June 24, 2022

NEWARK – The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice today released $600k to Damage Our Kids Forever: A Youth Incarceration Disaster, a report addressing the myriad costs that youth incarceration in New Jersey imposes on individual youth, their families and the state – financial, emotional and beyond. The report draws upon the stories of people impacted by youth incarceration, some who continue to feel the emotional scars decades later. 

In the upcoming fiscal year, New Jersey plans to spend $608,095 to incarcerate each youth in an antiquated, bloated and harmful system that incarcerates Black kids at 18 times the rate of white kids, even though they commit most offenses at similar rates. Over the past decade, New Jersey has invested over half a billion dollars in a broken youth incarceration system designed to lock up Black and Latina/o kids – enough money to provide free in-state tuition at Rutgers University for nearly 40,000 students or to increase New Jersey’s support for violence intervention programs thirty-fold.