skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Nonpartisan Push to Close VA Juvenile Prisons

play audio
Play

Friday, October 2, 2015   

RICHMOND, Va. - The time is right to reform Virginia's juvenile justice system, according to a new nonpartisan coalition called RISE for Youth. The coalition wants to replace the big juvenile prisons with community-based corrections.

States around the country have been changing how they treat young offenders. They're relying less on incarceration and more on reforming the youths' behavior while they stay at home or live close by.

One problem with juvenile prisons, said Newport News Sheriff Gabe Morgan, is that they can turn young scofflaws into hardened criminals - such as a 14-year-old car thief who heard from inmates that he was in prison because he left witnesses.

"The difference now is, he basically shot each of his victims - because he learned he wasn't supposed to leave victims behind," Morgan said. "That young man ultimately was put to death."

Juvenile prisons often were built by lawmakers who wanted to be tough on crime. But Morgan said programs that head off bad behavior can sharply reduce arrests and recidivism - at a fraction of the cost of incarceration.

The RISE for Youth coalition is looking to Gov. Terry McAuliffe and lawmakers from both parties to increase funding for local programs. Some of these coach and support families with troubled children, while others run small residential facilities that maintain the youths' connections to their communities.

About two-thirds of the state's young offenders have mental-health issues, said Legal Aid Justice Center attorney Kate Duvall. She pointed to the case of one young man who was arrested for petty theft and, rather than getting treatment, ended up getting stuck in the system.

"He was ultimately sent to juvenile prison for violating probation by getting suspended from school for bringing a cell phone," she said. "Youth prisons, in fact, don't make our communities safer, and they're a waste of Commonwealth money."

Felony theft in Virginia starts at $200. The group favors raising that threshold. The coalition also wants misbehavior at school to be treated as a criminal issue less often.

Morgan said the next General Assembly could save the state money and keep neighborhoods safer by investing in programs that work. As Morgan put it, prevention is cheaper than corrections.

"Functional family therapy coaches kids and parents together," he said, "and in one study this program cut re-arrest rates in half."

More information on RISE for Youth is online at riseforyouth.org.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Environmental advocates are asking California's next state budget to prioritize climate mitigation and cut tax breaks for fossil fuel companies. (The Climate Center)

Environment

play sound

As state budget negotiations continue, groups fighting climate change are asking California lawmakers to cut subsidies for oil and gas companies …


Health and Wellness

play sound

Health disparities in Texas are not only making some people sick, but affecting the state's economy. A new study shows Texas is losing $7 billion a …

Environment

play sound

City and county governments are feeling the pinch of rising operating costs but in Wisconsin, federal incentives are driving a range of local …


Each year since 2018, there have been more than 1 million online ads for guns which could be sold without a background check. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Well over three-fourths of Americans support universal background checks for gun purchases, but federal law allows unlicensed people to sell guns at …

Environment

play sound

By Max Graham for Grist.Broadcast version by Alex Gonzalez for Arizona News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public News Serv…

During what is known as the Medicaid post-pandemic "unwinding" process, South Dakota saw the largest drop in children's enrollment in the country, with a 27% reduction in the first six months. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Last year's Medicaid expansion in South Dakota increased eligibility to another 51,000 adults but a new report showed among people across the state wh…

Health and Wellness

play sound

There is light at the end of the tunnel for Tennesseans struggling with opioid addiction, as a bill has been passed to increase access to treatment …

Environment

play sound

The New York HEAT Act might not make the final budget. The bill reduces the state's reliance on natural gas and cuts ratepayer costs by eliminating …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021