One of the things which has astounded me since starting this blog is the tremendous amount of attention it attracts from other parts of the world. A part of this is anti-Americanism; America is that place in the world, it seems, that everybody loves to hate.
At the same time, there is an irresistible attraction that the ideals of America seem to have for others. Even though they know the American dream is a fraud, it seems the rest of the world wants it to be true.
So it is with youth justice.
One of my keenest supporters is an Englishman living in the US. He helps to keep me grounded in what is “normal” in the world beyond the boundaries of the US.
Here is his latest email to me. It has really gotten me to thinking:
“The latest youth custody report shows that there are 1,197 kids in custody in England and Wales. That is out of a population of 58 million, of whom 4.5 million are 12-18.
“No juvenile is held in adult prison, and if their sentence extends only a short period beyond 18th birthday, they are retained in the juvenile system.
“That is 0.002% of the total national population. Extrapolated to the USA, it would be 6,460 kids in custody nationwide. The actual number in the USA (2011) is 61,000, excluding those charged as adults. (My emphasis.)
“The attached pdf gives immense detail on the system and statistics. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/youth-justice-statistics
“British kids are not all angels with cute accents. But they are not locked up as much.”
Groove of the Day