Citizens for Juvenile Justice passionately believes that the focus of our juvenile justice system should be giving children the tools and supports they need to become productive, responsible adults. We believe that’s the right thing to do. We know it is also the smart thing to do.
Repeated studies have shown that smart investments in youth deter crime. It is hard to put a dollar value on crime prevention. But we can put a value on incarceration. On average, a year’s incarceration in a Massachusetts prison costs taxpayers. In 2009, it cost the Commonwealth an average of $45,954 to maintain a person in prison for a year, slightly more than four years of tuition at the University of Massachusetts.* That’s a bad investment.
Fortunately, there are smart policies that have been proven to put kids on the right path and avoid criminal involvement. These include:
*Source: National Institute of Corrections