When kids act up, locking them up is the wrong thing to do in most cases, says a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The foundation's Juvenile Justice Strategy Group director, Bart Lubow, says decades of research, along with new data, show that putting kids behind bars doesn't keep them from criminality later.
The report, No Place for Kids, The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration, also shows the practice fails to provide public-safety benefits, wastes taxpayer money, and exposes young people to violence and abuse, while in almost every case, the "crimes" they had committed were minor.
"The majority are either charged with nonviolent offenses, or are there primarily for acts of defiance relative to an adult."
The report also finds that reducing incarceration doesn't mean crime will increase.