New York State Juvenile Prison System Broken, Panel Reports


New York State's system of juvenile prisons is broken, with teens battling mental illness or addiction held alongside violent offenders in abysmal facilities where they receive little counseling, can be physically abused, and rarely get a basic education, says a state panel’s study reported by the New York Times.

The problems are so acute that the state agency overseeing the prisons has asked judges not to send youths to them unless they are a significant risk to public safety, recommending alternatives, like therapeutic foster care. “I was not proud of my state when I saw some of these facilities,” said panel chairman Jeremy Travis, president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “New York is no longer the leader it once was in the juvenile justice field.”

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