YOUTH INCARCERATION DROP

03/05/13

A recent report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds America’s rate of locking up young people has dropped by more than 40 percent over a 15 year period, with no decrease in public safety. That is remarkable, and it is in part a repudiation of some bad politics.

The 15 year time period is significant, because it was about 15 years we realized a focused effort to crack down on juvenile crime for the previous decade, was based on faulty logic. Despite politicians’ claims, youth crime as not going up, and we were stuck with bad laws putting more and more young people in prison.


The reversal began, attention was given to restorative justice and alternatives to incarceration and now we are reaping the benefit. Wisconsin’s decrease is right at the national average...about 40 percent. Good. That’s justice. And actually we can do even better.