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.
“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.