Why are Youth Held in DC Jail?

July 31, 2007

This new report from the Campaign for Youth Justice makes a powerful case that too many 15, 16 and 17 year olds are held in DC Jail. What makes this especially terrible for the kids and our community (to which they will return one day) is that we have few education and counseling options available at the jail for teens. So they just sit there, locked in their cells for almost the whole day.

The report has a number of sensible policy recommendations, including 1) requiring that kids who are tried as adults be held in juvenile facilities while the await trial, and 2) mandating that a judge review all cases in which prosecutors seek to try kids as adults, and make a case-by-case determination that the transfer to adult court makes sense. More here.

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