Although an 18th birthday signals the ability to vote or buy a pack of cigarettes, it also marks the point when being convicted of a crime means being sent to a correctional facility for adults. Young people, still capable of aging out of bad behavior, can get lost in the mix.
Hoping to reduce recidivism, this week state officials in Connecticut announced plans to open facilities specifically for young adult inmates, The Associated Press reports. Although prisons around the nation have wards dedicated to young adults, this facility will be the first to house only adults between the ages of 18 and 25.
Officials chose 25 as the cutoff mark owing to research showing that the brain is not fully developed until then. It is more similar to that of a juvenile, making young adults more receptive to therapy and more likely to change their behavior than older people.
Out of 15,807 prisoners in Connecticut’s system, roughly 3,000 are between the ages of 18 and 25, the state Department of Corrections told the AP. An existing facility will be converted into a young adult prison for men by 2017, and there are plans to open a similar unit within an existing women’s prison.