|FOREST OF THE RAIN PRODUCTIONS An Educational Affairs Organization||
[F]airly viewed, pretrial detention of a juvenile gives rise to injuries comparable to those associated with the imprisonment of an adult. —Justice Thurgood Marshall
It is, in all but name, a penitentiary. —Justice Hugo L. Black
Is America getting what it wants and needs by incarcerating in youth prisons young people who get in trouble with the law? If not, is there a better way? For 170 years, since our first youth correctional institution opened, America’s approach to youth incarceration has been built on the premise that a slightly modified version of the adult correctional model of incarceration, control, coercion, and punishment — with a little bit of programming sprinkled in — would rehabilitate young people. Sometimes the names attempt to camouflage the nature of the facility, but whether they are called “training schools” or “youth centers,” nearly all of these facilities are youth prisons.
Patrick McCarthy is President of the Annie E. Casey
Foundation. He previously served as Director of
the Division of Youth Rehabilitation Services in
Vincent Schiraldi is a Senior Research Fellow at the
Harvard Kennedy School, Program in Criminal
Justice Policy and Management. He previously
served as Commissioner of the New York City
Department of Probation and as Director of the
Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services in
Miriam Shark is an Independent Consultant in
Portland, Maine. She previously served as Associate
Director of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.