WHYY: Report finds lopsided number of black, Latino youth in N.J. correctional facilities

WHYY reports:

"The separation of young people from their communities occurs during a formative and pivotal time in their lives," said NJISJ president and CEO Ryan Haygood. "The ties between children and their families are paramount to their maturation into adulthood."

According to the report, black children were arrested at higher rates than white children, and law enforcement officers would "divert" the cases of black children to non-jail options, such as ordering the defendant to complete community service or pay restitution to the victim, less often...

"We are challenged with an antiquated system that at times fails to recognize the cost-saving measures that we can use to improve upon lives," said Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Democrat, Passaic County.

Rev. Charles Boyer, the pastor at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Woodbury, said that residents across the state ought to be outraged at the report's findings but also take responsibility for what they show.

"We need to be on fire against this," said Boyer. "Not fire necessarily directed at lawmakers, or fire directed at the police, or fire directed at the Department of Corrections. But a fire directed at ourselves — as a state, as a society — that we could let this situation go on unseen for so long."

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