In 2008, over 93,000 young people were incarcerated and states spend about $5.7 billion each year imprisoning youth, even though the majority are held for nonviolent offenses. Locking up young people has negative consequences both for the youth themselves and for their communities. While the past few decades have seen positive steps taken in juvenile justice, both by individual jurisdictions and through national initiatives, there is much more that needs to be done. Shifting resources to community-based services and youth development is key.
Here, you can find JPI reports, briefs and factsheets on juvenile justice and needed reforms to ensure that young people are treated appropriately in the justice system.
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Virginia's Justice System: Expensive, Ineffective and Unfair
- Spike Bradford, Nov 13, 2013
- Virginia's Justice System: Expensive, Ineffective and Unfair points to reforms that, if implemented, would result in relief for Virginians directly impacted by the justice system and taxpayers alike.
DC Council Testimony on CFSA Budget Oversight Hearing
- Paul D. Ashton, Justice Policy Institute, Apr 24, 2013
- Testimony by Paul D. Ashton Research & Grants Coordinator, Justice Policy Institute
Video: A Blueprint for Juvenile Justice in Washington, D.C.
- Apr 10, 2013
- This film is based on a series of briefs focusing on youth-serving systems in the District that include: education, mental health, employment and child welfare. When considered together, the research…
Fostering Change: How Investing In D.C.’s Child Welfare System Can Keep Kids Out of the Prison Pipeline
- Katie Ishizuka and Paul D. Ashton, Apr 9, 2013
- Children in Washington, D.C.’s child welfare system are at greater risk for involvement in the justice system due to abuse, neglect and home removal that stem from conditions of poverty,…
Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety and Outcomes for Youth
- Richard A. Mendel, Feb 27, 2013
- Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut highlights the past two decades of Connecticut’s successful efforts to improve responses to youth who engage in delinquent behavior and to reduce the…
Two New Reports Show Juvenile Confinement Reform in Five States
- Spike Bradford, Richard A. Mendel, Feb 27, 2013
- Removing young people who engage in delinquent behavior from their homes and communities and incarcerating them, is no longer the status quo in five states, say two new reports by JPI.
Measured Responses: Why increasing law enforcement in schools is not an effective public safety response to the Newtown tragedy
- Dec 22, 2012
- In light of the horrific school shootings this month in Newtown, Connecticut, some have called for increasing armed police presence in schools. School safety should be a priority: it is not only…
Mindful of the Consequences: How Improving the Mental Health of D.C. Youth Benefits the District
- Melissa Neal, Justice Policy Institute, Jun 21, 2012
- This brief examines the intersection of youth mental health and the justice system in Washington, D.C.
Education Under Arrest: The Case Against Police in Schools
- Amanda Petteruti, Justice Policy Institute, Nov 15, 2011
- The presence of school resource officers in schools, drives up arrests, causes lasting harm to youth, and disrupts the educational process.
DC Council Testimony on Bill 19-255, Sex Offender Registration Amendment Act
- Nastassia Walsh, Justice Policy Institute, Jun 1, 2011
- This testimony was presented to the DC City Council Committee on the Judiciary in regards to Bill 19-255, The Sex Offender Registration Amendment Act.
Testimony of JPI Executive Director to D.C. Council on Improving Juvenile Justice Outcomes
- Tracy Velázquez, Sep 23, 2010
- Many cities, D.C. have a high rate of poverty – about 1 in 5 residents and 30 percent of children live in poverty, and one resident in ten lives in extreme poverty – that is, 50 percent…
Healing Invisible Wounds: Why Investing in Trauma-Informed Care for Children Makes Sense
- Justice Policy Institute, Jul 7, 2010
- As many as 9 in 10 youth in justice system have experienced a traumatic event, yet few such youth are identified as traumatized, and fewer receive appropriate treatment or placement
The Costs of Confinement: Why Good Juvenile Justice Policies Make Good Fiscal Sense
- Amanda Petteruti, Tracy Velázquez and Nastassia Walsh-Justice Policy Institute, May 19, 2009
- Approximately 93,000 young people are held in juvenile justice facilities across the United States. Seventy percent of these youth are held in state-funded, postadjudication, residential facilities,…
Registering Harm: How Sex Offense Registries Fail Youth Communities
- Amanda Petteruti and Nastassia Walsh, Nov 21, 2008
- The Adam Walsh Act will not keep our children safe. Instead, this law will consume valuable law enforcement resources, needlessly target children and families, and undermine the very purpose of the…
Factsheet Series on SORNA Registries and Youth
- Justice Policy Institute, Sep 2, 2008
- The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)1, which mandates a national registry of people convicted of sex offenses and expands the type of offenses for which a person must register,…
Factsheet: DC Crime and Arrest Statistics
- Justice Policy Institute, Aug 28, 2008
- Locking up youth in adult jails is not an effective method for increasing public safety in District neighborhoods, as youth are responsible for only a small percentage of the crimes committed in D.C.
Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies
- Judith Greene and Kevin Pranis, Jul 17, 2007
- Youth crime in the United States remains near the lowest levels seen in the past three decades, yet public concern and media coverage of gang activity has skyrocketed since 2000.
Coalition Letter against Feinstein Gang Bill
- Sandi Pessin Boyd, Tim Briceland-Betts, Angela Arboleda, Jun 13, 2007
- The National Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coalition comments on the new version of S. 456, the Gang Abatement and Prevention Act of 2007.
The Consequences Aren't Minor: The Impact of Trying Youth as Adults and Strategies for Reform
- Campaign For Youth Justice, Mar 21, 2007
- Despite a federal law that prohibits the incarceration of youth in adult correctional facilities, the number of young people held in jails across the country has exploded by 208 percent since the…
Models for Change: Building Momentum for Juvenile Justice Reform
- Jason Ziedenberg, Dec 5, 2006
- Juvenile justice policy in the United States has quietly passed a milestone. After a decade shaped by myths of juvenile “superpredators” and the ascendancy of punitive reforms, momentum…
The Dangers of Detention: The Impact of Incarcerating Youth in Detention and Other Secure Facilities
- Barry Holman and Jason Ziedenberg, Nov 28, 2006
- Despite the lowest youth crime rates in 20 years, hundreds of thousands of young people are locked away every year in the nation’s 591 secure detention centers. Detention centers are intended…
Fact Sheet: Rising Juvenile Crime in Perspective
- Justice Policy Institute, Oct 1, 2006
- The 2005 FBI Uniform Crime Reports were released and some media noted concerns of a 19 percent increase in juvenile murder arrests.
Cost-Effective Youth Corrections: Rationalizing the Fiscal Architecture of Juvenile Justice Systems
- Jasmine Tyler, Jason Ziedenberg and Eric Lotke, Mar 23, 2006
- A number of states have shown that by rethinking how they fund their juvenile justice systems, states and localities can succeed in keeping more youth at home, reduce the number of youth…
Factsheet: Crime, Race and Juvenile Justice Policy in Perspective
- Justice Policy Institute, Oct 3, 2005
- African American youth arrest rates for drug violations, assaults and weapon offenses are higher than arrest rates for white youth—even though both report similar rates of delinquency.
Ganging Up on Communities: Putting Gang Crime in Context
- Justice Policy Institute, Jul 29, 2005
- In an effort to better understand the national public safety impact of gangs, this policy brief examines leading national indicators of crime to put the concern around gangs in the context of those…
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