A Juvenile Solution

What about the kids?

A few editorial thoughts on what to do about youth crime and delinquence from The Washington Post:

"THE SENATE Judiciary Committee should embrace a bill scheduled for debate on Thursday that institutes needed reforms in how the nation deals with youth who run afoul of the law.

The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Reauthorization Act does not impose federal strictures on state and local entities, but it provides funds for those that choose to comply with the legislation's guidelines. In this way, the Justice Department, which administers the act, can provide incentives to states to comply with what it considers best practices.

Perhaps the most important provision in the legislation is one that calls on states to keep juveniles — even those charged as adults — separate from alleged adult offenders. Statistics show that juveniles held in adult facilities are more likely to be attacked, more likely to commit crimes once released and more likely to commit suicide than those held in facilities that house only minors. Even so, the act sensibly gives prosecutors and judges some discretion to detain in adult facilities youths who are charged with the most violent crimes and who pose a significant threat to other juveniles. And it makes accommodations for small or rural communities that do not have separate adult and juvenile facilities as long as youth are held out of "sight and sound" from the adults."


Continue reading at WashingtonPost.com


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