All in Reading Recommendations

Transforming Juvenile Justice Systems to Improve Public Safety and Youth Outcomes

Juvenile justice systems have undoubtedly made extraordinary improvements over the past two decades—incarceration rates have been cut in half nationwide; juvenile arrest rates remain at historical lows; and, in alignment with what research shows works to improve outcomes for youth, the majority of states have adopted data-driven tools and evidence-based programming. But other measures tell a more complex story: in spite of recent gains, most juvenile justice systems are still not operating as effectively as possible.

Transforming Juvenile Probation

The Annie E. Casey Foundation presents its vision for transforming juvenile probation into a focused intervention that promotes personal growth, positive behavior change and long-term success for youth who pose significant risks for serious offending. Nearly a half-million young people are given some form of probation annually and it serves as a critical gatekeeper to determine whether young people are placed in residential institutions. Probation plays a significant role in perpetuating the vast overrepresentation of African-American, Latino and other youth of color in our nation’s justice systems.

Young Offenders Weigh in on Connecticut's Juvenile Justice Overhaul

Connecticut is in the process of overhauling its juvenile justice system. Plans to close the state’s juvenile jail in Middletown are underway and legislators are looking to replace it with a more effective system. To help find solutions, a new report has been created from the perspective of delinquent youth. 

Young people who’ve experienced the juvenile justice system know firsthand what doesn’t work. But the bigger question is, what do they need to succeed?

PUBLICATION ADVISORY: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Releases "Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2014: Selected Findings"

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) today released Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2014:  Selected Findings, a biannual census that collects information about characteristics of facilities for justice-involved youth, such as their size, structure, type, ownership, security arrangements and the range of services they provide to youth in their care.

Juvenile Justice: An Examination of Disparities in Dispositions

The present study tests the utility of status characteristics and expectation states theory in the context of the juvenile court. The theory contends that there is dispositional certainty when case related factors are consistently rated serious or nonserious; the severity of the sanction will reflect the seriousness of the case. However, the likelihood of sentencing disparities based on individual characteristics (e.g., race and SES) increases as case related factors become increasingly inconsistent, with some rated serious and others rated nonserious.

Trauma-informed Care for Juvenile Justice Staff Must Include Self-care

Juvenile justice professionals are evolving to better understand the impact of trauma on youth. In 2012 the U.S. Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence called for organizations to provide trauma-informed care and develop trauma-informed policies.

Trauma care of youth, those who are justice-involved and those who are not, begins first with good employee self-care, which is intertwined with good team care.

Juvenile Justice System Uses Physical Restraints Banned In Schools

While state public schools have banned staff from using Aikido-style physical restraints on students, Kentucky’s Department of Juvenile Justice continues to use the method.

This week, the Kentucky Department of Education ordered all public schools to stop using “Aikido Control Training” restraints amid questions over the method’s safety.

Members of a state oversight panel on child abuse recently raised concern that Aikido-style restraints can result in injuries, according to The Courier-Journal, which first reported the school ban.

Can a nonprofit turn around education in New Orleans' juvenile detention facility?

A decade ago, the Youth Study Center -- New Orleans’ troubled juvenile detention facility -- would have been unlikely to attract an educational trailblazer.

The roughly 40 teenagers held in the flood-damaged center rarely made it to classes because they were often on lockdown 23 hours a day. The staff had a reputation for incompetence. The building was plagued with bugs and mold.

But this summer, the Orleans Parish School Board turned over operation of the school to the national nonprofit Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings, which is known for its work tackling the academic deficits faced by juvenile delinquents.

Juvenile Justice System Should Morph Into Surrogate Grandparent, Not Parent

The creation of the juvenile court was a spectacular triumph of the progressive movement in the late 19th century. Advocating for a separate legal process was a bold statement about the developmental differences between adult and adolescents and, consequently, the mitigated culpability of youth who commit crimes...

Juvenile courts thus began under the legal precedent of parens patriae (parent of the nation); the same precedent that allows the state to remove abused and neglected children from their homes.