Does New Jersey’s current youth prison system serve to rehabilitate youth and increase public safety?

No. Our current system is a revolving door of recidivism. The most recent recidivism statistics show that, of the approximately 500 young people released from commitment in state youth facilities in 2012, 80 percent had a new court filing/arrest, 68 percent had a new adjudication/conviction, and nearly 33 percent were recommitted within three years of release.

Studies show that long-term youth incarceration actually increases recidivism. Children who are incarcerated are more likely to be imprisoned and to live in poverty as adults. Put simply, this system does not promote public safety. Instead, it punishes children who need rehabilitation as they mature into adulthood.

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