For a 13-year-old Muslim girl, school became an exercise in terror as she was repeatedly harassed and finally assaulted by two classmates-an 11-year-old male who will be tried as an adult and his yet to be apprehended 13-year-old accomplice. Osman Daramy has been charged with a hate-crime in the assault; however, he will be tried as a juvenile and could face up to 18 months in a juvenile detention facility. Daramy, a Sierra Leone national, allegedly harassed the victim for two months following the attack until his arrest on Wednesday, March 30, 2011.
During his first appearance in court, Daramy showed no remorse. In fact, he defiantly smiled at court officials and made obscene gestures throughout the hearing. Daramy is currently being held without bail awaiting trial in juvenile court.
Daramy is currently housed at one of New York’s juvenile detention centers which provide secure custody for youth aged 10 to 15 who are either awaiting trial or have been convicted of a criminal offense under New York’s juvenile code. While in detention, Daramy will receive case management; mental, physical and dental health services; educational services; and recreational services. The average length of stay in a New York juvenile detention facility is 30 days. While in the detention center, Daramy will be under the supervision of a juvenile counselor.
Juvenile counselors are assigned to juvenile detention centers as entry level positions. Their job duties include providing secure custody, supervision, and counseling to youth between the ages of 10 and 15 incarcerated in the New York juvenile justice system. They are responsible for the safety and security of the youth in the facility, other staff and support personnel and visitors to the facility. Work hours for the juvenile counselor vary and include nights, weekends and holiday. The average salary for a juvenile counselor is $40,000 per year.
In order to become a juvenile counselor for the state of New York, the following minimum requirements must be met:
- Minimum of a bachelor’s degree, or
- Sixty college credits and two years experience working with at risk youth, or
- High School Diploma and four years experience working with at risk youth, or
- Any combination of the above.
All candidates must also pass a background check which includes both criminal history and sex offender registry checks.
A career in criminal justice or juvenile justice counseling can be very rewarding and challenging. They are charged with the safety, security and management of juvenile offenders. While working with these youth, juvenile counselors have the opportunity to redirect young lives away from criminal activity and on a more productive course.