September 26, 2014
To the Editor:
Re “Report Found Distorted Data on Jail Fights” (front page Sept. 22):
While it is important to reform the adolescent unit at Rikers Island, we must also devise more creative and effective alternatives to incarceration for youths who are poorly educated and fundamentally without hope.
Their hopelessness comes from the same places they do: where incarceration and unemployment have been handed down from one generation to the next and where, in the absence of strong family structures and support networks, their only opportunity for economic independence is the drug trade.