There are fewer Montana kids behind bars. Montana’s youth incarceration rate dropped 28-percent between 1997 and 2010 according to a new report released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
That decline wasn’t unique to Montana and reflects a nationwide drop.
Thale (pronounce TALL’-uh) Dillon of Montana Kids Count says very few of these children were incarcerated for violent crimes. Most were locked-up for non-violent offenses such as status violations or substance abuse issues.
Dillon credits two factors for the drop in juvenile detention rates:
Dillon adds viable alternatives to youth incarceration are not only effective, but frequently viewed as less expensive to taxpayers.