About the Youth Program

The CSG Justice Center’s Youth Program helps state and local officials develop and implement policies and practices based on the best available research to reduce recidivism and improve other outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system.


Juvenile incarceration rates have declined nationwide over the past 15 years by over 50 percent, and arrest rates have dropped to their lowest level in more than three decades. While such changes have produced substantial savings at no cost to public safety, investments in community-based services have not typically resulted in reductions in recidivism rates or improvements in educational and employment outcomes, for example, for youth under juvenile justice system supervision. As a result, many state and local leaders are seeking to determine what additional steps are needed to ensure resources are used efficiently to help youth in contact with the juvenile justice system to transition to a crime-free and productive adulthood.

Youth Resources

JJWhitePaperCoverCore Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System, synthesizes into four core principles the research on what works to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system, and provides recommendations on how to implement the principles with fidelity.
JJIssueBriefCoverMeasuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation summarizes the results of a 50-state survey of states’ approaches to measuring juvenile recidivism rates, and provides policymakers with recommended approaches to improve the measurement, analysis, collection, reporting, and use of recidivism data.
closerToHomeThumbCloser to Home: An Analysis of the State and Local Impact of the Texas Juvenile Justice System Reformsone of the most comprehensive studies on the impact of a single state’s juvenile justice reforms ever conducted, offers a host of lessons learned on the impact of diverting youth from state correctional facilities and providing effective community supervision and services.
school disciplineThe School Discipline Consensus Report provides implementation guidance to minimize the dependence on suspension and expulsion to manage student behaviors, improve students’ academic outcomes, reduce their involvement in the juvenile justice system, and promote safe and productive learning environments.

This work in the area of youth is supported by key partners including the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change Initiative, Georgetown University’s Center on Juvenile Justice Reform, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, the American Probation and Parole Association, the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Atlantic Philanthropies, and others.