'We Have Failed Our Children': Reports Recommend Sweeping Changes to Pennsylvania Juvenile System

Alicia Victoria Lozano, NBC10 Philadelphia •

Two separate reports issued by the Council on Reform, a task force established by Gov. Tom Wolf earlier this year, and the Juvenile Law Center, a child advocacy organization based in Philadelphia, ask for an overhaul of the state’s juvenile system, which largely comprises black and brown youth from urban areas.

The reports highlighted egregious incidents at Glen Mills, Wordsworth, VisionQuest and other local facilities mired in scandal.

“Too many youth, and particularly youth of color, are incarcerated in Pennsylvania,” Jessica Feierman, senior managing director at Juvenile Law Center and co-author of her organization’s report, said. “Young people do best - and communities are safest - when we provide supports in their homes and communities, not harmful and traumatizing incarceration.”

About the Expert

Jessica Feierman oversees Juvenile Law Center’s projects and programs. Feierman currently leads a national effort to end fines and fees in the juvenile justice system and is engaged in litigation aimed at eliminating solitary confinement and other abusive practices in juvenile facilities.