Juvenile Detention

Topic:  From Juvenile Incarceration to Adult Inmate

Juvenile Detention Cost


It cost $100,000 more a year to Incarcerate a youth then it cost to educate them.

Youth Incarceration Costs: $112,555
National Cost to Attend High School Per Student: $12,508

Annual Cost of Juvenile Incarceration vs. Other Youth Investment –  Chapter 4 -Page 175

National Estimated Average of US Youths Incarceration: over 500,000 a year
White-American: 7%
African-American: 29%
Asian American: 3%
Hispanic American: 11%
Native American: 25%

The Sentencing Project
Campaign for Youth Justice

It’s also estimated that between 50 and 75 percent of adolescents who have spent time in juvenile detention centers are incarcerated later in life.

National Estimated Average of US Adult Incarceration: 1 out of 110 adults
White Americans:32%
African-American: 38%
Asian American: 1%
Hispanic American: 22%
Native American: 2%

Inmate Gender:  Female: 7%    Male:  93%

Federal Bureau of Prisons 


Negative Peer Pressure (Low Self-esteem)

No career direction (No long-term or self-evaluation goals)

Substance Abuse (Drug and Alcohol involvement)

How the 100% Graduation Rate Program Address the Problem:

  1. We met with the student and their parent to sign a 4-year agreement to graduate on time.
  2. We met with student’s probation officer; if they were on juvenile probation.
  3. We met with school officials if any student was suspended.
  4. We talked with student’s parents if students developed a school lateness and absenteeism problem of 3 days or more.
  5. We develop a support system with our local County Prosecutor’s Office.
  6. We attend court with the student and their parents for their first offense.
  7. We developed an after high school plan with our students in the 11th grade.
  8. We conduct a two-year follow up interview session with the student or their parent after high school completion.

100% Graduation Rate Program Results:

Camden, New Jersey – **Program Participants Group B (105) compared to Program Sample Group A (105)

The Male Program participants had a 16% lower rate of Juvenile Detention. Compared to the City’s sample group of males – 20% (21 out of 105) to 4% (4 out of 105).

**Selection Process:
Each year, the City’s two largest high schools – Camden High and Woodrow Wilson – Guidance Departments selected 15 incoming high school freshmen for the program. These students were classified as at-risk, based on having grades below C in Math and/or Reading, or had a poor student behavior problem.

The students were then randomly assigned to a Program Group- A (Non-treatment) or Group B (Program Treatment) – based on their seating during the program’s orientation.

Our Recommendations:

School Districts should work with Family Courts, Community Organizations, and Churches to:

  • develop guidelines for in-school and out of school student conduct violations, which includes parent involvement.
  • organize 7-day wraparound services, which include drug testing, school completion work, and individual and family counseling.
  • mandate a 6 month to a year 4-Step restitution program for non-violent student offenses.