POWER, an AC client, is a non-profit organization that helps women recovering from addiction. As one of their services, POWER runs a weekly poetry workshop which was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. To see the article “Sharing the power of poetry to women recovering from addiction,” written by P-G reporter Marylynne Pitz, click here.
This is the time of year when state and local governments go through the annual budget ritual of trying to reconcile seemingly conflicting agendas: reducing expenses while also continuing to fund programs that, while expensive, are essential.
One area that has become a major point of debate around the country and, indeed, in other countries as well, is how to fund juvenile justice systems adequately and to design those systems so that we’re not spending many millions of dollars on models that don’t work.
As an example, in New York City, it costs $200,000 a year to incarcerate one juvenile offender. And at the end of their incarceration, when they are released, 80% of these juveniles are rearrested within 36 months. Is that the most prudent way to deal with this issue: $200,000 a year for each juvenile, with an 80% chance they’ll commit more crimes when they’re released?
To read the rest of the article click here.
By: Bill Baccaglini and Dr. Sylvia Rowlands, The New York Foundling
March 4, 2015
State and local governments around the country are dealing with issues related to incarceration of juveniles. Several, including New York, are considering proposals that would end sentencing 16- and 17-year-olds as adults and expand alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders.
Wherever these issues are raised, opponents with their own special interests inevitably arise and launch into a steady and predictable drumbeat equating incarceration with public safety. Their message implies that the choice is incarceration or nothing — and that by reducing the number of juveniles who are locked up, we are going to endanger public safety. In fact, the issue is far more nuanced than that.
It’s not incarceration or nothing. In reality, it’s incarceration versus approaches that have already been proven to yield better results.