Report: A United Vision for a World Without Youth Prisons
Date:  11-04-2019

Young people say money would be better spent on closing prisons and investing in educational opportunities for youth, mental health support, and more
From the No Kids in Prison report:

Executive Summary

On August 21st, 2019 Cities United held a national convening with all of its partners in Hampton Roads, Virginia. During this convening the Youth First Initiative and RISE for Youth were invited by Performing Statistics to conduct a visioning session with young people from different jurisdictions working with Cities United. The goal of the visioning session was to offer young people an opportunity to share their vision for what their communities could look like without youth prisons. It is a platform for young people to reflect back on their own interactions with the justice system and share what could have been done differently to ensure their success if resources were able. Below are the recommendations that stemmed from that conversation:

Recommendation #1 Invest money saved from closure of youth prisons towards economic justice and changing the economic structure for communities of color.

Recommendation #2 Invest in opportunities for young people in communities to have fun, increase access to recreation, sports programs, access to information, and to go on vacation.

Recommendation #3 Invest in mental health supports, school counselors, trauma-based clinics and health insurance for everyone.

Recommendation #4 Invest in a variety of educational opportunities that include post-secondary education, trades, and other programs tailored to the career interests of youth in communities and those currently incarcerated.

Recommendation #5 Invest in meeting the basic needs of youth, transportation, and getting rid of food deserts.

Recommendation #6 Invest in community-based alternatives to incarceration.

Recommendation #7 Hold government responsible to fund communities that have been impacted by gun violence.

Recommendation #8 Adults need to listen and talk to young people, show youth love and support, and move away from punitive responses. Recommendation #9 Break the school-to-prison pipeline, reform suspension policies, and invest in youth and teachers.

Read the full report here.