Youth Incarceration

Dec 18, 2013

Sarah Bryer, director of the National Juvenile Justice Network and Greg Sattizahn, state court administrator for the Unified Judicial System, discussed youth incarceration.  Law enforcement officials say incarcerating youth that break the law may do more harm than good.  Many states are adopting a new way of thinking when it comes to dealing with young people that break the law. Law enforcement officials now say instead of putting kids behind bars, new alternatives are needed, and a gentler approach may actually get better results.  South Dakota already has the juvenile detention alternative initiative in place in Minnehaha and Pennington counties, but a report released by the National Juvenile Justice Network and the Texas Public Policy Foundation says South Dakota isn’t doing enough to keep young people from behind bars.  The report says the number of South Dakota youth incarcerations declined thirteen percent between 2001 and 2011, while the nationwide average declined by forty-one percent.