JJLE: Polls Shows Americans Support Rehabilitation Focus for Juvenile Justice Systems

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Custody rates are calculated per 100,000 juveniles ages 10 through the upper age of original juvenile court jurisdiction in each state. Map shows breakdowns of incarcerated youth by race, ethnicity and gender as compared to the general youth population in that state. The lightest blue represents a ratio of 1:1 or less; the darkest blue represents 1:10 or more.

Sarah Barr is a Washington, D.C. corespondent with the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. 

WASHINGTON — More than half of Americans support closing youth prisons and redirecting the savings to community-based programs, data that gives momentum to efforts to close facilities around the country, advocates say.

The Youth First Initiative, a national campaign to close youth prisons, released today polling data that delves into Americans’ attitudes about incarceration, punishment and rehabilitation.

“We’re very encouraged by the results and we think this matches with the political will we’re seeing,” said Liz Ryan, CEO of Youth First.

A bipartisan group of governors — from Connecticut, Illinois and Virginia — have recently said they would like to close some of their states’ largest and oldest prisons.

Read more here.

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