Closing Youth Prisons

Shifting resources from warehousing youth to investing in effective, community-based solutions.

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Shifting Funds to Effective Community-Based Models


Given the grave damage incarceration does to youth and families, as well as its abysmal public safety outcomes, communities are calling for an end to the youth prison model. A national movement is advancing to shift resources away from simply warehousing kids and instead investing in communities to provide youth with the tools they need to succeed.

Public Welfare Foundation supports programs that advance state policy reforms to dramatically restrict youth incarceration, abandon the prison model, and adopt community-based approaches for youth in the juvenile justice system.

We don’t need more youth prisons, and we certainly don’t need to put more taxpayer dollars into a failed model. Working with our partners, Public Welfare Foundation is forging a new path forward that empowers communities to provide proven and effective supports for its young people.

Closing Youth Prison Resources

Closing Youth Prisons

Ending Incarceration of Children in Milwaukee: Youth Justice Milwaukee

Youth Justice Milwaukee works to close Wisconsin’s youth prisons advocating for community-based alternatives to incarceration.  Milwaukee County has seen a surge in racial disparity in arrests and convictions of young people which Youth Justice Milwaukee is trying to combat through a broad based coalition focused on remaking the landscape of the juvenile corrections system.

150 Years of Incarcerating Children is Enough: New Jersey Institute For Social Justice

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice has launched the “150 years is enough” campaign to close down two juvenile prisons in New Jersey. They work with a  broad array of local and national partners to stope the use of juvenile prisons and instead establish a more humane, treatment-focused juvenile justice system.