Though one wouldn’t necessarily know it from reading or watching the local news, the overwhelming majority of crimes committed by children are relatively minor, non-violent, offenses. In fact, only about five percent of young people in the juvenile justice system are even accused of committing a violent crime.

Despite this low number, these young people are often categorically locked up in youth prison or prosecuted in adult courts and sent to adult jails and prisons regardless of whether or not it is best for public safety, or for them. However, two new reports — the just-released Smart, Safe and Fair, and Left Behind Kids — demonstrate that young people who have committed violent crimes, but are not at high risk to reoffend, can be safely and more cost-effectively served in the community.

Read the rest at The Hill.

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