Following Governor DeWine’s signing of the Ohio state budget, Kenza Kamal, Policy Director at the Juvenile Justice Coalition of Ohio (JJC) released the following statement:
“We’re grateful for some of the vital investments in children and families that were protected in this budget. But Ohioans, particularly Black, brown, and working class, are still suffering, and this budget continues to invest in the harmful practice of youth incarceration while neglecting the social services that would prevent children from being involved with the justice system to begin with.
Spending over $180 million on youth prisons does not make our communities safer. We are safest when our children are educated and housed, when they are not poisoned by lead and do not die in childbirth. These are some of the issues this budget could have tackled. Instead, our leaders cut taxes for the wealthiest Ohioans, costing our state $2 billion that should have been used to repair the communities who were abandoned to the worst of the pandemic. We will continue to push Ohio to divest from youth incarceration and re-invest into our communities to ensure every young person has the opportunity to thrive.”