It would employ one staff member for every three kids—quadruple the ratio at other juvenile-corrections facilities. They recall their first few assessments.
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Each one seemed more threatening than the last. What have we done? Many of the teenagers at Mendota grew up on the streets, without parents, and were beaten up or sexually abused. Violence became a defense mechanism. Caldwell and Van Rybroek recall a group-therapy session a few years ago in which one boy described being strung up by his wrists and hung from the ceiling as his father cut him with a knife and rubbed pepper in the wounds. Some of the boys were raised in middle-class homes with parents whose major sin was not abuse but paralysis in the face of their terrifying child.
No matter the history, one secret to diverting them from adult psychopathy is to wage an unrelenting war of presence. Caldwell mentions that, two weeks ago, one patient became furious over some perceived slight or injustice; every time the techs checked on him, he would squirt urine or feces through the door. This is a popular pastime at Mendota. The techs would dodge it and return 20 minutes later, and he would do it again. As we pass the metal doors with their narrow windows, the boys peer out and the yelling subsides into entreaties. She pauses to banter with each of them.
The young men who pass through these halls have murdered and maimed, carjacked and robbed at gunpoint. These boys have been expelled from school, placed in group homes, arrested, and jailed. If punishment were going to rein them in, it would have by now. But their brains do respond, enthusiastically, to rewards. As they ascend in status, they earn privileges and treats—candy bars, baseball cards, pizza on Saturdays, the chance to play Xbox or stay up late.
But then I walk down the South Hall with Ebsen. She stops and turns toward a door on our left. Ebsen unlocks the door to reveal a skinny year-old boy with a nascent mustache. He fans out his collection. When he was still a preteen, he began molesting the younger girl and boy next door. The abuse continued for a few years, until the boy told his mother. At Mendota, he has begun to see that short-term pleasure could land him in prison as a sex offender, while deferred gratification can confer more-lasting dividends: a family, a job, and most of all, freedom.
Unlikely as it sounds, this revelation sprang from his ardent pursuit of basketball cards. Just as consistent good behavior confers basketball cards and internet radio inside these walls, so—he believes—will it bring promotions at work.
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He peers at me, as if searching for confirmation. I nod, hoping that the world will work this way for him. Even more, I hope his insight will endure. In fact, the program at Mendota has changed the trajectory for many young men, at least in the short term. Caldwell and Van Rybroek have tracked the public records of juvenile delinquents after their release. One hundred forty-seven of them had been in a juvenile-corrections facility, and of them—the harder, more psychopathic cases—had received treatment at Mendota. In the four and a half years since their release, the Mendota boys have been far less likely to reoffend 64 percent versus 97 percent , and far less likely to commit a violent crime 36 percent versus 60 percent.
Most striking, the ordinary delinquents have killed 16 people since their release. The boys from Mendota? Not one. To test this hypothesis, Kiehl and the staff at Mendota are now asking some young men to slide into a mobile brain scanner. No one believes that Mendota graduates will develop true empathy or a heartfelt moral conscience. But they can develop a cognitive moral conscience, an intellectual awareness that life will be more rewarding if they play by the rules.
How many can stay the course for a lifetime? Caldwell and Van Rybroek have no idea. But sometimes graduates write or call to share their progress, and among these correspondents, Carl, now 37, stands out. Carl not his real name emailed a thankful note to Van Rybroek in Aside from one assault conviction after he left Mendota, he had stayed out of trouble for a decade and opened his own business—a funeral home near Los Angeles.
His success was especially significant because he was one of the harder cases, a boy from a good home who seemed wired for violence. Carl was born in a small town in Wisconsin. His sister remembers Carl, when he was about 8, swinging their cat in circles by its tail, faster and faster, and then letting go.
Looking back, even Carl is puzzled by the rage that coursed through him as a child. It was more like a weird, hard-to-explain feeling of hatred. His behavior confused and eventually terrified his parents. By the time Carl arrived at Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center in November , at age 15, he had been placed in a psychiatric hospital, a group home, foster care, or a juvenile-corrections center about a dozen times.
Lincoln Hills, a high-security juvenile-corrections facility, foisted him on Mendota after he accumulated more than serious infractions in less than four months. On an assessment called the Youth Psychopathy Checklist, he scored 38 out of a possible 40—five points higher than the average for Mendota boys, who were among the most dangerous young men in Wisconsin.
Carl had a rocky start at Mendota: weeks of abusing staff, smearing feces around his cell, yelling all night, refusing to shower, and spending much of the time locked in his room, not allowed to mix with the other kids. Slowly, though, his psychology began to shift. He started talking in therapy and in class. He quit mouthing off and settled down.
He developed the first real bonds in his young life. Something good could come of us. We were believed to have potential. After two stints at Mendota, he was released just before his 18th birthday, got married, and at age 20 was arrested for beating up a police officer. In prison, he wrote a suicide note, fashioned a makeshift noose, and was put on suicide watch in solitary confinement. Carl acknowledges that his lifestyle falls far short of the Christian ideal.
But he still attends church every week, and he credits Mendota with paving the way for his conversion. By the time he was released, in , his marriage had dissolved, and he moved away from Wisconsin, eventually settling in California, where he opened his funeral home. Carl cheerfully admits that the death business appeals to him. But everything in moderation. Of course, his profession also requires empathy. Carl says that he had to train himself to show empathy for his grieving clients, but that it now comes naturally. And it does not fit with my view of him at all.
I get confused. Is that true? Does he genuinely feel for them? Is he faking the whole thing? Does he even know at this point? After talking with Carl, I begin to see him as a remarkable success story. Yet here he is, now remarried, the father of a 1-year-old son he adores, with a flourishing business. After our phone interview, I decide to meet him in person. I want to witness his redemption for myself. Carl is in police custody. His wife tells me that Carl considers himself polyamorous, and had invited one of his girlfriends over to their apartment.
This woman denies ever being romantically involved with Carl. She was furious, and grabbed their son. Carl responded by pulling her hair, snatching the baby out of her arms, and taking her phone to prevent her from calling the police. Carl says he grabbed the baby to protect him. Three misdemeanor charges—spousal battery, abandonment and neglect of a child, and intimidation of a witness—and the psychopath who made good is now in jail.
I go to Los Angeles anyway, in the naive hope that Carl will be released on bail at his hearing the next day. A few minutes before a. She met Carl on OkCupid two years ago while visiting L. Now she sits outside the courtroom, one eye on her son, fielding calls from clients of the funeral home and wondering whether she can make bail.
Carl is a tough man to be married to. I just want my son and myself to be safe. Finally, at p. County jumpsuit. He gives us a two-handed wave and flashes a carefree smile, which fades when he learns that he will not be released on bail today, despite pleading guilty to assault and battery. He will remain in jail for another three weeks. Carl calls me the day after his release.
He insists that he wants to keep his family together, and says that he thinks the domestic-violence classes the court has mandated will help him. He seems sincere. Is he being sincere or manipulating me? Is Carl proof that psychopathy can be tamed—or proof that the traits are so deeply embedded that they can never be dislodged? A t the San Marcos Treatment Center, Samantha is wearing her new yoga pants from Target, but they bring her little joy.
In a few hours, her mother will leave for the airport and fly back to Idaho. Watching them in the darkened room, I contemplate for the hundredth time the arbitrary nature of good and evil. They grow up wanting to become baseball players or great football stars. Jen and Danny have spotted green shoots of empathy. Samantha has made a friend, and recently comforted the girl after her social worker quit. But the cognitive training cannot always compete with the urge to strangle an annoying classmate, which she tried to do just the other day. It all feels exhausting, for Samantha and for everyone in her orbit.
Later, I ask Jen whether Samantha has lovable qualities that make all this worthwhile. She hesitates. And having parents like Jen and Danny could make a difference; research suggests that warm and responsive parenting can help children become less callous as they get older. On the flip side, the New York psychiatrist told them, the fact that her symptoms appeared so early, and so dramatically, may indicate that her callousness is so deeply ingrained that little can be done to ameliorate it. But even Samantha has wondered whether they have regrets.
We had no idea. Jen and Danny are planning to bring Samantha home this summer, a prospect the family views with some trepidation. The older children are larger and tougher than Samantha, but the family will have to keep vigil over the 5-year-old and the 7-year-old. They want to bring her home, to give it another try. Of course, even if Samantha can slip easily back into home life at 11, what of the future? To go on dates? Can she have a stable romantic relationship, much less fall in love and marry?
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She and Danny have had to redefine success for Samantha: simply keeping her out of prison. And yet, they love Samantha. Samantha has been in residential treatment programs for most of the past five years, nearly half her life. She needs to learn to function in the world, sooner rather than later. Listen to an interview with the author, Barbara Bradley Hagerty:. For the first time, Deniss Metsavas tells his story of espionage and blackmail.
Five years ago, the flight vanished into the Indian Ocean. Officials on land know more about why than they dare to say. At a. The designator for Malaysia Airlines is MH. The flight number was Fariq Hamid, the first officer, was flying the airplane. He was 27 years old. This was a training flight for him, the last one; he would soon be fully certified. His trainer was the pilot in command, a man named Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who at 53 was one of the most senior captains at Malaysia Airlines. In Malaysian style, he was known by his first name, Zaharie. He was married and had three adult children.
He lived in a gated development. He owned two houses. In his first house he had installed an elaborate Microsoft flight simulator. These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D. The plane was dark and quiet. To hear more feature stories, see our full list or get the Audm iPhone app. In history was made when the first humans stepped on the moon. Back on earth, one woman was running the numbers that ensured they got there and back in one piece. As a child, Katherine Johnson loved maths.
She went on to be one of the most important people in the history of space travel. Discover her incredible life story in this beautifully illustrated book complete with narrative biography, timelines and facts. One little boy who loved the idea of flying became the first person to set foot on the moon. On 20 July Neil Armstrong made history, his 'giant leap for mankind'. From his childhood playing with model planes to becoming one of the most famous astronauts of all time, discover the incredible story of Neil Armstrong's life in this beautifully illustrated book, complete with narrative biography, facts and timelines.
Author: P. Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award January Debut of the Month When Suzy hears a strange noise in the middle of the night, she creeps downstairs to find a train roaring through her house. But this is no ordinary train. This is the magical delivery express for the Union of Impossible Places.
Whisked on board by a troll-boy, Suzy's world is turned upside down when she's asked to deliver a cursed package to a fearsome sorceress. And quite suddenly, Suzy realizes the fate of the Impossible Places is in her hands So when he discovers his father isn't interested in caring for the planet iLK is confronted with a difficult choice. How will iLK save Earth whilst also trying to fulfil the responsibilities assigned by his father? Spacekid iLK: Invasion is an illustrated novel for ages At an age where children are learning about different points of views and about taking responsibility, this book aims to not just extol the virtues of doing the right thing, but also asks why one would and what that choice involves.
Using entries from iLK's journal and comic pages throughout, "Spacekid iLK: Invasion ," is likely to engage even reluctant readers. Toletis, his dog Amenophis and friends Claudia and Tutan are on a mission to turn their little valley town, set deep in the mountains, lusciously green again. The odds are stacked against them. Can they succeed A deep appreciation for nature, art, language, music, friendship, family, the passing of time, old age, loneliness, and the importance of sitting still and reflecting on life, pervade this exquisite story.
A must read for 7 to year olds! June Debut of the Month A range of simple stories for new readers, with beautiful colour illustrations. Milly loves going to story time at her local bookshop. Mrs Minty is an encyclopedia of books and knows the perfect story for every occasion But the bookshop is old and creaky, just like Mrs Minty herself. And then one day Milly arrives to find the shop gone. What has happened to Mrs Minty and her irreplaceable bookshop? A warm and uplifting tale about the importance of stories.
An enchanting four-book series featuring the adventures of Anna and her array of animal friends The temperature is rising, which can only mean one thing: it's summer! Bookings are up at Hotel Flamingo and the hotel is getting busy. Anna is excited to receive word from King Penguin royalty asking to holiday in their Royal Suite. But there's a lot to get done, and it's not easy to manage the needs of the penguins when there's a heatwave on and a huge ice shortage.
Can Anna get Hotel Flamingo back to its usual shining self and have happy guests all round?
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Interest Age Ridiculous injuries Everything's going wrong for the Saints this season, and Stanley's team-mates believe they finally know why. Their football kit is cursed! But the team's attempts to break the curse take things from bad to worse. Soon, they're ready to call it quits. Stanley's still got some tricks up his sleeve All these things are put to good use to stop a wicked landowner, whose plans to turn the library into a carpark are actually cover for something even more despicable.
This will be great fun for children who like stories overflowing with magic, and Kit and her friends are very appealing characters. This escapade sees the two friends thwart a band of thieves who are intent on stealing priceless golden artefacts from the local museum. One to recommend to fans of Tom Gates or Timmy Failure. June Book of the Month Bonnie is scavenging on a beach when she finds a battered old row boat. And under the boat, a bare-footed boy-cold, hungry, and in need of help.
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The authorities have already been troubling Bonnie and Granda for breaking rules, but how can she leave this boy when he has no-one? Bonnie does her best to keep the boy hidden from the border guards, but as their suspicions grow, she wonders if it's time to escape the life she's always known. Under cover of darkness they set sail to the 'house of light' in search of a new beginning, and a sense of hope.
Following the incredible Planetarium, Chris Wormell returns with a companion activity book. Bursting with fascinating facts and puzzles, this book offers hours of entertainment to artists and space lovers. Beautiful and inspiring, the myriad activities in this book challenge the reader to discover something new and use their imagination to draw, decorate and design on every pull-out page. Once upon a rocket a countdown has begun, from 10, 9, 8 to 7 and 6 to 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Get ready for blast-off with this fast-paced poem that's all about space travel.
From the early humans who dreamt of wings to the Moon landing, and from spacecraft exploring Mars to the future beyond Climb on board for an adventure into outer space! A magical adventure from Kaye Umansky, the bestselling author of the spellbinding children's classic Pongwiffy, brought to life with charming illustrations from rising star Ashley King!
May Debut of the Month This bright, busy book — the text delivered via an irresistible bouncy rhyme — presents children with lots to look at, and lots to think about too. The story is told by a parent, who excitedly details all the world has to offer, and all the potential for children to find happiness and fulfilment as they grow up. May Non-Fiction Book of the Month A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May Join these two unlikely heroes on the most amazing of adventures and discover the impact of hundreds of men and women that helped Hillary and Tenzing achieve their goal.
But triumphs can be marred with tragedy as not everyone who climbs Everest survives In the late morning of May 29th , the sun was shining brightly on the roof of the world, a gentle breeze was blowing and two men were there to witness it for the first time ever This is the breathtaking story of how two very different yet equally determined men battled frost-biting temperatures, tumbling ice rocks, powerful winds and death-defying ridges to climb the world's highest mountain. With a beautiful foreword by the greatest living explorer of our time, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, this brilliant book combines fresh and contemporary illustrations by Joe Todd-Stanton with Alexandra Stewart's captivating writing and publishes in time to celebrate the centenary of Edmund Hillary's birth.
This unique narrative tells the story of how Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made their mark on the world from birth right up to their final days and the impact they've had on Nepal today. A most welcome reissue of a superb piece of accessible historical writing told from a most unusual viewpoint. Ultimately uplifting, this is an unflinching look at issues of social justice at the time of the Peasants Revolt.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Shortlist Book Awards Nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal Chatty, funny and full of amazing facts, it will be devoured by children eager to find out about the most exciting creatures from the deep blue. This exciting title in the Tara Binns mini- series is written by Lisa Rajan. Ideas for reading in the back of the book provide practical support and stimulating activities. This exciting title in the Tara Binns mini-series is written by Lisa Rajan. This exciting title in the Tara Binns mini series is written by Lisa Rajan. Get ready to go on an adventure with Detective Pikachu!
The official story of the movie. On the neon streets of Ryme City, people live in harmony alongside Pokemon: a diverse ecosystem of mysterious and colourful creatures that form a close bond with their human partners.
When Tim Goodman's father disappears under suspicious circumstances, he sets out to find him by partnering with a Pokemon like no other: Detective Pikachu, an adorable super-sleuth. But this unlikely pair soon stumble upon a larger mystery: why are so many Pokemon missing Read the story of the smash-hit movie, starring Ryan Reynolds and Justice Smith. Bracket Wood is about to be visited by the school inspectors. But there's one big problem: Ryan Ward. The maestro of practical jokes, Ryan has played so many tricks that in the end the Head Teacher just walks out. And then the new Head Teacher, Mr Carter, arrives.
A man so strict even the teachers are scared of him. So imagine his surprise - and Ryan's - when they swap bodies. Now Ryan is Head Teacher - and his mortal enemy is one of his pupils. It's every naughty kid's dream! But soon Bracket Wood School is in a total mess - and only its worst ever pupil can fix it Got a thirst for more nifty nature knowledge and a love of the unknown underdog?
Discover more brilliant beasts you never knew you needed to know about from the altai argali to the yellow-throated marten and everything in between. From the illustrator of the mega-selling Horrible Histories comes a brand new series about all the animals you've never seen. If a tree could talk intelligently, love intensely and hurt like you and I?
Enter a dynamic forest world. From a suckling bear cub that loses her mother, to a canary who was handicapped and couldn't find love, Woody and his friends care deeply for all the animals struggling in the forest. But everything changed when It walked in. Unlike the other animals, this was conscious of their presence as it looked at them with eyes that held more intelligence than they dared to admit. How little it looked, how vulnerable it seemed. How wrong the trees were to underestimate it. Woody will soon learn the complex ways of men as he is forced to let go of all that is dear to him; his home, his friends and takes a stand in a world that offers little for his kind.
Book 2 in The Giant Series. Thirteen-year-old Elika wants to be normal. She doesn't want to have anything to do with magical creatures. She doesn't even want to be half Icelandic. But the cries of a lonely giant draw her to her mother's country.
A story of embracing one's heritage and an how friendship can be formed in unlikely circumstances. Set in the wilds of Iceland. Yasmin's painting for the art contest is due Friday, but she has lots of excuses for putting it off. She doesn't know what to paint, she doesn't think she's any good, and painting is messy. Turns out a mess is just what Yasmin needs for inspiration! Siblings Finn the narrator and Aria, and their smuggler dad are undertaking a voyage aboard their home, a boat called Alcina. Every explorer needs a map!
Baba encourages Yasmin to make one of her own. But when Yasmin loses sight of Mama at the farmer's market, can her map bring them back together? National Geographic Primary Readers is a high-interest series of beginning reading books that have been developed in consultation with education experts. The books pair magnificent National Geographic photographs with lively text by skilled children's book authors across four reading levels. This brilliantly illustrated book taps into children's natural curiosity about the vast world of space.
This level 3 reader, written in simple language that is easy for young readers to understand, introduces children to our solar system, including all of the planets and dwarf planets, and lots of fascinating fun facts. This book helps cultivate the explorers of tomorrow! This high-interest, educationally vetted series of beginning readers features the magnificent images of National Geographic, accompanied by texts written by experienced, skilled children's book authors. Level 3: Becoming independent Best suited to kids who are ready for complex sentences and more challenging vocabulary, but still draw on occasional support from adults.
They are ideal for readers of Purple and Gold books. Discover the coolest robots of today and tomorrow in this colourful, photo-packed book. In this inviting and entertaining format, kids will learn about the science behind these amazing machines. This Level 4 reader is written in an easy-to-grasp style to encourage the scientists of tomorrow! Level 4: Independent reader Perfect for kids who are reading on their own with ease and are ready for more challenging vocabulary with varied sentence structures. They are ideal for readers of White and Lime books. Vic is from a family of pirates, and they are preparing to enter the Race to Hornswaggle Rock, the hardest, most dangerous pirate contest in the country.
But the dastardly Captain Guillemot has stolen their ship and thrown their parents overboard. Together with siblings Bert and Maud, and annoyingly resourceful friends Arabella and George, Vic must come up with a plan to steal the ship back from their arch-enemy, join the race and win victory. But there are fearsome pirate crews, hungry sharks and some lovesick parrots in the way - will they be the rulers of the seven seas or the scurviest losers to ever walk the plank? Young readers will have great fun on planet Omar! Our hero's tales of everyday life with his family and at school will keep everyone amused.
Omar is worried because the family have just moved house - will he make friends at school? He does of course, but Daniel the school bully seems to have it in for him. A school trip to the Science Museum sees the two of them lost in London, but Omar knows just what to do and in the process realises that maybe he'd got Daniel wrong.
The real pleasure of this book is Omar - his imagination, the pleasure he finds in ordinary things, his infectious zest for life make this irresistible reading. The book also offers insight into the life of an ordinary Muslim family, something we don't often get, and indeed, Zanib Mian has said that she wrote the book to counter negative stereotypes of Muslims.
It's another reason to recommend this book, and I'm already looking forward to a new story and a return to Planet Omar. No-one does the straight to camera narrative style of the diary better than Kinney and no matter how straight Jeff tells it, our understanding of the action is often quite different to his. This is as authentic and funny as the original Wimpy Kid books and makes just as irresistible reading.
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