‘Every Youth Prison in the Country Should Be Closed’

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"Youth Study Center" built in 1948 to house Philadelphia juvenile offenders. Photo by Ezra Wolfe via Flickr

The nearly two-centuries-old approach in America to institutionalizing and detaining young people who run afoul of the law must be replaced by a system that takes into account the different developmental needs of youth---and the interests of society in making sure they aren’t channeled into a lifetime of criminal behavior, says a paper sponsored by the Harvard Kennedy School and the National Institute of Justice.

“It is difficult to find an area of U.S. policy . . .

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