Twenty-One Percent of the U.S. Prison Population is Comprised of Young People 18 to 24 Years Old
Date:  03-01-2017

Juvenile justice reform advocates look to Germany, and Connecticut, for more effective solutions
From Vera Institute of Justice:

Young people ages 18 to 24 make up 10 percent of the U.S. population but comprise 21 percent of people admitted into adult prison every year. And of that, young men of color are overrepresented, with black men in this age group 7 to 9 times more likely to end up in prison compared to their white peers. Young people make mistakes—we all have. But when the mistakes lead to prison, we should ensure young people are given the tools they need to learn from their mistakes and—as most of them will return home—to succeed in life, and support their communities.

As every parent knows, and neuroscience now shows, young adults in this age group are still developing in important ways. They are forming their identity, learning to better manage their emotions and impulses, and preparing for their life goals. But prison presents an unnatural social context which creates challenges for young adults to achieve these key developmental milestones. Instead, young adults in prison too often are left sitting in their cells with little to no opportunity to learn from past experiences, cope with underlying trauma, engage in meaningful accountability, and prepare for their future. Read more >>>