The initiative is designed to address systemic responses to youth homelessness and significantly reduce the number of youth experiencing homelessness in up to 25 participating communities, 8 of which will be rural.
Juvenile Justice Project
Posts & Announcements
The program will provide funding to ensure that vital statistical information is available to the field regarding juvenile risk behaviors, juvenile victimization, juvenile offending, and the juvenile justice system’s response to law-violating behavior.
Under this solicitation, the successful applicant will continue to develop and expand the OJJDP National Mentoring Resource Center, which will provide comprehensive mentoring resources, references, and training materials and advance the implementation of evidence- and research-based mentoring practices.
The last two decades have produced remarkable changes in state and local juvenile justice systems. An overwhelming body of research has emerged, demonstrating that using secure facilities as a primary response to youth’s delinquent behavior generally produces poor outcomes at high costs. Drawing on this evidence, the MacArthur Foundation’s Models for Change and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative have provided the field with models for reform, research-based guidance, and technical assistance that has transformed many state and local juvenile justice systems. In part due to these efforts, between 1997 and 2011, youth confinement rates declined by almost 50 percent. During the same time period, arrests of juveniles for violent crimes also fell by approximately 50 percent, to their lowest level in over 30 years.
The importance and value of these achievements can’t be overstated. At the same time, these trends alone are not sufficient for policymakers to assess the effectiveness of their state and local governments’ juvenile justice systems. They must also know whether youth diverted from confinement, as well as youth who return to their communities after confinement, have subsequent contact with the justice system. In addition to recidivism data, policymakers should have information about what services, supports, and opportunities young people under system supervision need, whether these needs are being met, and to what extent these young people are succeeding as a result.
The Justice Center’s Juvenile Justice Project was developed to provide guidance and support to state and local officials and other key stakeholders on what works to promote successful reentry for those youth who are under juvenile justice system supervision. The project website provides access to the latest research and recommendations for reducing recidivism and improving outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system:
- Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: This white paper distills and synthesizes the research on what works to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system into four core principles; details lessons learned from research and practice on how to implement the principles effectively; and provides examples of how state and local juvenile justice systems have operationalized the principles in practice.
- Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation: This issue brief highlights findings from a recent survey of the recidivism data collection practices of all 50 state juvenile correctional agencies and provides state and local policymakers with five recommendations for improving their approaches to the measurement, analysis, collection, reporting, and use of recidivism data for youth involved with the juvenile justice system.
- The Juvenile Justice Project also encompasses the Justice Center’s ongoing delivery of training and technical assistance—through the National Reentry Resource Center—to state and local juvenile justice systems that receive grant funding through the Second Chance Act (SCA). The Justice Center is also the technical assistance provider for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). To support SCA grantees, the Justice Center runs the the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC). For more information and resources related to “what works” to improve youth reentry and overall juvenile justice outcomes, please visit the Juvenile Justice Reentry page. To learn more about youth mental health issues, please visit the Mental Health page. To learn more about youth substance use issues, please visit the Substance Abuse page.
The Juvenile Justice Project: Looking Ahead
With the support of the MacArthur Foundation, the Justice Center is engaged in two pilot projects to apply the research and recommendations offered in the white paper and issue brief to help five state correctional agencies reduce recidivism and improve other outcomes for youth:
- The “Positioning Juvenile Justice Systems to Track Youth Outcomes Pilot Project” will help position policymakers and state juvenile correctional agencies to track and better measure, analyze, share, and use data on a priority set of recidivism and other youth outcomes to inform system policy, practice, and funding.
- The “Improving Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System Pilot Project” will engage state juvenile justice agencies in a comprehensive assessment of to what extent they have adopted and are effectively implementing the core principles needed to reduce recidivism and improve other youth outcomes, and help them to develop and begin to advance an action plan to address priority reform needs.
The Justice Center’s work in the area of juvenile justice builds upon research pioneered and 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 National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and others. This Project is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice and the MacArthur Foundation.
The presenters of this webinar discuss overcoming the challenges to effective community engagement and explore ways to increase the number of juvenile record clearances.
This webinar explores ways that juvenile defenders and civil legal aid attorneys can partner to share expertise and provide essential legal representation for youth facing the collateral consequences of having criminal records.
In 2017, states around the country saw changes to their juvenile record clearance laws. This webinar explores the various state reforms that took place during the year. Attendees hear directly from state advocates who discuss what it took for their state to expand its juvenile record clearance laws.
This publication details how jurisdictions across the country are working to improve outcomes for youth and families, and explores how states and localities can help to ensure that their communities are able to fund programs, supports, and opportunities for residents that promote healthy development and strengthen neighborhoods.
This publication sets forth 10 steps needed to transform the current juvenile justice system into one that both protects public safety and improves outcomes for the young people it serves.
These recommendations for the 116th Congress highlight six main areas where action can be taken to promote safe communities, ensure the welfare of children, and guarantee a fair and equitable justice system.
“This could be a really beautiful state if we fix it.” Those words were spoken by a young man at a juvenile day report center in southern West Virginia. They sum up the results of over 100 interviews and surveys of young people conducted over the last year about mental health issues.
Colorado has made remarkable improvements to its juvenile justice system resulting in safer communities and fewer youth unnecessarily incarcerated. Due to bipartisan policy solutions, juvenile arrests declined 18 percent and filings to juvenile district court decreased 9 percent between 2012 and 2016; new commitments to the Division of Youth Services have decreased 22 percent since 2013.
Prisoners report past abuse at rates up to twice that of the general population. Youth who get caught up in the criminal justice system have experienced chronic trauma at rates triple those of youth in the general population. A study of people who spent time in prison, conducted by sociologist Bruce Western, found that 42 percent had witnessed a violent death as children.