Get Involved: A Collection of Juvenile Justice Resources

Posted March 7, 2016, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Foundation works to improve outcomes for youth involved with the juvenile justice system. Our Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative and work to reduce youth incarceration focus on creating systems that use proven family-oriented interventions and lock up fewer kids. Our reform efforts started in the early 1990s with just a few jurisdictions. Today, the Foundation is a leader in a dynamic national movement to ensure that children are not inappropriately removed from their families and communities. We hope you’ll join in the effort.

Key Juvenile Justice Publications from Casey

Publications related to the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) 2014 Progress Report
This report provides a detailed update on Casey’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, which reaches over one-fourth of the total U.S. youth population. At the end of 2013, JDAI was operating in more than 250 counties nationwide, spread across 39 states and the District of Columbia. Through JDAI, participating jurisdictions are sharply reducing reliance on detention ;— and are doing so while protecting public safety and safeguarding taxpayer dollars.

Why Is Detention Reform Important?
This blog post explains that many detained youth pose minimal danger to public safety, and many youth languish in detention with no benefit for themselves or for public safety. Research shows that placement into a secure detention facility can have an outsized impact on the ultimate case outcomes for court-involved youth — with potentially profound and life-long negative consequences. Youth who spend time in custody are less likely to complete high school, less likely to find employment and more likely to suffer mental health problems than comparable youth who are not detained.

Why We’re Expanding JDAI’s Focus
The Foundation has launched an effort that will expand JDAI beyond the detention phase of the juvenile court process to focus on reducing reliance on incarceration in longer-term juvenile corrections facilities. By expanding the focus of JDAI to include the system’s “deep end,” the Foundation believes that jurisdictions can significantly and safely reduce the number of youth who are placed in residential facilities and separated from their families. Deep end reform can also help set the stage for reformers to shift their focus from getting the system to do less harm to helping the system “do good."

JDAI Practice Guides Collection
These practical, detailed, how-to guides for system stakeholders are available on subjects ranging from detention facility self-assessment to LGBT youth in the juvenile justice system.

Pathways to Juvenile Detention Reform Series
These classic reports for system stakeholders share lessons learned from jurisdictions in the JDAI network on subjects such as eliminating delays in case processing procedures and achieving detention reform in rural areas.

Publications related to Reducing Youth Incarceration:

No Place For Kids: The Case for Reducing Youth Incarceration
This report, and its companion Maltreatment of Youth in U.S. Juvenile Corrections Facilities: An Update, introduces new evidence on the widespread abuse of youth in state-funded juvenile corrections facilities. The reports show that despite the best intentions of the people who run and work in them, youth prisons are inherently prone to abuse of the young people they are supposed to rehabilitate. Even for the small portion of kids who have committed serious crimes and require confinement, this outdated model needs to be replaced with strategies we know encourage youth development and growth.

Reducing Youth Incarceration Data Snapshot
This four-page snapshot presents statistics underscoring the sea change in how we treat juvenile offenders.

Juvenile Justice Stories in the News

The Foundation supports several resources that offer daily updates via email:

The Marshall Project
This online news source covers criminal justice issues.

Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
JJIE provides news and commentary written by journalists and practitioners on issues impacting youth.

Additional Sources of Information, Data and Analyses

Interested in learning more about juvenile justice? Explore the following resources:

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Helpdesk
The JDAI Helpdesk shares juvenile justice best practices, research and materials generated by jurisdictions across the country that are part of the JDAI network.

Juvenile Justice Geography, Policy, Practice and Statistics
The JJGPS is an online repository for state policy makers and system stakeholders that tracks juvenile justice system reform across states and allows users to make comparisons and chart change.

Juvenile Justice Resource Hub
The Resource Hub aggregates research, best practice models, toolkits and other action-oriented documents on juvenile justice issues and reform trends.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Statistical Briefing Book
This U.S. Department of Justice resource gives users access to detailed statistics on a variety of juvenile justice topics, including juvenile populations, arrests, court cases and custody populations.

In a related post, we share information about advocates for change. These national organizations promote reforms and advocate for better youth and family outcomes.

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