Backed with an array of research, the case against America’s youth prisons and correctional training schools can be neatly summarized in five words: dangerous, ineffective, unnecessary, wasteful and inadequate. This report highlights successful reform efforts from several states and provides recommendations for how states can reduce juvenile incarceration rates and redesign their juvenile correction systems to better serve young people and the public.
In addition to the full report, the Foundation published a No Place for Kids issue brief and a news release. As a supplement to the report, find state-level data on juvenile confinement in the Finding & Stats section below.
States are spending vast sums of taxpayer money on incarceration when nonresidential options deliver equal or better results
Findings & Stats
Systemic or recurring maltreatment is identified when clear evidence has emerged showing that one or more state-funded youth corrections facilities repeatedly failed to protect youth from violence by staff or other youth, sexual assaults and/or excessive use of isolation or restraints.
Not for Violence
A 1-day snapshot showed 26% of delinquent youth in residential programs were in for violent offenses. The overall lock-up rate for violent offenses in 2007 was 12%.
The overall body of recidivism evidence indicates plainly that confinement in youth corrections facilities doesn’t work well as a strategy to steer delinquent youth away from crime.
The open question is whether our society will not only abandon the long-standing incarceration model, but also embrace a more constructive, human, and cost-effective paradigm for how we treat, educate, and punish youth who break the law
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