An editorial in today’s New York Times holds up Missouri’s juvenile justice system as a model for reforming the flawed New York state system. A task force appointed by Governor Patterson singled out the Missouri system for praise, noting that:
It has adopted smaller regional facilities that focus on rehabilitation and house troubled youths as close to home as possible in order to involve parents and community groups in the therapeutic process. Missouri also has cut recidivisim rates by smoothing re-entry and helping young people with drug treatment, education or job placement.
This is not the first time that the Times has talked up the Missouri juvenile justice system. In 2007 another editorial observed that:
A law-and-order state, Missouri was working against its own nature when it embarked on this project about 25 years ago. But with favorable data piling up, and thousands of young lives saved, the state is now showing the way out of the juvenile justice crisis
It is good to know that with all the problems that Missouri has, the way that we deal with our troubled youth is not among them and that we are doing something right.