What a Difference a Decade Makes: Youth Detention Population Drops 44%

Posted November 18, 2015, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Blog what a difference a decade makes 2015

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Since 2003, the num­ber of youth resid­ing in juve­nile deten­tion, cor­rec­tion­al and res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties has dropped by 44%. This sta­tis­tic fell across all racial and eth­nic groups and trans­lates to about 54,100 youth (ages 0 – 20) in juve­nile deten­tion, cor­rec­tion­al and res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties in 2013

Despite this encour­ag­ing change in con­fine­ment rates, black kids are still over­rep­re­sent­ed in juve­nile deten­tion cen­ters across Amer­i­ca. In 2013, 15% of kids and young adults in the Unit­ed States were black, yet black youth rep­re­sent­ed 40% of the juve­nile deten­tion population. 

This sta­tis­ti­cal imbal­ance shouldn’t be the sta­tus quo. Cre­at­ing a fair­er juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem for kids of col­or is pos­si­ble. In fact, sev­er­al sites in Casey’s Juve­nile Deten­tion Alter­na­tives Ini­tia­tive have already suc­ceed­ed on this front.

Explore more juve­nile jus­tice data — at the nation­al and state lev­el — in the KIDS COUNT Data Center. 

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