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S.C. Successful in Reducing Youth Incarcerations in Past Decade
Published:
3/8/2013 12:10:15 PM


 


COLUMBIA, SC - South Carolina has been successful in reducing youth incarcerations over past decade.  

   The KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot indicates that in South Carolina the number of young people in correctional facilities on a single day fell to 984 in 2010, from a high of 1,584 in 1997. This downward trend, revealed in data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, has accelerated in recent years.

 South Carolina is keeping pace with the national downward trend. The national rate of locking up young people in trouble with the law dropped by more than 40 percent over a 15-year period, with no decrease in public safety, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. For South Carolina, the rate dropped by 42 percent.

   Over the past 10 years, the state's juvenile justice system has been under reform to change the rate of incarceration of youth in South Carolina, said Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Director Margaret H. Barber. "The implementation of 'best practice' programs, intervention, prevention, collaborations and intensified case management services are seeing positive outcomes," said Barber. "At DJJ, we are focused on preparing young people through job readiness programs and rehabilitating them in the least restrictive environment. These approaches are driving down the number of incarcerations. While we still face challenges, we are pleased to report that our numbers continue to decrease. Compared to 2010, in January 2013, we experienced a low of 833 youth in custody, which mirrors the national downward trend.'

  The snapshot, which follows the Foundation's 2011 report No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration, indicates most states and the District of Columbia mirrored the national decline, according to data from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Several even halved their youth incarceration rates. Still, the rates vary dramatically by state: In 2010, a young person in South Dakota, which has the highest incarceration rate, was 11 times more likely to be locked up than one in Vermont, which has the lowest.


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