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.