September 1, 2023


Preventing the criminalization and incarceration of children and youth in Tennessee

As advocates for youth in the youth justice system, we are disturbed to see the Governor of Tennessee and legislature propose increasing youth incarceration as a response to the tragic mass shooting at The Covenant School. While Governor Lee and legislators continue to argue that youth crime is a huge problem, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation tells us that youth crime has actually decreased by 50% since 2013. Current research tells us that further incarcerating youth only causes detrimental harm to their physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Youth Law Center staff will continue to work on the ground in Tennessee to ensure that youth in the juvenile justice system are not casualties in the struggle for greater government accountability and transparency. Read more in this article from the Tennessee Lookout.
“There’s all these things that we could be doing that I think would help us lower the crime rate even more, and then also produce better outcomes for young people and their families. And I would love to be focusing on those instead of talking about reverting to this really punitive mindset that was popular 30 years ago.” – Jasmine Miller, Youth Law Center staff attorney