We spend an incredible amount of money warehousing older and sicker low-risk people, while not spending what we should on intervention and re-entry resources for young people. A smarter approach to incarceration would do the reverse, write two justice experts.
A study released by the Urban Institute Tuesday suggests turning youth prisons, which have been slowly closing over the past decade, into places where the community can access social services, business growth, and neighborhood revitalization.
In a recent exercise by The Beat Within, a San Francisco-based prison writing workshop, individuals were asked to write essays describing their stay in Juvenile Hall, including what they appreciated, what they didn’t like–and the future they saw for themselves.
A program in Alberta is using chess as part of a unique alternative sentence for non-violent juvenile offenders. The goal is to nurture skills such as reasoning, problem-solving, planning and decision-making.
Nearly 400,000 young people are put on probation each year, pulling them deeper into the justice system without support or guidance that could divert them to a better path. Introducing a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, two juvenile justice experts suggest an agenda to get them there.
ByEmily Hoerner and Jeanne Kuang/Injustice Watch |
There is no national legal standard on how many years is too many for a juvenile to serve. Across the country, juvenile offenders are being released from prison based on recognition that human brains continue to develop for the first two and a half decades of life. That’s not the case in Illinois, write two reporters who investigated 11 cases of youths serving sentences of 50 years or longer.
In a study of 1,216 first-time young offenders, researchers found that teenage boys who said their fathers were absent or harsh were more likely to engage in delinquent behavior. The mother-child influence was found to have no effect on the results.
Despite abundant evidence that youth prisons have failed to rehabilitate young people, scores of large, locked youth prisons are still open in the US, where children in custody continue to experience daily atrocities, say two youth advocates.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has only 60 employees, but one-fourth of its positions may not be filled after attrition. That would reduce efforts to insure state compliance with a federal law providing juvenile justice aid.