Move the Slammer, Keep ’em at Home?

Mercer County plans to close its youth detention center in Ewing and incarcerate offenders at a larger facility in Middlesex. As quoted in the Times of Trenton, officials say that attendance in the juvenile slammer is low, so closing it makes sense. Supposedly this will save $4.6 million and help solve two problems: “inappropriate detention of youth in detention facilities” and “over-representation of minority youth in detention.”

Is this good or bad for Mercer youth? Who knows? But the experts probably have an opinion, and they will meet at Princeton University next month, Cornel West and Michelle Alexander as keynoters.

Imprisonment of a Race, a one-day conference at Princeton University, will be Friday, March 25, starting at 10:30 a.m. in McCosh Hall, Room 10. Registration is required, but it’s free.

If you have an opinion on moving the juvenile jail, please comment. Supposedly the county will provide transportation, twice a week, so families can see teens who are so violent they aren’t allowed to stay home. Everybody else gets home detention.

Just thinking about it is depressing.

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