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Locking Up Teenage Vandals in Texas

I came across this article in the Corpus Christi paper about two teenage taggers who were arrested for a "vandalism spree."  For these crimes they were placed in a juvenile hall for three weeks and then released on house arrest with electronic monitoring. This presents a good example of why the United States leads the world in youth and adult incarceration.


When will be learn that incarcerating children for minor crimes does not make them better citizens.  Incarceration is for serious and dangerous offenders, while electronic monitoring is for high risk offenders residing in the community. It is not for teenage vandals.

The experiment in mass incarceration and punitive punishment as a crime control strategy is over and the verdict has been rendered - it does not work.  Two years ago we did a study comparing  juvenile imprisonment policies in California and Texas.  For ten years Texas expanded the use of incarceration for a broad range of minor juvenile offenders while California did the exact opposite.  What was the outcome?  Crime rates fell in both states at exactly the same levels.  Whatever caused crime to go down was not due to incarceration!  What was the difference? Texas squandered millions of precious tax dollars to pursue a policy that produced no results.

To read our study comparing Texas and California juvenile incarceration practices go to:
$1Crime_Rates_and_Youth_Incarceration_in_Texas_and_California_Compared.pdf$4


CORPUS CHRISTI - Two teens who were arrested in connection with a vandalism spree about three weeks ago, have been released from the Juvenile Justice Center, but with some conditions.

The teens are accused of tagging several homes in the area of Indiana and Ohio back on March 7.

They were released into the custody of their parents Tuesday, but they have to wear an ankle monitor, attend school, stay away from each other and obey the city's curfew ordinance.

Keywords: best practices, Daniel Macallair, youth

Posted in Blog, Juvenile Justice

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