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Our kids don’t belong in adult prisons

Kids in adult prison are 36 times more likely to die by suicide.

They’re at greater risk for sexual abuse, including rape

Teenagers are not little adults. They don’t think like adults, act like adults, process emotions like adults or understand the world like adults.

Less than 30% of Cuyahoga County residents are people of color, yet 91% of youth bound over to the adult system are Black or Brown.

Some kids make terrible decisions with horrendous consequences. We can and should hold them accountable, but throwing them into adult prisons isn’t the answer.

Because when it comes to kids, research shows getting “tough on crime” doesn’t make our community any safer. It only leads to more poverty, trauma, desperation, crime, broken homes and broken lives. We can do better.

Intervention programs work, and they’re more cost effective with better outcomes for all of us.

Programs like Multi-System Therapy and Functional Family Therapy are effective in reducing recidivism rates, and they’re significantly more cost effective than incarceration. 

That’s why GCC is working with our member institutions, prosecutors, judges and our community to make intervention programs like these the de facto standard when it comes to juvenile justice.

Together we can hold children accountable and protect them from a predatory adult criminal justice system. We can give kids and families hope for a brighter future. And we can do it while building a safer, stronger Greater Cleveland.

Help GCC end the abuse of discretionary youth bindover.

We send more of our kids to adult court and adult prison than any other county in Ohio. 6x more than Franklin County and 4x more than Hamilton County.

Articles Related to Discretionary Youth Bindover

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GCC, attorneys and analysts have asked the Ohio Public Defender Commission to stop reimbursements to the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court until it investigates conflicts of interest, inadequate oversight, and the appearance of a pay-to-play system in how attorneys are assigned to represent indigent children.

March 25, 2024

Are our kids getting the best legal representation possible?

Kids have the right to an attorney, and they deserve the best representation possible. A policy group called The Wren Collective has released a new report that proves what we’ve known for a while. We

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