The role of the judge

Do we over-incarcerate, particularly juveniles? Are judges given too much leeway in how they handle cases? Should a 16-year-old honors student be locked up for weeks for violating a term of probation? Does incarceration lead to more incarceration? Do some kids need to be pushed into higher education? This long form New York Times piece asks some hard questions and the distinct role judges can play in an individual’s life.

From the piece:

And incarceration — the most costly alternative for taxpayers — appears to do little to prevent recidivism and often has the opposite effect, driving juveniles deeper into criminal behavior.

“Once kids get in the system, they tend to come back, and the farther they go, the more likely they are to keep going,” said Edward Mulvey, a psychologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the author of a major study of delinquent youths.


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