Read the full forum transcription here.
In May 2022, a Cleveland City Council Safety Committee meeting sharply focused on a perception of increased juvenile crime in the city. After lengthy discussion, Councilwoman Stephanie Howse heard enough, “We are trying to paint our city and our young people, that they are totally out of control, when we have failed them. We have failed them. We have failed them." The Councilwoman asked for more information on what led the city's young people to commit crimes, and urged for preventative measures. The response from the county prosecutor suggested a noticeable disconnect over the perception of Cleveland's children in the justice system.
A 2021 poll by political consultancy GBAO revealed that 81 percent of Ohioans favored a youth justice system that focuses on prevention and rehabilitation, rather than punishment and incarceration. Yet, despite declining national incarceration trends, Black and Indigenous youth are still incarcerated and sentenced at higher rates than their white peers. Recent data shows that it can cost $279,805 per year to imprison a child in Ohio, but only $13,000 per year for public education. Add to this, Ohio requires family to pay some of the cost of confinement--creating a negative feedback loop of poverty that disproportionately harms communities of color.
Join us at the City Club for a panel conversation about how states can boost preventative efforts, transform juvenile justice, and help children access the supports they need to meet their full potential.
The livestream will be available beginning at 12:00pm. Have questions? Tweet them at @TheCityClub or send a text to 330.541.5794.
Production and distribution of City Club forums in partnership with Ideastream Public Media is generously provided by PNC and the United Black Fund.