Computers in detention center give career information

Whether their stay is just overnight or for 60 days, juveniles sent to Carson City's detention center can explore possible job opportunities.

The center houses six computers that are loaded with Career Information Systems to give the juveniles a better idea of what careers exist and what they need to do to pursue those careers.

"Some of these kids have never asked themselves what they wanted to be when they grew up," said John Simms, juvenile services program coordinator. "They've just never given it much thought."

The computers were donated to the center in May through the efforts of various organizations.

School to Careers, Computer Corps and Nevada Career Information Systems worked together to provide the computers for the center.

"The way I see it, juvenile detention is an intervention to prevent adult delinquency," said Greg Marangi, who was the school to careers coordinator at the time. "The more direction you give them to prevent future problems, the better off we all are."

Simms said the computers are used often during the school year when classes are offered.

During the summer, he said the center focuses more on service programs and tries to provide as much recreation as possible but the computers are still used.

"It's available to all kids but you have to earn it," he said. "It is a privilege to use the computers."

Simms said he has sat down on a variety of occasions to browse the computer program.

"I'm amazed at what these things can do," he said. "I'm amazed at all the information that's in there."

The detention center serves as a holding facility while juveniles wait to be sentenced by a judge. Some stay for only a short while and then are sent home, others stay for two months or longer before being moved to a correctional facility.

Regardless of sentencing, Simms said he hopes the juveniles get something worthwhile out of their stay.

"If you can stimulate just a little bit of interest in something, hopefully they'll take that interest along with them," he said.

He said he appreciates the help of the community in bringing the computers to the center.

"All we did is receive the goods and put them to use," he said.


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