Youth in Adult Prisons

From a study by the NCJRS:

Major findings:

  • Approximately 107,000 youth (younger than 18) are incarcerated on any given day.
  • Of these, approximately 14,500 are housed in adult facilities. The largest proportion, approximately 9,100 youth, are housed in local jails, and some 5,400 youth are housed in adult prisons.
  • Of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 44 house juveniles (age 17 and younger) in adult jails and prisons.
  • In recent years, the number of youth in jails has escalated, while the number in prisons has stabilized or declined.
  • The actual number of youth who experience incarceration in an adult prison is much higher than the number shown by a 1-day count, with an estimated 13,876 juvenile state prison admissions in 1997. There are no current estimates of the number of youth admitted to jails each year.
  • In terms of their legal status while incarcerated, 21 percent were held as adjudicated juvenile offenders or pretrial detainees, and 75 percent were sentenced as adults
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