Fewer Young People Residing in Juvenile Justice Facilities

Posted January 6, 2020
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Updates fewerresidinginjuvenilejustice 2020

The num­ber and share of young peo­ple liv­ing in juve­nile deten­tion, cor­rec­tion­al or res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties in the Unit­ed States con­tin­ued to decline through 2017, accord­ing to the lat­est data.

The fed­er­al resource known as Easy Access to the Cen­sus of Juve­niles in Res­i­den­tial Place­ment indi­cates that in 2017, based on a one-day snap­shot, 43,580 peo­ple younger than 21-years-old lived in juve­nile deten­tion, cor­rec­tion­al or res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties. That’s a reduc­tion of more than 4,000 young peo­ple com­pared with 2015. There was also a drop in the rate, from 152 young peo­ple per 100,000 in 2015 to 138 per 100,000 in 2017. This fig­ure was 355 per 100,000 in 1999; it has fall­en in every two-year mea­sure­ment cycle since then.

The rate of incar­cer­a­tion of young peo­ple per 100,000 has fall­en con­sis­tent­ly in most, but not all, states. Between 2015 and 2017, the rate increased in Alas­ka, Arkansas, Hawaii, Ken­tucky, Maine, Mis­sis­sip­pi, Mon­tana, Nebras­ka, New Hamp­shire and Wyoming. The high­est rates seen in 2017 were in Wyoming (302 per 100,000), West Vir­ginia (280 per 100,000) and Alas­ka (263 per 100,000); the low­est were in Con­necti­cut (27 per 100,000), Ver­mont (33 per 100,000) and North Car­oli­na (46 per 100,000).

The Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is deeply invest­ed in build­ing a more effec­tive and equi­table youth jus­tice sys­tem through the Juve­nile Deten­tion Alter­na­tives Ini­tia­tive® and oth­er juve­nile jus­tice reform work so that all young peo­ple are able to thrive and grow into respon­si­ble adults, even when they make mis­takes and vio­late the law in seri­ous ways.

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