Sunday, June 06, 2010

American Justice

Good news edition;

WALES, Wis. – After struggling for years to treat young criminals in razor wire-ringed institutions, states across the country are quietly shuttering dozens of reformatories amid plunging juvenile arrests, softer treatment policies and bleak budgets.

In Ohio, the number of juvenile offenders has plummeted by nearly half over the last two years, pushing the state to close three facilities. California's closures include a youth institution near Los Angeles that operated for nearly 115 years. And one in Texas will finally go quiet after getting its start as a World War II-era training base.

The closures have juvenile advocates cheering.

"I can tell you it's the best thing they can do," said Aaron Kupchik, a University of Delaware criminologist. "Incarceration does nobody any good. You're taking away most of their chance for normal development."

One of the benefits.. probably the only one.. of the devastating financial situation going on in the US is that sending people to prison isn't all that practical.

Now.. the nest step.. is fixing the ridiculous drug laws and "3 strikes" type laws.

The US imprisons more human beings per-capita than any nation on the planet. It's not because Americans lead the world in crime. It's because of the "get tough on crime" absurdity from the right wing jackasses.

Of course, this does nothing to fix the problem of out of control police departments and corrupt police officers.. as well as a prosecution system that favors convictions far more than justice.

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