The Incarceration of Young People

The United States has an extremely high rate of incarceration and that trend carries over to our young people. Many experts blame zero tolerance policies that require suspension or expulsion on the first offense for a variety of behaviors. Also, many schools now have law enforcement officers handling discipline, rather than school personnel. Across the country, male students of color and those with disabilities are more likely to arrested, referred to the justice system, suspended or expelled.

Nationwide, we pay nearly $8.2 billion each year to confine young people. The resulting costs are fewer high school graduates who will earn less, possibly commit crimes in the future and rely on public assistance.