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New York and California Governors Propose Local Control over Youth in Secure Facilities

January 17, 2012

New York and California Governors Propose Local Control over Youth in Secure Facilities


juvenile-justice-reform_closed-signWithin one week of each other, California Governor Jerry Brown and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed that local jurisdictions take control over youth sent to state-run youth prisons. Governor Brown’s budget  calls for a gradual shutdown of the youth facilities run by the California Department of Juvenile Justice (formerly the California Youth Authority). Governor Cuomo’s budget would transfer youth from New York City who are being held in state facilities back to local facilities.

Each of these moves recognizes the inordinate expense of youth prisons and their failure to help youth get back on the right track.  Keeping youth within close proximity of their families and other community supports will facilitate the development of a more effective system for holding youth accountable.  

The realignment of the justice systems being considered in California and New York are not isolated cases, though certainly large in scale. To learn more about similar closures and downsizing in other states -- along with recommendations on how to do it right -- see our latest publication: "Bringing Youth Home: A National Movement to Increase Public Safety, Rehabilitate Youth and Save Money."

Photo: mhartford under Creative Commons license

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