Beyond Bars

Keeping Young People Safe at Home and Out of Youth Prisons

By the National Collaboration for Youth

January 7, 2017

Summary

This report provides a clear blueprint for closing youth prisons and replacing them with community-based juvenile justice services. Readers will learn how this new system can hold youth accountable — without resorting to incarceration — while cultivating a young person’s strengths, interests and sense of belonging. 

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

The youth prison model? It’s past its expiration date

By incarcerating young people, we knowingly place them in harm’s way. We expose them to situations that feel — and are — unsafe. We socially isolate them, severing their ties with family, school and community. Yet, this harmful, ineffective and expensive approach is still in play across America today. The good news: We know there’s a better way. Strong communities can keep the public safe, hold youth accountable, and restore a sense of belonging for justice-involved families. 

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