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A new federal report reveals near-unremitting abuse of juveniles held at New York’s Rikers Island jail. It’s been greeted with cries of outrage and pledges of reform.

Don’t hold your breath. We’ve been here before.

Juvenile Detention
© Julie Jacobson/AP Photo
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It’s time to get over trying to reform a system that does precious little to help reform kids—and plenty to harm them. Statistics show juvenile detention is the greatest predictor there is of adult incarceration.

There are far more promising alternatives than isolating youth in locked institutions far from family and community.

Until we free the United States from over-incarceration, we will neither do our children justice, nor offer our citizens safety.

Thank you for all that you do,

Nell Bernstein
Author, Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison
Former Soros Justice Media Fellow

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