Juvenile

DHHS

At a meeting Monday morning at the Sununu Youth Center in Manchester, a bipartisan group of N.H. lawmakers discussed several options of how the facility can save money due to its low enrollment. The facility currently houses 44 people but it can hold 144.

Senate and House members applauded the juvenile detention center for operating at a third of its capacity. but said it needs to better utilize its funding in order to serve more youth.

The group did; however, rule out closing the facility.

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A bi-partisan group of lawmakers will meet Monday morning at the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester to explore ways to cut costs at the state’s juvenile detention center.

The facility was designed for 144 children, but Senate Finance Chair Jeannie Forrester of Meredith says the population is typically between 40 to 60 youth.

Forrester says this morning’s meeting will include a tour of the center, with the hope of figuring out a way to make better use of the space.

The Community Alliance Family Services is a Newport-based non-profit dedicated to supporting individuals and families in maintaining their independence. The organization’s Juvenile Court Diversion Program gives young people the opportunity to learn from, and make reparations for, their mistakes. By attending the program a juvenile offender avoids having the crime added to his/her permanent record. 

How N.H. Handles Juvenile Offenders

Sep 15, 2014
Tidewater Muse / Flickr/CC

New Hampshire has joined forty other states in treating seventeen year old criminal offenders as juveniles rather than adults. Supporters say this change reflects the latest research on adolescent development. Some worry, though, that this approach is too lenient and that the state isn’t well prepared for this shift. 

GUESTS:

“Books Behind Bars” is program which pairs undergraduates from the University of Virginia with inmates at the Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center to read classic Russian literature. Prison staff notice a marked change in behavior among inmates who take the class, and researchers have documented similar improvements in decision-making, social skill, and civic engagement among prisoners and undergrads who participate in the class.