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Kids Count: Washington, D.C.’s Rate of Juvenile Incarceration the Highest in the Country

Posted in 2015, Research & Policy Thursday, 30 July 2015

On Wednesday, July 29th, the Washington Post published an article “The states where children are most likely to be locked up, poor and hungry” discussing the well-being of children across the nation. This article utilized the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count report, a collection of statistics tracking the welfare of children on a state-by-state basis. 
 
Unfortunately, this article and report highlight a very sad figure: the District of Colombia has the highest rate of juvenile incarceration in the entire nation. With 618 out of every 100,000 children in D.C. incarcerated, this rate is more than twice that of every state in the nation, save three (Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska). 
 
While the JJDPA reauthorization, in the form of Senate Bill 1169, is seeing movement in the Senate with a voice vote out of the Judiciary Committee, the federal government alone cannot act to protect the youth in our nation’s capital. With about 1 out of every 150 children in DC incarcerated, the DC city council, with the help of the DC JOY Campaign, needs to act NOW to protect the children of DC and their futures.