To: Governor McAuliffe and Virginia State Lawmakers
From: [Your Name]
Invest in Virginia’s kids in their communities, not in large youth prisons.
Virginia spends over $130,000 to incarcerate one youth for one year in punishment-focused juvenile prisons.
Virginia data shows that juvenile prisons don’t work. The longer youth are incarcerated in juvenile prisons the more likely they are to re-offend. Our communities deserve better outcomes.
Every dollar spent on alternatives to incarceration, designed to rehabilitate youth instead of just punish them, could yield $4 to $22 in benefit to the state of Virginia. Examples of alternatives include the Youth Advocates Program, Inc., restorative justice, multi-systemic therapy, functional family therapy, and aggression replacement training.
Join me and families all over Virginia in supporting and keeping youth safely in their communities rather than in large and ineffective youth prisons far from their homes.