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Thursday, March 03, 2011

When a fifth-grader goes to jail

So yeah what is the justification for sending a youngster to detention?
Terry Moore, assistant director of Sangamon County Court Services, has followed the bill. He says there are already measures in place to screen youth before they are placed in detention centers.

While an argument for the bill says children as young as 10 should not be exposed to detention centers, Moore says the other side is that most children that young are not admitted to detention  centers, except for severe offenses.

Over the past five years, only 4 to 7 percent of children admitted to detention centers have been under the age of 13.

“It’s a very small number of youth relative to the total admitted,” Moore says.

Detention gives juvenile court the opportunity to look at the situation of each child and determine their best interest, he says, which sometimes may be short-term placement in a detention center.
It's kind of sad that this is up for debate. I'm very curious about what constitutes a severe offense. Would the child have had to commit a violent felony?

In any event there is a push as indicated by this article to reform juvenile detention. If we can do what we can to insure that no child is unnecessarily placed into juvenile detention then hopefully this will not cause any permanent harm to any child.

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