U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Children Beyond Bars: Youth Who Are Detained, Incarcerated and Executed

NCJ Number
Susan Kilbourne; Carrie McVicker
Laura Barnitz
Date Published
47 pages
This booklet is intended to refocus attention on the plight of children behind bars by examining the treatment of children held in detention centers, jails, and prisons and government and private programs that attempt to improve the treatment of incarcerated youth.
Although international standards exist to ensure children are treated in a manner proportionate to their circumstances and offenses, governments routinely fail to apply these standards. Leadership, wisdom, and compassion must be practiced locally and nationally by advocates for children. It is important to invest in prevention programs and to give priority to the treatment of children whose physical or psychological problems have probably contributed to their delinquent or criminal behavior. In addition, social institutions must be created to care for children who are incarcerated and governments must recognize executing children eliminates any chance of rehabilitation. The booklet covers why children are incarcerated, what happens to children when they are incarcerated, which children are incarcerated and which children are executed, effects of incarceration on children, and strategies for improvement. Resource organizations pertinent to incarcerated youth are listed. 100 endnotes and 1 table