Looking at reports that examine the effectiveness of youth prisons in Michigan, a report done by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that children should not be kept behind bars and reccommends that they all be closed.
The foundation president and CEO, Patrick McCarthy, says these prisons have high recidivism rates and do not improve long-term outcomes for youth. Many youth are sent to prison for low-risk offenses and often don't get the guidance/support they need to get back on track. He calls them "Factories of Failure."
There are many rehabilitative/restorative alternatives that can replace youth prisons, at a cheaper price. Youth prisons are expensive, defy reform, and are prone to abuse. Additionally, prisons of these nature have been known for systematic maltreatment that might make juveniles come out worse-off than before.
States pay on average about $90,000 a year for every youth in a juvenile facility. This money have potential to be used for other forms of treatment that have historically shown success. This report reccommends a four R strategy: reduce the pipeline of children into youth facilities; reform the corrections culture that wrongly assumes locking up children improves safety; replace youth prisons with rehabilitative services; and reinvest in evidence-based solutions.
Questions to consider:
Have any of you heard of states/counties that have showcased this form of reform that abolishes youth prisons?
Where could the state use the cost-savings from this reform most effectively?
What are the counter-arguments to this? Are there any consequences if this backfires?
Please share any/all thoughts! Thanks!