“Neighborhoods plagued by gun violence are often compared to war zones. Whether the comparison is fair or not, the chances that young men who experience trauma in their neighborhood will end up in jail are astronomically high. Studies have shown a high correlation between neighborhood disorder and physical abuse.
“According to the National Association for Mental Illness, some 70 percent of youths in state and local juvenile justice facilities suffer from mental health problems, which is part of a broader trend of prisons and jails becoming warehouses for the mentally ill. These youths are in many cases cut off from mental health care and from their communities and families; an untold number will be released back into society as hardened, unstable adults.”