Educational Value on Youth Incarceration

By Chloe Gamber, Head Academic Writer

A topic not discussed much in the classroom or academic world is youth incarceration. Specifically, the rate of youth incarceration in the United States is drastically larger than most countries. This subject is not something many students think about very often, if at all. After attending the presentation by members of the United Congregations Jaylon Cal and Stephanie Taylor, I and many others were educated on this very important topic. Jaylon explained why this subject matters and how it affects more than just the child involved. The use of fines and fees make it impossible for not only the youth but for the family to escape this trap. As Jaylon explained, “This affects the families credit score along with impossible fees that a family may never be able to pay off. The government imposes around $187,765 per one youth”. The purpose of the United Congregations of Metro-East is to get rid of these fines and fees that could financially destroy families. 

Photo taken by Chloe Gamber
Photo taken by Chloe Gamber

Reverend Beverly also speaks about the need to spread awareness. Reverend Beverly strongly stated that “There are more kids going to prison than college”. Which is a sad reality to face. Reverend Beverly goes on to say “Every college is in decline while all prisons continue to be going up in population”. Just in Illinois alone, the incarceration rate is higher than the United Kingdom as a whole! Taking a youths life for granted by locking them up over one mistake is something that cannot be undone. Reverend Beverly also explains how crucial it is to value one’s youth and some children are even being sent to adult prisons. As bizarre as it sounds this is mainly an occurence in the United States. Many countries have gotten rid of the fines and fees completely! This makes you wonder why the United States continues to enforce such harsh punishment for children. The fines and fees are not just for violent crimes, they can be enforced upon all possible charges. Some fines and fees may seem small at first but they pile up. If a family cannot pay off the fines and fees immediately they will continue to get deeper into debt.

Photo taken by Chloe Gamber

The following statistics were provided during the presentation. This includes the positive and negative percentages involving youth incarceration throughout the years. As you can see, many agencies such as the United Congregations of Metro-East have aided in the decline of youth incarceration. Most states have also decreased in their total youth incarceration. What stands out about the bad side of youth incarcerations is the high amount of minor offenses. With the large amount of 57% of youth being incarcerated for non-violent crimes in 2019. It is truly a shame that minor crimes can ruin a child’s life along with their loved ones. There is a lot of educational value gained from learning about these issues we are facing even if they are not directly affecting ourselves. The UCM are in the process of gaining testimonies of those in the area for a General Assembly that will go until April 8th of this year. Anyone who would like to be involved in this assembly or in the organization can go to

Pamphlet photos taken by Chloe Gamber provided by OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book (
Pamphlet photos taken by Chloe Gamber provided by OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book (

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