Interview With Doug R. Wiley

From the interview with Doug R. Wiley of Port Townsend, WA conducted by John Clise at the Fort Worden History Center on July 31, 2003.  Mr. Wiley worked as a group life counselor at the Juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center from 1968 until it closed.  Here he talks about the dominant individual in social order of the cottage:

“They used to call the strong kid who took over the cottage ‘The Duke.’  He would run all the kids in the cottage, they’d look up to him. It was a real learning experience to see some of the situations that happened between The Duke and the different kids.  The Duke came in with power—his physical structure and his mind, his mind games. He would dominate, manipulate the kids in the cottage where they would look up to him and he would build up a following.  It was really something to see how much power that individual had in a group setting.  He could just snap his fingers and there might be turmoil with three or four kids because The Duke had set it up. He could manipulate different groups of kids to cause friction.  There were times when he could run the cottage where it would be just real calm and nice, a good shift to work so I wouldn’t have to deal with all the little problems that were caused by individual kids.                There were times when The Duke would try to push the counselor’s buttons as much as he could.  We had a kind of a quiet room, and when The Duke would get to the point of being really outspoken or whatever and you knew what was going on, you would put him there.  It was a small room with a door with a little window.  You could get him away from the group; if it got to the point where he was causing too much turmoil, you could call security.  They would lock him up, and the psychologist would talk to him.”

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