We need more effective services to cut juvenile-justice system’s recidivism rate

Bills have been passed on the minimum wage, bullying and health care, but what about a bill to have more effective programs to help stop juvenile delinquents from continuously going through the juvenile-justice system?

I have been interning at a boys residential treatment facility in St. Paul for about eight months now, and within that eight months period I have seen multiple clients be released and then commit a crime and get sent back to serve more time. Normally it’s small charges, but the charges range from a small petty theft to murder. We need more than just a residential facility to keep juveniles away from troubles for a period of time. We need programs — active programs for these kids to go to once they leave the facility.

There are so many crimes involving youth and not enough detention centers to hold them. Plus youth are still young and are still mentally developing; they need positive services, role models and support to help guide them.

Everyone wants a safe community to live in and to deal with fewer crimes. In order to accomplish that, we need to fix what is causing the problem. We need to develop more effective after-care programs for these juveniles while they are still young.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by rolf westgard on 04/29/2014 - 01:26 pm.

    Real need

    is for a strong pre school program. By the time youths are in those residential treatment facilities, it is too late.

  2. Submitted by John Farrell on 10/27/2014 - 10:42 am.

    Resource on challenges with placement

    It’s a bit dated, but I wrote my master’s thesis on this issue with out of home placement for juveniles in the justice system in Minnesota. A resource if you like: http://cl.ly/2e0G1S0M2T2t

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