Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cash Strapped States Make Shortsighted Cuts in Juvenile Justice

Last December the Associate Press reported that a number of states, including South Carolina, were cutting spending in juvenile justice programs due to the economic downturn. Yesterday the New York Times, in both a story and video, described how deep those cuts in South Carolina have gone:
In the last year, the state has cut the financing for its juvenile justice system by one-fifth, forcing 285 layoffs and the closure of several facilities, including five group homes that focused on counseling. The department has scrapped a program that helped paroled youngsters find jobs, unleashing them into a state with 11.6 percent unemployment. It has canceled state financing for 40 after-school centers for teenagers, where they get help with their homework, receive mentoring and take part in activities during hours when children are most likely to stray into trouble. It has trimmed the ranks of social workers to 20, from 36.
As noted in yesterday's post, research demonstrates that the very programs being cut by states across the county can both save money now and avoid future costs. For more information on maximizing returns on investment and reducing costs by reducing detention.

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