Some facts from the segment:
- "The American rate of juvenile incarceration is seven times that of Great Britain and 18 times that of France. It costs $88,000 a year to keep a youth locked up - far more than the US spends on a child's education." Potsdam Central spends about $15,000/year/student. To see what is spent by NYS schools, go to: http://rocdocs.democratandchronicle.com/database/spending-pupil-ny-state-districts
- "About 40% of those we keep in large-scale state facilities - which are intended for the worst of the worse - are there for low-level offenses: truancy, shoplifting, loitering, disturbing the peace."
- Detention sets juveniles up to commit more crimes.
- Black kids are five times more likely than white kids to be locked up for the same crime.
- Incarceration should be the exception, not the rule.
NYS leaders need to fund education adequately and spend money on issues related to poverty. However, as the for-profit prison industry expands, there will ever more lobbying to spend taxpayers' dollars on incarcerating juveniles.
As a reminder, the Kids-for-Cash case in Pennsylvania was disturbing. See:
"A Pennsylvania judge was sentenced to 28 years in prison in connection to a bribery scandal that roiled the state's juvenile justice system. Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was convicted of taking $1 million in bribes from developers of juvenile detention centers. The judge then presided over cases that would send juveniles to those same centers."
The schools-to-prison pipeline is a compelling argument to use with legislators and all officials who hold the purse strings and who have a long-range vision for society.