Juv Offenders in Adult Prisons Face High Suicide Risk

In a smart post on his blog Simple Justice, Scott Greenfield explores a new finding from the recent Campaign for Youth Justice report–that juveniles confined in adult jails and prisons are thirty-six times more likely to kill themselves than offenders held in juvenile facilities–and considers the issue in light of the increased tendency in recent decades to treat juveniles as adults in the correctional system. Along the way he punctures the myth of the “superpredator”–the early ’90s fantasy of unredeemable young killers in our midst–and takes the New York Times to task for its “overly facile” way of explaining the new suicide statistic as a simple mental health issue rather than as the result of systemic blind spots and gross misjudgments.

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