The Star Ledger reports:

“The announcement was never just about closing these prisons,” said Ryan Haygood, president and chief executive officer of NJISJ. “This was about transforming a broken system.”

In its report, “Bring Our Children Home: Ain’t I a Child?” the institute concluded that New Jersey’s system of incarceration should be replaced with smaller cottage-like facilities focused on treatment, mental health services, counseling and education. 

In fact, Haygood said that in addition to the facilities to be built, New Jersey already has 12 residential programs across the state that are below capacity and can be used now to house some of its juvenile population.