According to the Winona Daily News , fewer young criminals are being incarcerated causing many state institutions to close. The reason for the closing is lower juvenile arrests, softer treatment policies and of course state budgets.
In Ohio, the number of juvenile offenders is nearly half over the last two years. This has caused the closing of three facilities. California has closed a youth institution near Los Angeles that has operated for nearly 115 years. In Texas a facility is closing, that was once a World War II era training base.
The juvenile arrest rate has dropped 33 percent between 1997 and 2008 according to the latest U.S. Justice Department data. Justice Department also reported that the number of juvenile offenders declined 26 percent between 2000 and 2008, from about 109,000 to 80,000.
In Wisconsin, state corrections officials are considering closing the Ethan Allen School, a former tuberculosis sanitarium near Wales, about 25 miles west of Milwaukee. The school’s population has dropped from 460 in 1998 to 195 in May.
Criminologists aren’t sure why fewer kids are getting in trouble. Some believe more kids are avoiding drug trafficking. Others think programs such as group homes, halfway houses and after-school tutoring closer to kids’ homes have reduced recidivism.