NY: A Brutal Failure of a Juvenile Injustice System

The release of this draft report (pdf)on New York's juvenile justice system should be eye-opening. To call the system failed, horrific and beyond the pale of acceptable policy doesn't begin to describe it.

The New York Times reports here.

The report, prepared by a task force appointed by Gov. David A. Paterson and led by Jeremy Travis, president of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, comes three months after a federal investigation found that excessive force was routinely used at four prisons, resulting in injuries as severe as broken bones and shattered teeth. The situation was so serious the Department of Justice, which made the investigation, threatened to take over the system.

The financial aspect is also absurd: New York is spending $210,000 per child to keep these juveniles, more than 50 % of whom were sentenced for misdemeanors, locked up. And,

More than 80 percent were black or Latino, even though blacks and Latinos make up less than half the state’s total youth population — a racial disparity that has never been explained, the report said.

This is a system in crisis, and New York needs to address it -- sooner, rather than later.

< Wednesday Morning Open Thread | How About A Medicaid Buy-In? >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Read an editorial... (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:19:12 AM EST
    on the report in yesterdays paper...some appalling findings, to be sure.

    Taxpayers paying 210k per troubled kid a year to pay some goon to knock their teeth out and keep 'em outta our hair...just lovely.

    For all our societal advances and evolutions, we still do "corrections" almost exactly the same as the dark ages.  

    proportion of delinquents (none / 0) (#2)
    by diogenes on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:39:58 AM EST
    Whether it's urban areas, poverty, or family disintegration as the cause, I suspect that the proportion of Latino and black youth who are serious and dangerous juvenile delinquents is much closer to 80% than 50%.
    There are large numbers of probation and probation diversion programs here in New York that are tried before someone gets to juvie. It would help if you printed the history/rap sheets of some of the people who you think should not be in detention so we can see what alternative measures could be tried and what mayhem the person might create if released.  I'm sure that their lawyers would release this information if it promoted an "innocence project" to release unjustifiably imprisoned youngsters.  

    Agreed that the excessive force issue (none / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 11:51:52 AM EST
    needs to be stopped, asap.

    Regarding race, if the racial makeup of those arrested is completely out of whack with the racial makeup of those committing the crimes, then that needs to be stopped asap as well.