Children, even teenagers, do not belong in adult jails

By The New York Times

October 15

WHAT DO you do with children suspected or convicted of committing very adult crimes? The answer isn’t easy, particularly when violence is involved. One thing that’s clear, though: Standing policy should not be to warehouse youth in adult jails and prisons, unless there are no other reasonable options. Encouragingly, a new report from the Campaign for Youth Justice finds that, over the past eight years, nearly half the states have changed various laws to discourage shunting minors through the adult criminal justice system when it isn’t necessary.Research has shown that locking up minors anywhere is rarely a great way to prevent repeat offenses. But when they have to be incarcerated, they need safety, structure and education.

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