Making A Comeback For Kids

“Making A Comeback For Kids” by Marc A. Levin, Esq. and Sarah Bryer

To read this article on the Huffington Post website, click here.

The times, they are a-changin’ and it means critical improvements for our kids and communities. In state legislatures across the country, an undercurrent of reform driven by youth advocates and policymakers of both parties has inspired a sea change within juvenile justice systems nationwide. This is dramatically reversing a troubling trend in youth incarceration, while also benefiting kids, saving taxpayer money and keeping communities safe.

For much of the mid-twentieth century, our approach to juvenile justice was largely rooted in a belief that the behavior of youth who committed offenses could be changed through rehabilitation. Following a wave of highly publicized violent youth crimes in the 1980s, our nation took a shift toward increased incarceration, creating laws that defined more behavior as criminal and delivered stiffer penalties. Soon these policies made way for the rapid expansion in the construction of youth correctional facilities and continued a perceived “tough on crime” leadership that would remain for more than two decades.