November 02, 2012
Did you know that based on data from 2006, in Louisiana alone, more than 10,000 students are pushed out of the public school system? This occurs often as a result of harsh discipline policies that increase the chances that children will end up in the juvenile justice system.
Many of our youths are criminalized because of their experiences with failing foster care and mental health systems. Once arrested, children can stay in detention facilities for weeks or months before a judge hears their case.
Today, an estimated 100,000 children and teens are locked up in juvenile facilities across the country, and thousands are incarcerated in adult prisons.
Based on research from the U.S. Department of Justice, youths incarcerated with adults are eight times more likely to commit suicide than in juvenile facilities.
Incarcerating children in adult systems does not only put them at risk of abuses, it also fails to protect communities.
By reforming the juvenile justice system and providing support in our schools and communities, this cycle can be broken and we can dramatically reduce our country’s prison population.