The program provides funding to help organizations that provide pre-apprenticeship services that support education, occupational skills training, and employment services to youth, ages 16 to 24, including youth in foster care, youth involved in the criminal justice system, and/or those who are the child of an incarcerated parent.
Juvenile Justice Project
Posts & Announcements
The forum will feature experts from around the United States who will discuss guiding principles and strategies for building the ideal juvenile justice system to support youth and families throughout every stage of the criminal justice process.
The endeavors are part of the Improving Outcomes for Youth (IOYouth) initiative, an effort by the National Reentry Resource Center to answer the call of state and local jurisdictions struggling to ensure that resources are being efficiently used to help young people who interact with the juvenile justice system succeed.
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.
This webinar explains the research and track record of reform efforts underpinning the IOYouth approach as well as discusses why conducting a comprehensive review of system-wide policies and expenditures is critical to protecting public safety and efficient resource allocation.
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.
This report shares current and emerging practices for better serving youth charged as adults, insights from practitioners about what makes for successful programming for this population, and specific recommendations for policy and practice change.
This model policy is a practical tool designed to specifically address operational practices that promote the safety, dignity, and well-being of TGNCI youth in confinement facilities.
Since implementing the reforms 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.
Knowing many of the teens have been sitting in jail cells and thinking for hours about what landed them there, Bettina Graf—restorative practices lead for the San Mateo County Office of Education—focuses on helping them separate their actions from their identities before they begin classes in the county’s court and community schools.
Hundreds of law enforcement and education officials joined criminal justice reform advocates at the hearing, “Deconstructing the Prison Pipeline,” hosted by Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon and Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre (D-Babylon).
Black girls are being criminalized at alarming rates. They are hobbled by negative societal stereotypes that stretch back to slavery. By educators, counselors, caseworkers and judges who fail to address their trauma and emotional needs. By school discipline policies that push black girls out of school and punish them more often and more harshly than their white peers.