Studies have shown that excessive alcohol consumption causes damage to a teenager’s developing brain. The law that sets the drinking age at 21 protects young people’s maturing brains and keeps youth safer overall.
On the other hand, youth are not protected from the especially damaging effects of solitary confinement in adult jails. Young people rely on human interaction for healthy development and rehabilitation. To shield youth from adult inmates, youth charged as adults are frequently placed in isolation where they are locked down 23 hours a day in small cells with no human interaction or natural light. Research has shown that these conditions can cause anxiety and paranoia, exacerbate existing mental disorders, and put youth at greater risk of suicide (Campaign for Youth Justice).
To truly safeguard our youth we must stop housing youth in adult jails.
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