Tennessee Sees Biggest Drop in Juvenile Detention

The rate of juvenile detention has fallen to its lowest national level in 35 years, with Tennessee experiencing the biggest drop, a new analysis of federal statistics shows. “Reducing Youth Incarceration in the U.S.,” released last week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shows a significant decline in confinement of people younger than 21. The findings also reflect a trend toward treating youthful infractions less harshly than in the past. Local reaction included comments by Knox County juvenile officials, who attributed the drop to a unified approach by law enforcement, the courts and community groups. And in an editorial, the Elizabethton Star praised the news but warned that sustainable programs to help young people and families need to be in place over the course of their lives.