Youth are still growing and learning at such a young age. They should not be subjected to such a harsh punishment because that affects them long-term. Placing them in juvenile detention centers does more damage especially when these centers are not equipped to truly help them on their educational journey.
Continued reliance on institutional placements puts our nation’s children—especially Black children—at risk of lasting harm to their health, development, and well-being. Congress must prioritize effective community-led, family-focused, youth-centered programs to ensure young people have the resources and supports they need to thrive within their families and communities.
Criminal convictions create life-long barriers to employment, housing, and education that directly impact the conditions for children and families. Clean Slate is a crucial step toward racial and economic justice, addressing some of the deep racial disparities that are evident at every stage of the criminal legal system, and providing pathways to more full participation in our neighborhoods and communities, which is essential to the well-being of children, youth, and families.