Get this — California taxpayers will spend $378 million next year to care for 1,500 juvenile inmates. In addition to this exorbitant cost, the money spent is more of a waste than an investment, since three out of four juvenile inmates re-offend within three years.
These considerations have prompted a state watchdog group to suggest that California dump its juvenile prisons, in a new report sent to Governor Schwarzenegger and other lawmakers.
The report recommends scrapping the statewide juvenile justice bureaucracy and replacing juvenile prisons with county-run regional centers for the most serious offenders. The less serious offenders would stay in local juvenile halls. Due to the decrepit state of juvenile prisons, if the state does not reform the system, it will have to pay a lot to replace the current, and not so successful, one.
What should society do to get young offenders back on the right track, instead of pushing them further down the wrong one?