Issue Brief: Utah’s 2017 Juvenile Justice Reform Shows Early Promise

The Pew Charitable Trusts has released Utah’s 2017 Juvenile Justice Reform Shows Early Promise, a brief highlighting early successes due to juvenile justice reform legislation (HB 239) that was enacted in 2017. Among other things, the legislation aimed to minimize the involvement of youth charged with low-level offenses in the justice system, prioritize secure detention and confinement for youth assessed as being at a high risk to public safety, and improve community supervision for youth. Since the legislation went into effect, the number of youth entering the juvenile justice system fell 23 percent between fiscal years 2016 and 2018. During the same period, detention admissions dropped 44 percent, and diversion rates from court through nonjudicial adjustments increased 224 percent.

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