Thursday, December 1, 2022

Play

Access to medication is key to HIV prevention, a Florida university uses a religious exemption to disband its faculty union, plus Nevada tribes and conservation leaders praise a new national monument plan.

Play

The House passed a bill to avert a crippling railroad strike, Hakeem Jefferies is chosen to lead House Democrats, and President Biden promises more federal-Native American engagement at the Tribal Nations Summit.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Report Debunks Claims of Increase in Juvenile Crime Rates

Play

Thursday, June 16, 2022   

From Fox News to The New York Times, media coverage over the past few years has sounded the alarm about a purported increase in violent crime among kids. However, a new report finds those claims have been false or largely overstated.

The research by The Sentencing Project reveals youth violent crime rates, in categories from murder to robbery, declined nationwide from 2019 to 2020. Ann McCullough, a Youth Justice Wisconsin project director, said her organization has noted similar declines locally, but said unfounded stereotypes still can have long-term repercussions.

"Negative stereotypes about youth, service gaps and structural racism are the foundation for the youth-related criminal-justice policy and system we have today," she said, "nationally and in Wisconsin."

To keep kids out of the system, the report's authors propose diverting young people accused of crimes into restorative justice programs, placing more counselors in schools instead of police, and providing positive development programs for kids who have gone through the system.

With the impending closure of the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake youth prisons, McCullough said she believes now is the time to open a new chapter in Wisconsin's youth corrections system. However, she added, alternative programs are facing significant staffing shortages, an issue she contended could be remedied in part by new investments from lawmakers.

"Public health models for violence prevention work," she said, "but they also need to be funded and supported at the same level as our correctional system in order to see a significant change."

According to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, juvenile arrests in Wisconsin dropped by about 70% from 2011 to 2020. Richard Mendel, who wrote the report as a senior research fellow for The Sentencing Project report, said national crime rates among kids and teens have been declining for years.

"Over the past 20 years, the share of arrests of kids under 18 has fallen by more than half, and they continue to fall," he said. "A lot of this has been tied to the pandemic. The share of crimes that were committed by kids went down - and despite that, we're seeing this narrative of youth crime 'out of control.'"

The Sentencing Project report only includes data up to 2020, the most recent year the statistics are publicly available, and its authors acknowledged future data may reveal that youth crime rates have increased since then. However, they noted that would be understandable, given the mental-health impacts of the pandemic on kids, and said they think it shouldn't serve as rationale to push for more punitive juvenile-justice policies.

Disclosure: Annie E Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
The gold dome on the Iowa Capitol has been gilded five times. The gold leaf covering the dome is 250,000th of an inch thick and is 23.75 karats. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …


Environment

Residential water rates in Michigan are soaring, with an estimated one out of ten households without access to or unable to afford clean water…

Environment

Fracking is a very water-intensive industry, and a new study dives into the impact of unconventional oil and gas drilling on aquatic ecosystems in …


Tom Oliver, center, receives the 2022 Washington Andrus Award for Community Service. (Bruce Carlson/AARP Washington)

Social Issues

A Bellingham man who supports people with dementia has received one of the most prestigious awards for volunteerism in Washington state. The …

Social Issues

Native American tribal communities and conservation groups got a big win Wednesday as President Joe Biden announced he intends to create a new nationa…

The 2020 Iowa caucuses were beset with tabulation problems, which set off a discussion on whether to shake up the Democratic primary process. (Scoutori/Adobestock)

Social Issues

A decision could come today on Nevada's bid to become the first state in the nation to hold a Democratic primary in 2024. The Democratic National …

Environment

Snow is on the ground in much of Minnesota, but the state is coming off another warm season with notable drought conditions. Those who monitor …

Environment

By Ray Levy Uyeda for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Greater Dakota News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021