1 in 3 American children will be arrested by age 23

By Christopher Rice

By age 23, up to 41 percent of American adolescents and young adults have been arrested at least once for something other than a minor traffic violation.

According to the American Correctional Association, the average cost to incarcerate a juvenile for a 9-12 month period is between $66,000 and $88,000. In California, the cost is $224,712.

By age 23, at least a quarter of all youth in the U.S. — and perhaps as many as 41% — are arrested at least once for something more serious than a traffic violation, according to a new study of American teens.

The study is the first since the 1960s to try to determine the percentage of youth who are arrested. Previously, the research estimated that 22% of Americans had been arrested at least once for a non-traffic violation by age 23.

Black youth are arrested at double the rate of white youth for drug crimes, even though a larger proportion of white youth actually use and sell drugs.

Related: Underground America is back online. How to beat the police, CPS, DEA, FBI, IRS and NSA. How to beat any drug test, police sting and how to beat your court case and more.

Since the 1970s, America has become much tougher on crime, lengthening sentences, increasing the police force and quintupling the number of people incarcerated. During that time, the number of Americans in prison has gone from half a million to 2.3 million, with approximately 93,000 incarcerated youth.

Studies have shown that kids who are incarcerated do significantly worse later on, compared with those who are given alternative sentences that allow them to remain in their communities. One study, for example, compared children who committed the same crimes but wound up with harsh or lenient sentences: those who were sentenced to juvenile detention were three times more likely to be re-incarcerated as adults, compared with those whose judges gave them lighter, alternative sentences.

About two-thirds of teens who serve time in a correctional institution have a serious mental illness.

The study was published in Pediatrics.

Juveniles held in detention centers are subject to horrific physical and mental abuse at insect-ridden, filthy facilities.

Staff at Detention Centers across America are guilty of “punitive shackling, staff-on-youth assaults, 23-hour-a-day lock-down in filthy jail cells, unsanitary conditions resulting in widespread contraction of scabies and staph infections, dangerous overcrowding that forces many youth to sleep on the concrete floor, and inadequate mental health care.
Tim Holleman, attorney for Mississippi Security Police, told CNN as far as staph and scabies, Holleman said those are typical issues for any facility where large numbers of people are housed and people are routinely moved in and out, including hospitals. “It’s very difficult to control,” he said.

General Strike to end Corruption.com interviewed a 17-year-old male at a Detention facility, identified as D.W.
D.W. is housed at a juvenile detention facility while awaiting his disposition in juvenile court. He has been assaulted by guards at the center and forced to sleep on the floor of his overcrowded cell, with only a thin mat that smells of urine.
During D.W.’s imprisonment, his mental health has deteriorated rapidly. He tried to commit suicide by hanging himself in his cell, yet he has received no mental health treatment or counseling.
D.W.’s allegations are echoed by more than 30 young people interviewed by attorneys. All of these children uniformly describe the Juvenile Detention Center as a squalid, overcrowded facility that is infested with insects, where jail officials frequently resort to violence and the inappropriate use of restraints.

Related: Underground America is back online. How to beat the police, CPS, DEA, FBI, IRS and NSA. How to beat any drug test, police sting and how to beat your court case and more.

Holleman acknowledged the facility stays close to capacity, and sometimes goes over. “What do we do?” he said. “It’s like any jail. A court brings us a court order and tells us to put them in jail. We don’t have a whole lot of choice in that.”
D.W. was assaulted in his cell by two guards. “Guard 1 placed D.W. in a chokehold, slammed him to the ground and placed him in handcuffs. Once D.W. was lying on the ground restrained with handcuffs, Guard 2 joined in the assault.”
One of the guards pressed his knee into D.W.’s back while the other guard pushed on his neck, pushing D.W.’s face into the concrete floor and restricting his breathing. D.W. sought medical attention after the incident, but guards taunted D.W. by telling him his mother does not care about him and will no longer visit him — and “that without his mother around, they could do anything to him and get away with it.”
D.W. attempted suicide after this incident, tying a sheet around his neck and hanging himself from a light fixture in his cell. A staff member intervened and stopped him, but D.W. has been given no access to mental health treatment.
Toilets and walls are covered with mold, rust and excrement. Insects have infested the facility, and D.W. frequently wakes up covered by bug bites.
The place smells of human excrement, and D.W. and other children are forced to sleep on thin, moldy mats. Personal hygiene items are not provided to the children, and juveniles frequently are locked in their cells for up to 23 hours a day, without regular exercise or recreation.
Staff frequently resort to physical violence and respond to youths’ request for help or assistance with taunts, profanity and indifference.

Zero-tolerance and a war on drugs has not kept us safe or prevented drug abuse. Incarceration is a huge failure that no one is willing to admit to because their salary/budgets depend upon it. It is up to the American people to set things right because politicians are beholden to their corporate backers, who have profited wildly from mass incarceration.

There are alternatives, one is listed below, click the link to learn more. Currently, though alternatives are not being explored because prison is big business and over bloated budgets for the DA and local police would dry up quickly if all the jails were empty.

The so called "Land of the free" locks up more of its own citizens than Russia and China combined. That's why most people don't fear the communist, we fear the police.

Center on Juvenile and Criminal JusticeService programs demonstrate how alternatives to incarceration can be successful, not only in reducing overburdened correctional facilities, but also in reducing recidivism rates.

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