A 2016 report published by Harvard Kennedy School and the National Institute of Justice details organized violence in US youth prisons. This has necessitated calls from all quarters for the closure of youth prisons across the country, Washington Post reports.
These youth prisons will be replaced with community programs and rehabilitation centers.
This recommendation became necessary when avoidable deaths and arranged assaults were uncovered at several youth prisons in the US.
Over 13,000 alleged abuses have been recorded in several youth prison facilities housing up to 46,000 youth offenders.
Reports tracking prison abuses among incarcerated youths from 1970 to 2015 found that youth prisons in 45 US states are guilty of this evil.
Prison Staff Set Up Many of the Systemic Maltreatment in Youth Prisons
Some of these systemic maltreatment involve prison staff arranging violent fights among incarcerated youths. Sometimes correctional officers have been found guilty of bribing youth inmates to beat up other outspoken incarcerated youths.
The Justice Department in New York discovered incidents where prison staff broke the bones and knocked out the teeth of teenage inmates for talking in line in the cafeteria. There was also the case of a 15-year-old teen who died in jail while being pinned down by prison staff.
A research published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2012 revealed that one in 10 locked up was sexually abused behind bars. One facility administer was even convicted of sexually abusing youth inmates at a juvenile center in Texas.
Investigations have been opened in several states’ youth facilities for physical assaults and frequent deaths. This youth prison malfeasance has been recorded in youth prisons in Florida, South Carolina, New York and Texas among others.
An Incarcerated Youth Is More Likely To Be Incarcerated Again In The Future
Related studies show incarcerating youth offenders has done little to really rehabilitate them.
These reports reveal that the government spends up to $150,000 to imprison one juvenile, yet they relapse into more terrible crimes on their release.
The authors of the studies reveal that an incarcerated juvenile is more likely to be arrested and imprisoned again in the future than those who never went to prison for once.
This discovery has prompted lawmakers to initiate some prison reforms as well as reduce the number of “jailable” offenses, but more still needs to be done.