Take Action to Stop the Construction of a New Youth Prison in Virginia
Governor McAuliffe and Virginia’s General Assembly are planning to spend nearly $40 million in taxpayer dollars to build a new prison for youth in Chesapeake. Putting young people in prison does not work and does not make our communities safer. There are more effective ways to hold young people accountable while preparing them for adulthood.
Call to Action to Stop the Construction of a New Youth Prison
Call or email your delegate and senator by April 20th and tell them:
“I oppose providing the Department of Juvenile Justice with money for the construction of a new youth prison in Chesapeake. The evidence shows that Virginia’s youth prisons don’t work for youth, families, or our communities. We spend over $140,000 to incarcerate our youth, but once they return home 3 out of 4 of them are re-convicted of a crime within 3 years. I believe more planning must be done and more feedback from the community must be collected to create a justice system that uses alternatives to the large youth prison model. “
Find your legislators’ contact information here.
Use our action alert to send a letter: click here.
Print and send a “Call to Action” postcard: click here to download.
Call attention to this issue on social media!
Here are some sample posts:
@delegate: No new youth prisons for Virginia. #prisonsdontwork #moreplanninglessprisons
@delegate:73% of Americans agree that youth can be taught to take responsibility for their actions without incarceration, do you? #prisonsdontwork #moreplanninglessprisons
@delegate: Its time to stop putting our kids behind walls, and start giving them ladders to success #ImproveDontImprison #prisonsdontwork #moreplanninglessprisons
For more information on the impact of youth prisons on kids visit:
- Youth First Initiative
- Closer to Home: An Analysis of the State and Local Impact of the Texas Juvenile Justice Reforms, Council of State Governments, January 2015
- Getting it Right: Realigning Juvenile Corrections in Ohio to Reinvest in What Works, Schubert Center for Child Studies, Case Western Reserve University, January 2015
- Unbalanced Juvenile Justice mapping tool, Burns Institute, 2014
- Burning Down the House, Nell Bernstein, 2014
- Sticker Shock: Calculating the Full Price Tag For Youth Incarceration, Justice Policy Institute, December 2014
- The Comeback States: Reducing Juvenile Incarceration in the United States, National Juvenile Justice Network, 2013
- No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration, Annie E. Casey Foundation, October 2011
- Bringing Youth Home: A National Movement to Increase Public Safety, Rehabilitate Youth and Save Money, National Juvenile Justice Network, July 2011 [PDF]
- Re-Examining Juvenile Incarceration, The Pew Charitable Trusts, April 2015 [PDF]
- Safely Home, Youth Advocate Programs Policy and Advocacy Center, June 2014 [PDF]
- Ten Truths About Juvenile Justice Reform, Right On Crime, December 2011 [PDF]
- Youth Deincarceration series, National Council on Crime & Delinquency, April 2014[PDF]
- Pioneers of Youth Justice Reform: Achieving System Change Using Resolution, Reinvestment, and Realignment Strategies, Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, July 2012 [PDF]
- The Costs of Confinement: Why Good Juvenile Justice Policies Make Good Fiscal Sense, Justice Policy Institute, May 2009 [PDF]
- Cost-Effective Youth Corrections: Rationalizing the Fiscal Architecture of Juvenile Justice Systems, Justice Policy Institute, March 2006 [PDF]
- Latest Data Show Juvenile Confinement Continues Rapid Decline, Pew Charitable Trusts, 2013 [PDF]
- Juvenile Incarceration, Human Capital and Future Crime: Evidence from Randomly-Assigned Judges, Anna Aizer and Joe Doyle, June 2013 [PDF]
- Breaking the Cycle of Abuse in Juvenile Facilities, Barry Krisberg, February 2009 [PDF]
- The Dangers of Detention: The Impact of Incarcerating Youth in Detention and Other Secure Facilities, Justice Policy Institute, November 2006 [PDF]
- Understanding the Risk Principle: How and Why Correctional Interventions Can Harm Low-Risk Offenders, Christopher Lowenkamp and Edward Latessa, 2004 [PDF]