Minneapolis’ Hennepin County spends too much on residential treatment programs for juvenile offenders and could save money and get better results by leaving more young offenders with their families and placing them in daytime rehabilitation programs, says a study quoted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. A group of judges and corrections officials urged overhauling programs at the Hennepin County Home School.
Programs cost too much, last too long and do not address family issues once young people are released, the group said. “The home school has become  a place of last resort for juveniles we don’t know what to do with,” said Tom Merkel, county director of community corrections and rehabilitation. He said the group “seriously considered” closing the home school, but decided it was ideal for new, shorter residence programs and day treatment for juvenile offenders. he county spends $31 million a year on out-of-home correctional placements for juveniles, $12.5 million of that on the home school. In 2007 it spent an average of $62,753 on each of the 494 youths placed in 68 residential programs inside and outside of Minnesota.