Sticker shock: The price of New York’s youth prisons nears $1 million per detainee | Crime and Courts


For advocates who have long pointed out institutional abuse, poor recidivism rates, and the high cost to taxpayers of New York state juvenile prisons, a cost of nearly $ 1 million a year is another clear example of why the sentences are final should be closed. The pandemic-induced budget crisis of the state only underlines the need to give up the almost empty facilities.

There are also stock problems to be solved. In 2019, young people of color made up 283 of the 388 children in state custody – 73% in a state where people of color make up just 30%.

At the national level, youth in state prisons have higher reopening rates, lower educational attainments, and poorer health and employment outcomes, the Justice Policy Institute and other research groups have long reported.

“These systems, so tied to large buildings, confuse the mission with the infrastructure,” said Vincent Schiraldi, former New York Probation Commissioner. “The mission is to protect us and change children’s lives.”

Christine Ongjoco, The Imprint

Across the country, youth held in prisons have fallen as states like Virginia and Maryland closed them, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. A last year report by the Massachusetts-based Prison Policy Initiative that researched “exposes the greater harm of mass criminalization” found a 60% decrease in juvenile detention since 2000. A month ago, the California governor finalized plans to end the sentence once -wide state juvenile prison system.

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