Juvenile Justice and Prison Reform
January 25th, 2007

Mandatory minimum sentences have taken their toll on the United States, the New York Times writes in an editorial this morning. The country is spending $60 billion a year on corrections and “has created a growing felon caste” with more than 16 million members, the paper writes.

The Times editorial recommends that Congress pass a law called the Second Chance Act, which would give more support to people leaving prison, and lists a series of other actions that could be taken in Washington.

The prison issue is gaining traction nationwide (The Times Magazine wrote last month about how right-wing Christians are increasingly interested in prison reform).

New York’s Rockefeller Drug Laws served as the national model for severe mandatory minimums, and the state’s recent reforms were not as thorough as others who have eased. (Gotham Gazette’s Book Club recently discussed the issue at length).

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in his state of the city speech that his administration will look for alternatives to incarceration among one particular population of offenders: juveniles. Juvenile crime is on the rise in the city, and almost half of the juvenile offenders who ended up in custody in 2006 were repeat offenders.

On Gotham Gazette today, Asadullah Muhammad, the head of Each One Teach One, a 15-week youth leadership program that trains and educates teens who have been incarcerated, responds to the mayor’s plans.

By on January 25, 2007, 11:39 am
In category: Crime & Safety,Gotham City | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Juvenile Justice and Prison Reform”

  1. Los Angeles Juvenile Attorney Says:
    January 25th, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    I applaud any and all efforts that help those incarcerated to make the transition to becoming productive citizens. Alternatives to incarceration should be a priority when dealing with juvenile offenders. George Kita, http://www.topjuveniledefender.com

  2. Rozan Says:
    February 1st, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    I am very interested in prison reform. I have a friend in the system who needs to be out, earning his own way and taking care of business.
    One stupid act and he got more years than some people who commit murder, and he admitted to his crime, doing the plea was to have him out in two years, working again. Instead, he is now in for four, and going longer, and I believe he would be better served and better serve if he was allowed out to work, and do public service.

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