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← Three States Lead the Way for Juvenile Justice Reforms | Pew

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Showing Revision 1 created 07/18/2019 by schoolcraftDL.

  1. - I got my first arrest
    when I was 11 years old.
  2. You know, you don't go from
  3. banging on the streets of Atlanta, Georgia
  4. with a life expectancy of 15 years
  5. to Commissioner of Juvenile
    Justice accidentally.
  6. You go there because
    somebody had the courage
  7. to believe more and give you
  8. the opportunity to become more.
  9. And that's what we have to do.
  10. That's our real work.
  11. - Senate Bill 200 is adopted.
  12. - Since the late 1990's the rate at which
  13. juveniles are arrested for violent crime
  14. has been cut in half.
  15. And so has the rate at which they're held
  16. in juvenile correctional facilities.
  17. State policy leaders are now poised
  18. to accelerate and lock in these trends
  19. toward more public safety
    at less tax payer expense.
  20. - The time is right for
    juvenile justice reform.
  21. - We're living in a time now where
  22. the opportunity has never been greater.
  23. - We need to recognize that we can do
  24. a better job with our kids.
  25. - States from Georgia
    to Kentucky to Hawaii
  26. are taking a fresh look
    at juvenile justice
  27. because it was clear the
    status quo was not working.
  28. - Kentucky was spending it's money
  29. it all the wrong ways.
  30. - We weren't getting a
    good return on investment.
  31. We weren't getting results.
  32. We weren't getting the best outcomes
  33. for our most troubled children.
  34. When I started to look at the type of kids
  35. that we had at the correctional facility
  36. I realized that the overwhelming majority
  37. of them were not a risk to public safety.
  38. - Like many judges, we were
    committing kids by default.
  39. - We were putting almost as many kids in
  40. some type of detention facility
  41. for missing school as we
    were for committing a crime.
  42. - We are forced, because
    we don't have those
  43. local community interventions,
    to commit them to the state.
  44. - We were spending a lot
    of money on detention,
  45. particularly for low level offenders,
  46. when we see that that's not a productive
  47. or effective way to invest
    in the lives of those kids.
  48. - Research shows that juvenile
    correctional facilities
  49. generally fail to produce better outcomes
  50. than alternative
    sanctions, cost much more,
  51. and can actually increase
    re-offending for certain youth.
  52. - Putting kids in placement
    in secure facilities,
  53. lock up, does not actually deter crime.
  54. - Longer stays don't seem
    to show any positive effects
  55. in terms of reducing rate of re-arrest.
  56. At some point, we should
    have a way of thinking about
  57. why we're keeping an
    adolescent in an institution
  58. for a longer time period.
  59. And if they are reasons to do that
  60. then let's be explicit about that,
  61. and figure out what
    we're getting out of it.
  62. - To get better results,
    states are reducing
  63. the number of youths sent
    to correctional facilities
  64. and reinvesting a portion of the savings
  65. into programs and policies
    that reduce recidivism.
  66. - One of the ways that states
    can really respond effectively
  67. is to be able to sort
    through kids in terms of
  68. low risk, medium risk, high risk kids,
  69. and to focus those resources effectively
  70. on the adolescents who
    are going to present
  71. the highest risk of
    public safety problems.
  72. - If we require judges
    to apply risk assessment
  73. instruments before they can commit kids
  74. to ensure that the lower risk kids
  75. are not committed to the state.
  76. - We're gonna see a dramatic shift
  77. in the way we serve young people.
  78. - These reforms, first of
    all, are going to keep kids
  79. who otherwise would have
    been sent to a youth prison
  80. to remain in the community
    and receive the type
  81. of interventions that need
    to happen in their home.
  82. - There will be a
    significantly reduced number
  83. of actual court cases filed.
  84. They will be addressed appropriately
  85. with social services on the front end.
  86. - To better protect public safety,
  87. you need to spend those
    dollars at the front end
  88. of the system versus the
    back end of the system.
  89. - Everything in juvenile
    justice is about intervention.
  90. Prevent a child learning
    further criminal behaviors
  91. and you prevent a future adult criminal.
  92. - These reforms are not only
    making communities safer,
  93. but they're saving states
    money because placing youth
  94. in residential facilities is the most
  95. expensive correctional option.
  96. - When you can divert,
    you can avoid sending
  97. a low level child to
    detention for $100,000 a year,
  98. those savings mount up quickly.
  99. - In the state of Hawaii
    it's costing approximately
  100. $199,000 a year to incarcerate a youth.
  101. - The bottom line is that
    we have passed a bill
  102. that gets better outcomes for children
  103. and does so at a lower
    cost for the tax payer.
  104. - As a result of these reforms,
  105. we have realized cost savings.
  106. In Georgia for example,
    we have already shut down
  107. two facilities because we are no longer
  108. committing low risk offenders.
  109. - States are getting to good public policy
  110. by looking at the data.
  111. Across all branches of government,
  112. and the partisan divide, state
    leaders are coming together
  113. to assess their systems
    and find solutions.
  114. - The collaboration on this bill is key.
  115. We turned no one away.
  116. - The task force was vital to the process
  117. because it gave us that credibility
  118. and that unified voice to speak with
  119. when rolling out a package
    of legislative reforms.
  120. - These reforms are grounded in research
  121. and the public supports them.
  122. - The public has always been more positive
  123. in its orientation toward
    youthful offenders.
  124. - Eighty-five percent of voters
    say they are not concerned
  125. whether juvenile offenders are sent to
  126. correctional facilities or
    how long they stay there.
  127. What matters is reducing the likelihood
  128. of future crime.
  129. - I really think in some
    way we're kinda coming
  130. back around to what the
    public expected all the time
  131. from the juvenile justice system.
  132. - State leaders have successfully adopted
  133. reforms that will change the direction
  134. of juvenile justice policy
    and the lives of young people.
  135. - For every child that we divert from the
  136. criminal justice system
    and decrease the chances
  137. they'll ever enter it, that's a policy win
  138. in so many ways.
  139. - We go into public
    service to do those things.
  140. That's why we're there.
  141. - If we continue on this trajectory,
  142. the only children that
    come to the deep end
  143. of our system will be the ones that
  144. absolutely need it and every other child
  145. in the commonwealth, and
    hopefully in the nation,
  146. will move forward to
    their greatest successes.