The masked marauder on the New York Times editorial page staff, who’s been filing a series of excellent unsigned comments on the need for juvenile justice reform–close the TYC! follow the Missouri model! reauthorize the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act!–has struck again.
Today’s editorial, “Raising Children Behind Bars,” cites a new Campaign for Youth Justice report called “Jailing Juveniles,” which documents the dangers of incarcerating 7,500 youths in adult prisons. “The rush to criminalize children has set the country on a dangerous path,” the unnamed youth advocate writes. “Congress must now reshape the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act so that it provides the states with the money and the expertise they need to develop more enlightened juvenile justice policies. For starters, it should rewrite the law to prohibit the confinement of children in adult jails.”
I ran into a friend on the train this morning, so I wasn’t able to read the paper on the way to work, as I typically do. Instead I read this editorial online, and then reached into my backpack to check the front section, thinking there might be a “JJ” slashed into the editorial page, a la Zorro, maybe with a red pen.