In March 2021, Youth First Initiative and Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children released a poll showing a vast majority of Louisianans favor investing in community-based alternatives to youth incarceration. The poll found 73% support for a youth justice system focused on prevention and rehabilitation rather than punishment.
The polling is clear. Instead of building a new prison and continuing to provide resources to a system that doesn’t work, Louisianans want our leaders to invest in our children. Removing children from their communities and support systems and locking them behind bars is the wrong approach.
In summary, the survey of 500 adults found that:
- 83% support treatment and rehabilitation plans that include a youth’s family in planning and services.
- 79% support increased spending on youth rehabilitation.
- 80% support providing financial incentives for states and municipalities to invest in alternatives to youth incarceration, such as intensive rehabilitation, education, job training, community services, and programs that provide youth the opportunity to repair harm to victims and communities.
- 76% support increased spending on social workers and mental health counselors.
- 74% support changing the system so that incarceration is not the automatic or default response for youth in the justice system
Read the full report on the Poll Results here.