Zoom Glen Mills Gang: Arrested Without Locks and Bars

Glen Mills Gang: Arrested Without Locks and Bars

SKU: BVL30323

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Filmed over the course of a year, this documentary goes inside Glen Mills Schools in Pennsylvania, a "boarding school" alternative to prison for about 1,000 young members of street gangs convicted of crimes. Sam Ferrainola, the school's director, has pioneered a system of rewards and privileges where the young men keep themselves under strict surveillance, reporting infractions of the rules to upperclassmen, or "Big Brothers." Ferrainola stresses that Glen Mills is not a boot camp but an educational institution in which the goal is to bring about fundamental changes in behavior without incarceration. The system seems to work: of all institutions for juvenile offenders, Glen Mills' 32 percent recidivism rate is the lowest in the country. (50 minutes)

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An Alternative to Prison for Juvenile Offenders (05:51)
Glen Mills School in Pennsylvania provides an opportunity for juvenile offenders to reform themselves in a boarding school-type situation rather than prison. As a result, Glen Mills has a comparatively low rate of repeat offenders.

Different Approach to Juvenile Corrections (05:18)

Many students at Glen Mills School have a history of gang activity and crime. Humane treatment, high technology educational opportunities, and rehabilitation through positive peer pressure all work together to create an environment for change.

Athletics Opportunities Replace Gang Activity (03:55)

Many Glen Mills students go on to play college or professional sports. Students from the ghetto of East Philadelphia hope for a new start with the Glen Mills School, by getting away from the everyday existence of gang wars and drugs.

Benefits of Employment at Glen Mills School (01:50)

At the highly profitable Glen Mills School, Director Sam Ferrainola relies on a capitalist system to provide for the school's expenses, including comprehensive staff benefits and student programs.

Rewards System Replaces Punishment (04:21)

High-performance senior level students can earn points and privileges such as becoming a campus executive, with enhanced living quarters. Through athletics, community service, and positive reinforcement students adopt positive behaviors.

Highest Honors: Battling Bulls Club (04:41)

Students adhere to strict rules of behavior using a system of peer monitoring. Students earn points for appropriate behavior and reporting infractions, eventually becoming accepted in the Bulls Club, which functions like a positive gang.

Educational Opportunities at Glen Mills School (03:19)

Many former gang members at Glen Mills School are taking lessons regularly for the first time in their lives. Most students earn a GED, while college credits and opportunities for various vocational training are also available.

Visitation Day at Glen Mills School (03:03)

During visitation day at Glen Mills School, the majority of visitors consist of mothers and grandmothers. Families support the program at Glen Mills School, believing it has the potential to change lives for the better.

Positive Attitude: Never Give Up (03:46)

In athletics the coaches motivate students to always perform at their best. Students must continually strive to do their best in all they do, from classes to athletics, in order to earn privileges.

Controversial Glen Mills Model (02:57)

Some psychologists claim that the mental state of Glen Mills' students is completely ignored while others criticize the program for not being tough enough. Director Ferrainola's success comes from requiring high standards of students and staff alike.

Awards, Achievements, and Graduation at Glen Mills School (04:57)

Students at Glen Mills School earn recognition for athletic achievements at an awards ceremony and in June parents happily attend graduation ceremonies for sons they doubted would ever finish high school.

Hopes for the Future at Glen Mills School (02:14)

Director Sam Ferrainola hopes to see more institutions using his approach with juvenile offenders without the use of locks and bars but to date the Glen Mills School remains the only educational institution of its kind.

Length: 50 min

Copyright Date: 2000


Glen Mills Gang: Arrested Without Locks and Bars



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