Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar argues juvenile offenders are not “salvageable” human beings, and should be kept in incarceration until middle age.
In a disturbing revelation it turns out that the man who defended Trump’s family separation policy of stripping children from their parents and placing those children in cages previously argued that juveniles who commit crimes should be kept behind bars until middle age because they are not “salvageable” human beings.
The Guardian reports that in a 1991 legal memo Azar wrote:
Special juvenile courts were created in late 19th century with [the] idea that [a] juvenile was a salvageable human who needed treatment rather than punishment in criminal court. We see today that that is not the case.
The Guardian notes that in the memo Azar defended the thesis that repeat juvenile offenders should be incarcerated “until they were in their 30s – an age when the memo said individuals were no longer prone to commit acts of violent crime.”
Azar wrote the memo as part of a larger project advocating for more private prisons, according to the report. It should also be noted that the clear subtext of this memo is a racist dog whistle calling for the mass incarceration of young black men.
Earlier this year Azar made headlines after declaring that the controversial and draconian Trump administration family separation policy was an act of “charity.”
Bottom line: Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar previously argued that repeat juvenile offenders were not “salvageable” human beings, and that they should be incarcerated until they are middle aged.