Measuring Juvenile Recidivism

Measuring and Using Juvenile Recidivism Data to Inform Policy, Practice, and Resource Allocation

Policymakers are eager to know more about what happens to youth after they have been in contact with the juvenile justice system. What are their rearrest and reincarceration rates? How do they fare in terms of education, employment, and other important outcome measures while they are under juvenile justice supervision?

To understand to what extent states currently track recidivism data for youth involved in the juvenile justice system and use that information to inform policy and funding decisions, the Justice Center, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project, and the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators surveyed juvenile correctional agencies in all 50 states. This issue brief highlights the key findings of the survey and provides state and local policymakers with five recommendations for improving their approach to the measurement, analysis, collection, reporting, and use of recidivism data for youth involved with the juvenile justice system. In addition, examples are provided of how select states have translated these recommendations into policy and practice.

To read the issue brief, click here.

For more information on the Juvenile Justice Project, click here.

Acknowledgements

The authors of this report—Senior Policy Analyst Nastassia Walsh and Juvenile Justice Program Director Josh Weber—would like to thank Ben Adams of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Public Safety Performance Project for his assistance in constructing the survey questions as well as Ned Loughran, Darlene Conroy, Alexis Kalevich, and Brendan Donahue of the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators for their support with administering the survey and providing technical assistance to respondents. Special thanks to Kellie Dressler at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs and Laurie Garduque and Soledad McGrath at the MacArthur Foundation for their review and support of the document. The authors also thank the many in-house experts at the CSG Justice Center who offered critical perspectives that made the publication a stronger and more useful document for the juvenile justice field, including Michael Thompson, David D’Amora, Karen Watts, Dr. Tony Fabelo, Nancy Arrigona, and Jessica Gonzales.

This project is supported by:

The Council of State Governments Justice Center prepared this paper in partnership with:

The opinions and findings herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the MacArthur Foundation or the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.