One and a half million young people are arrested each year in the United States, 89 percent of those are for non-violent crimes. Many of these young people arrested, even those non-violent offenders, receive custodial or residential sentences. In other words, they are taken away from their families, schools, friends, and community and placed in a locked facility.
Think about it, in dollars and cents. Each year, the United States spends $10,500 per child on education. We spend on average, eight times that amount on each youth incarcerated, or approximately $88,000 per child. What does this say about our priorities? Incarceration is more important than education?