States closing youth prisons

By , June 7, 2010 12:41 pm
Razor wire, detail
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After struggling for years to treat young criminals in razor wire-ringed institutions, states across the country are quietly shuttering dozens of reformatories amid plunging juvenile arrests, softer treatment policies and bleak budgets.

In Ohio, the number of juvenile offenders has plummeted by nearly half over the past two years, pushing the state to close three facilities. California’s closures include a youth institution near Los Angeles that operated for nearly 115 years. And one in Texas will finally go quiet after getting its start as a World War II-era training base.

The closures have juvenile advocates cheering.

“I can tell you it’s the best thing they can do,” said Aaron Kupchik, a University of Delaware criminologist. “Incarceration does nobody any good. You’re taking away most of their chance for normal development.”

via States closing youth prisons – Salt Lake Tribune.

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