Have you, your children or family been affected by youth incarceration? Share your story.
Still, the United States still incarcerates more young people than any other country. On any given day the U.S. incarcerates nearly 60,000 youth under age 18 in jails and prisons. Even worse is that approximately 250,000 youth are tried, sentenced or incarcerated as adults, and around 10,000 juveniles are housed in adult jails and prisons – 7,500 in jails and 2,700 in prisons, respectively.
Most kids held in adult jails are awaiting trial, though as many as half of them will not be convicted or will be sent back to the juvenile justice system. Many will have spent at least one month in the adult jail, and one in five of them will have spent over six months there. These kids are often locked up before they are even tried, incarcerated for minor offenses such as truancy, running away, violating curfew, or being otherwise “ungovernable.
The truth is prisons harm kids. Incarcerated youth often experience dangerous facility conditions such as physical and chemical restraints, high suicide risk, sexual and physical abuse, and solitary confinement.
Many of these kids could be released today without great risk to public safety and due to the serious, harmful effects of incarceration on a person’s mental and physical health, their economic and social prospects, their relationships, and on the people around them, there is growing consensus that youth confinement is ineffective in comparison to community based programs that provide supports, services and opportunities for youth.
MomsRising is working to END youth incarceration by challenging the practices and policies that criminalize kids and push them into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
Tell us how you, your children and or family have been affected by youth incarceration, arrest, bail, probation, navigating the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, and if you or your family has benefited from community based alternatives to incarceration.
Click the links to share your thoughts and experiences with MomsRising. We will include it in materials we use to educate our nation and decision makers about youth incarceration and what parents, caregivers, and community members are doing to address this problem in our nation.
Together we can END the practice of putting kids in prison and instead invest in community-based supports, services, and opportunities for youth.