Saturday, July 26, 2014





Keep juveniles out of lockups


February 19. 2013 3:24PM
Story Tools
PrintPrint | E-MailEMail | SaveSave | Hear Generate QR Code QR
Send to Kindle


FOR YEARS, New Jersey sent juveniles awaiting trial to county detention centers, locking them up even for minor crimes. But a new report on juvenile justice reform shows that there is another, more effective, alternative that saves taxpayer money and protects society.


The number of juveniles jailed across New Jersey has declined by more than half since the state started a program eight years ago to divert them to other options, according to the Kids Count Special Report.


Funded by a $200,000 grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the program has been implemented in 16 counties. Similar programs have been adopted in other states. The results in New Jersey are staggering. Last year, there were 4,093 juveniles admitted to county detention centers, compared with 10,191 before the program began in 2004.


For young defendants not considered a threat to public safety, the program changed the misguided focus of solely locking them up to allowing alternatives, such as electronic monitoring and home visits. They also receive job training, counseling and other services more in line with the intent of juvenile justice – giving youths a second chance.


Providing compelling evidence that some youths are good candidates for rehabilitation, the report found that only 3 percent of participants committed another crime while in the program.


With fewer juveniles held in lockup facilities, some counties, including Gloucester, were able to close their detention centers. Across the state, $16 million a year has been saved as a result.


New Jersey's laudable efforts should be replicated elsewhere to help prevent so many of today's youthful offenders from becoming tomorrow's adult criminals.


The Philadelphia Inquirer




Comments
comments powered by Disqus Commenting Guidelines
Poll
Mortgage Minute


Search for New & Used Cars

Make 
Model
 
Used New All
 

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just the home you want!

Search Times Leader Classifieds to find just what you need!

Search Pet Classifieds
Dogs Cats Other Animals



Social Media/RSS
Times Leader on Twitter
Times Leader on Youtube
Times Leader on Google+
The Times Leader on Tumblr
The Times Leader on Pinterest
Times Leader RSS Feeds