Friday, January 9, 2009

Latest figures on kids in juvenile detention

The Justice Department has just released its latest figures on the number of American children held in detention.

The figures date from 2004. (It's now 2009, five years later; apparently collecting figures on juvenile detention was a very low priority in the Bush Justice Department.) They show that 94,875 children under 21 were being held in 2,809 detention centers. Fewer than half of the centers are publicly operated, but they held more than two-thirds of the juvenile offenders.

Of those 2,809 detention centers, 860--or 31 percent--were at or over their capacity, or relied on makeshift beds.

The facilities reported 27 deaths over 12 months, of which 16 were suicides.

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