. The strict security at EAS easily surpassed the minor hurdles that PI has experienced with airport security throughout the project.
Generally at EAS, a juvenile court order is for one year with the possibility of extensions up to the age of 18 years. Youth who committed especially serious crimes may be committed for 5 years or until the age of 25 years depending on the crime. In some cases, a criminal court places a convicted youth in a JCI when the youth is under 16 years old. The Federal Bureau of Prisons also places a few juveniles in Wisconsin JCI’s.
Ethan Allen School provides individualized culturally sensitive programming based upon the uniqueness of each youth, utilizes the concepts of restorative justice, affirms that staff are key to successful programming and positive treatment outcomes, provides a safe environment for staff and youth, and maintains partnerships with families, counties and community agencies.
Personal identity is stripped away from these young people as the program is designed to re-build them for transition back into society. Some of the most powerful writings and spoken word excerpts for PI have come from the young men being rehabilitated at Ethan Allen. It was clear to observe from their work that many of them, have already lived an entire lifetime. A sincere thank you to the administration and faculty members involved with getting PI inside the secured perimeter at Ethan Allen.
Associate Professor of Foundations