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The trend towards closing large youth prisons gains momentum.

In recent years, several states closed juvenile facilities, citing lower populations, budgetary constraints, and a desire for reform.Eli Hager, “There Are Still 80 ‘Youth Prisons’ in the U.S. Here Are Five Things to Know About Them,” The Marshall Project, March 3, 2016. Some closures have been the result of organized calls to action following particular incidents at the facilities that highlighted institutional problems.Marc Schindler and Vincent Schiraldi, “It’s Time to Close All Youth Prisons,” Washington Post, November 10, 2017; and Josh Kovner, “With Juvenile Jail Closing, State’s Most Troubled Children Will Be In Limbo For Months,” Hartford Courant, December 8, 2017.

In some states, the closures are part of a plan to reshape the juvenile justice system to eliminate large institutions in favor of smaller, less prison-like facilities that are located closer to the young people’s families and communities.Schindler and Schiraldi, “It’s Time to Close All Youth Prisons” (2017). In jurisdictions that sought to build new facilities, the efforts were at times met with resistance. Despite this resistance, Maryland opened a new detention center to house up to 60 youth that will cost $35 million.Jessica Anderson, “State Opens $35 Million Youth Detention Facility in Baltimore,” Baltimore Sun, September 8, 2017.