Monday, October 11, 2010
From an editorial in the New York Times:
New York State will spend an extraordinary $170 million this year on 21 juvenile facilities. The system has more than 2,000 employees to oversee fewer than 700 children.
. . .
New York should close down as many of these facilities as possible, preserving only the few it needs to hold genuinely dangerous young offenders. Low-risk youths — those found guilty of crimes like shoplifting, trespassing and petty theft — should be sent to community-based programs that do a much better job of rehabilitation and are far less expensive to manage. These treatment programs can cost as little as $15,000 a year, compared with the estimated $220,000 to house a child in a state facility.
. . .
Decades of research show that keeping young offenders locked up far from their families is a sure way of turning them into career criminals.