Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Rebelious Youth DID Exist in Sanitized Switzerland

Rebelious youth in Switzerland?

Yes, they existed, as they always have. From the 1880s to the 1980s, however, Swiss authorities were lightning quick to incarcerate them. The prextext was "education," and the imprisonment included a fat fee charged to the family - like it or not.

NPR reported today on the widespread practice in Switzerland - for a full century - of jailing juveniles with any sort of issues. The youth were held indefinitely in adult prisons or labor camps, alongside the worst adult offenders. The Swiss cantons not only got sanitized streets out of the deal; they got cheap labor for logging and other work camp activities.

A shameful era in Swiss history, now being brought, belatedly but devastingly, to light.

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