Youth First Initiative Poll Shows that Americans Favor Rehabilitation Over Incarceration for Youth

A study conducted in January 2016 through the Youth First Initiative surveyed 1000 Americans in 50 states, finding that most Americans want less incarceration for youth and more prevention and rehabilitation instead. 67% of the survey participants ages 18-29 thought that youth prisons should be closed, and the funds should be redirected to community based preventative programs. Similarly, 83% of all survey participants agreed that financial incentives should be provided to states and programs that offered alternatives to incarceration, like job training, education, and rehabilitation. 70% of all survey participants believed that states must take an active role in reducing racial and ethnic inequities within the juvenile justice system. Overall, the majority of Americans want to see fewer youth involved in the prison system. To learn more about the work Youth First is doing, visit FYI: Programs in our Community Project Youth ArtReach provides art programs to juvenile offenders in correctional facilities, rehabilitation, or probation to enhance their cognitive and social development as well as teaching tolerance, respect for others, and problem solving.

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