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New Jersey seeing less youth crime thanks to systemic change

If there is one thing you can count from younger people, it's that they are bound to do something stupid. In a weird way, it's part of life. When you're a young kid or a teenager, you're exploring this great big world of ours -- and part of that exploration leads to them making mistakes and acting in a generally poor manner.

Some of these actions by young people could end up being harmful or damaging, and that truly is unfortunate. The question though is whether these acts should lead to extreme punishments for the young people, or should a more rehabilitative and helpful approach be taken to teach them what is acceptable and what isn't?


Some people will say that juveniles should be punished in a traditional sense, such as being locked away in jail or detention centers. However, many others will say that bringing these juveniles into treatment centers that are close to home is far more beneficial to the juvenile in question, and society at large.

New Jersey has taken a path that resembles the latter, and they are seeing tremendous results. About 10 years ago, the state started amending its rules regarding juvenile crime. They wanted kids to be treated close to home, and they wanted to limit the use of detention centers. Instead, the new process uses strategies such as keeping juveniles at home with ankle bracelets.

As a result, fewer crimes are being committed by young people in New Jersey. A mistake at a young age shouldn't follow that person around forever. Thankfully, juvenile crimes are being treated with a fair hand now in New Jersey, helping these young people rehabilitate their image and their decision-making strategies.

Source:, "Fewer Crimes Committed by Young Offenders in NJ [AUDIO]," David Matthau, April 3, 2014

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