The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center recently launched a new project to analyze and ultimately strengthen Indiana’s juvenile justice system. In partnership with the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana, the CSG Justice Center will conduct a preliminary assessment of the state’s juvenile justice system that will result in a roadmap for a more comprehensive analysis of the system. The assessment will also help the state begin to identify policies and practices to protect public safety, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and improve outcomes for youth in contact with the juvenile justice system.
This preliminary assessment is part of the Improving Outcomes for Youth (IOYouth) initiative, which helps state and local jurisdictions align their policies, practices, and resource allocation with what research shows works to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth while enhancing public safety.
The assessment will be overseen and guided by the Juvenile Justice Reform Task Force, formed under the Commission. The bipartisan, interbranch task force includes juvenile justice leaders, officials from education and children’s services, members of the judiciary, and law enforcement officials. The task force is chaired by Rep. Wendy McNamara and Sen. Michael Crider.
Over the next six to nine months, the CSG Justice Center will work with the task force to do the following:
- Establish a shared understanding of juvenile justice research and best practices and an associated vision for reform among key county and state stakeholders.
- Assess the current state of juvenile justice data collection at the state and county levels, identify key data gaps and barriers, and determine what data is available to conduct a statewide assessment.
- Identify initial policy, practice, and funding priorities for improvement.
- Secure the buy-in of key stakeholders across all branches of government at the state and local levels to engage in a collaborative, consensus-based process to reform Indiana’s juvenile justice system.
When the initial assessment is complete in spring 2021, a summary report and preliminary recommendations will be shared with Indiana’s Juvenile Justice Reform Task Force.
This preliminary assessment was made possible by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. For more information, contact Nina Salomon at [email protected].
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