Governor decides—in juvenile justice, city kids belong near home
BY ABIGAIL KRAMER
January 17, 2012
If Governor Cuomo gets his way, New York City will cut the number of children it sends to state-run juvenile justice facilities by more than two-thirds over the next two years, receiving more than $35 million per year from the state to create a new spectrum of services and incarceration facilities for juvenile delinquents within the five boroughs.
… Jeffrey Butts, a justice scholar at John Jay College who has worked with the city on analyzing its juvenile capacity needs, notes that a city-administered system could create new financial incentives to keep kids out of lockups altogether, since incarceration is many times more expensive than alternative programs that provide community-based supervision alongside services like family counseling and job training. “If you have $100 to spend and you can either use that money to put one kid in a facility or work with three or four kids in the community, you’ll find that the impulse to put kids in secure facilities goes way down,” says Butts.