The Importance of Helping Youth in the Justice System Before It’s Too Late

Jefferson County Courthouse” by Patrick Feller licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: PBS

Across the U.S., there are more than 50,000 young people incarcerated at any given moment, reports PBS.

The ongoing issue of mass incarceration in the U.S. is a problem that starts early and that, if not intervened, becomes a lifetime of imprisonment and danger for the youth of America.

Johnnie McDaniels, a judge in Hinds County, Mississippi, discusses the importance of intervening early on before it’s too late for these youth to escape the cycle of imprisonment.

“The system not having the proper mechanisms in place to deal with the revolving door of juvenile justice is absolutely problematic,” he writes. “Many of those juveniles have been the subject of some type of abuse, some type of neglect, some type of trauma.”

That’s why, writer McDaniels, having additional services available to help create real reform in the lives of those youth is important. Mental health services for example could help transform youth who are incarcerated a young age, without regard to the situations that led them there in the first place.

“I absolutely believe that we can divert and rehabilitate young people, so that we won’t have so many people in the criminal justice system. And if you don’t get it right at the juvenile level in the context of criminal justice, you’re never going to get it right at the adult level,” he writes.

Read Full Story: PBS

Children & Families, Justice & Poverty, News
Children & Families, Justice & Poverty, News