April 25, 2012
In the juvenile justice world, the word incarceration often falls way to the word commitment. The adult and juvenile systems are different. The juvenile justice system is meant to focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment and the difference in language from the adult criminal system is meant to mark the system differences. Adults are incarcerated and kids are committed. But, for the most part, in the US right now, a juvenile commitment facility is still very much a prison. Using the word incarceration to refer to commitment serves as a reality-check that these kids are in prison. I appreciate these use of both words in reference to juvenile lock-up for those reasons.
I'm a word person. I'm a word person who reads re-incarceration as reincarnation, and that says so much more about me than I ever could have intended.
All this to say: There are changes coming. I'll fill you in next week.