A new video from JJIE's Juvenile Justice Resource Hub explains how community-based alternatives can be more cost-effective and have better outcomes for teens than incarceration. Via the video:
All kids make mistakes; some get in trouble with the law. Instead of having a chance to learn from their actions, though, they're often sent to costly, dangerous facilities that make them more likely to commit new crimes.
What else can we do? Plenty. Many cost-effective program options, known as "community-based alternatives," have already been developed and tested that serve youth safely in the community instead of incarcerating them in jail-like facilities. Many alternatives have also been developed to divert youth from almost any point in the juvenile justice system.
Editor's Note: "Young Kids, Hard Time" originally aired November 20th. MSNBC will re-air it on Saturday, November 26th, at 2 pm PST / 5 pm EST.
There are many imperfections in the nation’s criminal justice system. So many, it’s hard to know where to start.
Take your pick: The public defender system, death row, life without parole or the whole idea of housing convicts together in hopes of rehabilitating them.
Poke around a bit. You’ll find some disturbing problems. None, however, will shake you to the core like seeing a child doing hard time behind bars, serving a sentence twice as long as he is old.
This is what you get in “Young Kids, Hard Time,” an MSNBC documentary premiering Sunday night at 10 p.m. EST.
Here is a film that shines a light on a very dark side of the criminal justice system: the more than 200,000 kids who are tried, sentenced and incarcerated as adults. Sometimes busted in their early teens, these children remain in the juvenile system until they reach the age of 18. This is when they are transferred to adult population facilities where they serve the rest of their sentence with some of the country’s most brutal and hardened criminals.
“Young Kids, Hard Time” shows what life is like for these incarcerated young people and examines the possible long-term impact on society.
Thanks to everyone for tuning into our livecast from today's workshop, Reclaiming Futures and the Juvenile Drug Court. We'll be uploading archived video from today's talks soon, as well as a companion PDF file of the day's slides so you can follow along.