Kids Behind Bars: Illinois Rethinks Juvenile Justice

Kids Behind Bars: Illinois Rethinks Juvenile Justice

August 18, 2012 | by NPR Staff | National Public Radio

The United States has the highest youth incarceration rate than any other country, and in Illinois approximately fifty percent of incarcerated youth will return to detention facilities, often for violating their probations with minor offenses. This is not only unnecessary, but extremely costly for the state; in 2010, it cost the state of Illinois over $86,000 to detain a  juvenile criminal.

The United States has the highest youth incarceration rate than any other country, and in Illinois approximately fifty percent of incarcerated youth will return to detention facilities, often for violating their probations with minor offenses. This is not only unnecessary, but extremely costly for the state; in 2010, it cost the state of Illinois over $86,000 to detain a  juvenile criminal. However, officials have recently enacted new community-based policies to decrease the recidivism rate which, based on a 2011 study, have proven to be effective for youth in the juvenile justice system.