What Is Juvenile Justice?

Updated April 8, 2024 | Posted December 12, 2020
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Young multiracial friends stand together, smiling.

Juve­nile jus­tice in the Unit­ed States is a col­lec­tion of state and local court-based sys­tems whose pur­pose is to respond to young peo­ple who come into con­tact with law enforce­ment and are accused of break­ing the law. As part of the legal process, juve­nile courts hear those cas­es to deter­mine whether the youth vio­lat­ed the law and, if so, decide on a prop­er response. State and local juve­nile cor­rec­tions agen­cies (includ­ing pro­ba­tion and res­i­den­tial cus­tody) man­age the reha­bil­i­ta­tive pro­grams, ser­vices and sanc­tions pro­vid­ed to help young peo­ple stop fur­ther delin­quent behavior.

Juve­nile vs. adult jus­tice system

Com­mu­ni­ty safe­ty is a shared goal, but unlike the adult court sys­tem, the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem does not rec­og­nize pun­ish­ment as a legit­i­mate pur­pose. Rather, its stat­ed goal is to help young peo­ple avoid future delin­quen­cy and mature into law-abid­ing adults. Toward that end, the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem has tra­di­tion­al­ly pro­tect­ed the con­fi­den­tial­i­ty of court-involved youth.

How many young peo­ple are in the juve­nile jus­tice system?

Nation­al esti­mates of the num­ber of cas­es processed by juve­nile courts each year are col­lect­ed by the Nation­al Cen­ter for Juve­nile Jus­tice. In 2021, the most recent year for which data are avail­able, about 437,000 young peo­ple were referred to juve­nile courts nation­wide for delin­quent offens­es that vio­late the crim­i­nal code, and anoth­er 51,500 for sta­tus offens­es (such as run­ning away, con­sum­ing alco­hol or skip­ping school) that would not be ille­gal if com­mit­ted by adults.1

Of the delin­quen­cy cas­es, 244,000 (56%) were for­mal­ly processed in court, of which 118,000 were adju­di­cat­ed delin­quent (akin to a guilty con­vic­tion in adult court). Among youth who were adju­di­cat­ed delin­quent, the largest share (77,000) were placed on pro­ba­tion, while oth­ers (33,000) were removed from home and placed in cor­rec­tion­al insti­tu­tions or oth­er res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties.2

The Cen­sus Bureau sur­veys res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties for juve­niles to obtain a sin­gle-day nation­al count of young peo­ple who are con­fined in insti­tu­tions based on a sta­tus or delin­quen­cy offense. Accord­ing to the most recent sur­vey avail­able, on Oct. 27, 2021, there were just under 25,000 youth held in res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties, includ­ing 11,000 in pre­tri­al deten­tion and more than 13,000 com­mit­ted to res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties.3

The 2021 num­bers of juve­nile court cas­es and of con­fined youth are the low­est ever record­ed in these data sources, due in part to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

What are the steps or stages in the juve­nile jus­tice system?

The juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem is a mul­ti­stage process: (1) delin­quent behav­ior, (2) refer­ral, (3) intake/​diversion, (4) transfer/​waiver, (5) deten­tion, (6) adju­di­ca­tion, (7) dis­po­si­tion, (8) juve­nile cor­rec­tions and (9) aftercare.

  1. Delin­quent Behavior

    It is devel­op­men­tal­ly nor­mal for teenagers of all races and eth­nic­i­ties to be involved in minor acts of delin­quen­cy.4 These acts occur in every neigh­bor­hood, but con­se­quences vary. In neigh­bor­hoods and schools with very lit­tle police pres­ence, delin­quen­cy may be unseen by law enforce­ment. Or it may be quick­ly dis­missed, such as when a police offi­cer breaks up a par­ty with­out mak­ing any arrests, or when a teacher han­dles dis­or­der­ly con­duct or in-school fights with­out involv­ing the jus­tice sys­tem. In neigh­bor­hoods and schools with greater police pres­ence, youth are more like­ly to have their delin­quent behav­ior crim­i­nal­ized. Black stu­dents are more like­ly than white stu­dents to attend a school being patrolled by law enforce­ment offi­cers,5 which con­tributes to their over­rep­re­sen­ta­tion in arrest numbers.
  2. Refer­ral

    A young per­son enters the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem with an arrest or refer­ral. While the vast major­i­ty of refer­rals come from police, youth also can be referred by edu­ca­tors, par­ents, alleged crime vic­tims or oth­er mem­bers of the community.
  3. Intake or Diversion

    Once a young per­son is referred, intake work­ers at the juve­nile court or pro­ba­tion agency or attor­neys in the prosecutor’s office deter­mine whether the case should be for­mal­ly processed in juve­nile court, han­dled infor­mal­ly (divert­ed from court) or dismissed.
  4. Trans­fer or Waiver

    Also at the intake stage, youth accused of very seri­ous offens­es may be trans­ferred (or waived) out of the juve­nile court to stand tri­al as adults in crim­i­nal court. In some states, trans­fers can be ordered by a pros­e­cu­tor, but in most states the trans­fer deci­sion is made by a juve­nile court judge in response to a rec­om­men­da­tion for trans­fer from the pros­e­cu­tor or intake work­er. Many states have statu­to­ry pro­vi­sions that auto­mat­i­cal­ly trans­fer youth accused of cer­tain offens­es, though some of these states also have pro­vi­sions allow­ing for judges to trans­fer youth back to juve­nile court in at least some cases.
  5. Deten­tion

    For cas­es for­mal­ly processed in juve­nile court, the next deci­sion is whether to detain the young per­son until his or her adju­di­ca­tion hear­ing, or to per­mit the young per­son to remain at home dur­ing the pre-adju­di­ca­tion peri­od. In most states, judges order pre­tri­al deten­tion only when the young per­son is deemed a dan­ger to the com­mu­ni­ty or a flight risk. Typ­i­cal­ly, a deten­tion hear­ing is con­vened with­in 24 hours of arrest or oth­er refer­ral.

    Juve­nile cas­es that are for­mal­ly peti­tioned in court are more like­ly to be detained than cas­es that are han­dled infor­mal­ly: in 2021, 36% of for­mal­ly peti­tioned cas­es were detained, com­pared with 13% of cas­es that were infor­mal­ly han­dled.6
  6. Adju­di­ca­tion

    In this phase, the young per­son may be adju­di­cat­ed delin­quent, rough­ly equiv­a­lent to being found guilty in crim­i­nal court. Alter­na­tive­ly, the youth may be divert­ed from the for­mal sys­tem to com­mu­ni­ty-based sup­ports, found inno­cent or the charges may be dis­missed. As in the adult jus­tice sys­tem, the vast major­i­ty of cas­es in juve­nile court are not con­test­ed in court. Instead, they are resolved in plea agree­ments in which the young per­son admits to a less­er charge, or in con­sent decrees or sim­i­lar agree­ments to defer pros­e­cu­tion while the young per­son adheres to spe­cif­ic con­di­tions. In most cas­es, the con­di­tions include a peri­od of infor­mal pro­ba­tion super­vi­sion. If the case is con­test­ed and an adju­di­ca­tion hear­ing takes place, a juve­nile court judge rules based on the evi­dence pre­sent­ed in court by pros­e­cu­tors and defense attor­neys. There are no jury tri­als in juve­nile court.
  7. Dis­po­si­tion

    After a youth is adju­di­cat­ed delin­quent, the next step is a dis­po­si­tion­al hear­ing, which is like a sen­tenc­ing hear­ing in adult court. Typ­i­cal­ly, pri­or to this hear­ing, a pro­ba­tion offi­cer exam­ines the case, inter­views the young per­son and devel­ops a rec­om­mend­ed inter­ven­tion plan. Dur­ing the hear­ing, a judge reviews the plan, hears addi­tion­al input from pros­e­cu­tion, defense attor­neys and ide­al­ly the young per­son and his/​her fam­i­ly. The judge deter­mines the dis­po­si­tion of the case.
  8. Juve­nile Cor­rec­tions (Includ­ing Pro­ba­tion and Res­i­den­tial Custody)

    More than 90% of youth adju­di­cat­ed delin­quent are sen­tenced either to com­mu­ni­ty super­vi­sion, bet­ter known as pro­ba­tion, or to res­i­den­tial placement. 
    1. Pro­ba­tion

      By far the most com­mon dis­po­si­tion for youth adju­di­cat­ed delin­quent is pro­ba­tion. Indeed, 65% of all adju­di­ca­tions in 202177,000 of 118,000 cas­es — result­ed in a dis­po­si­tion to pro­ba­tion. (In addi­tion, 41,000 youth who entered into con­sent decrees or had their cas­es deferred were placed infor­mal­ly on pro­ba­tion and 24,000 more youth were placed on infor­mal pro­ba­tion after their cas­es were divert­ed from court at intake.) Under pro­ba­tion arrange­ments, youth on pro­ba­tion remain at home under the super­vi­sion of a pro­ba­tion offi­cer and may be required to adhere to rules, par­tic­i­pate in manda­to­ry treat­ment activ­i­ties, per­form com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice and/​or pay resti­tu­tion. Fail­ure to com­ply with these rules and require­ments may result in a pro­ba­tion vio­la­tion and pos­si­ble place­ment into a res­i­den­tial facil­i­ty (for those adju­di­cat­ed and for­mal­ly dis­posed to pro­ba­tion) or may result in youth being returned to court, adju­di­cat­ed delin­quent and placed either on for­mal pro­ba­tion or in a res­i­den­tial facil­i­ty (for those who were divert­ed or placed on infor­mal pro­ba­tion as part of a con­sent decree).
    2. Place­ment

      Just over one-fourth of youth adju­di­cat­ed delin­quent in 2021 (28%, about 33,000 young peo­ple) were removed from their homes and placed into res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties. These facil­i­ties vary wide­ly in their char­ac­ter­is­tics. Some are large (100 beds or more) and some small (20 beds or few­er); some fea­ture cor­rec­tion­al designs that close­ly mir­ror adult pris­ons and some are group homes or res­i­den­tial treat­ment cen­ters akin to the child wel­fare and men­tal health sys­tems; some are locked and/​or fenced, while some are secured only by staff. Some are oper­at­ed by states, while oth­ers are oper­at­ed by local gov­ern­ments or by pri­vate busi­ness­es or non­prof­it organizations.
  9. After­care

    For youth who are removed from home and placed in a cor­rec­tion­al insti­tu­tion or oth­er res­i­den­tial facil­i­ty after being adju­di­cat­ed, the final phase of the process may be a peri­od of after­care, where the young per­son is super­vised and sup­port­ed dur­ing the tran­si­tion back to the community.

Does diver­sion from the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem work?

Not all delin­quen­cy cas­es referred to the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem are for­mal­ly processed in court. Some are dis­missed, oth­ers are divert­ed (han­dled infor­mal­ly out­side the jus­tice sys­tem) and still oth­ers are trans­ferred for pros­e­cu­tion in adult crim­i­nal courts.

Research com­par­ing the out­comes for the youth under dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios has yield­ed two pri­ma­ry findings:

  • Diver­sion — han­dling cas­es out­side the jus­tice sys­tem — typ­i­cal­ly leads to bet­ter out­comes than for­mal pro­cess­ing in juve­nile court. The pre­pon­der­ance of evi­dence indi­cates that youth whose cas­es are for­mal­ly processed in juve­nile court typ­i­cal­ly have worse out­comes than sim­i­lar youth whose cas­es are han­dled infor­mal­ly, both in terms of future involve­ment in the jus­tice sys­tem and suc­cess in edu­ca­tion and employ­ment. This is espe­cial­ly true for youth accused of low­er-lev­el mis­be­hav­ior and those who do not have a long his­to­ry of past arrests.78
  • Trans­fer or waiv­er to adult court does not reduce rates of sub­se­quent jus­tice sys­tem involve­ment and may increase them. Some stud­ies have found that trans­fer has a neu­tral effect on sub­se­quent jus­tice sys­tem involve­ment,910 while oth­ers show that trans­fer leads to worse out­comes.1112

Prob­lems in America’s juve­nile jus­tice system

Though America’s juve­nile courts were found­ed on noble ideals, they have suf­fered from seri­ous flaws and endem­ic abus­es since their found­ing at the turn of the pre­vi­ous century.

  • Wide­spread vio­lence and mal­treat­ment in juve­nile facil­i­ties. Since the first juve­nile refor­ma­to­ries were cre­at­ed in the 19th cen­tu­ry, facil­i­ties ded­i­cat­ed to hous­ing and reha­bil­i­tat­ing youth have been prone to some­times hor­rif­ic abus­es. The Casey Foun­da­tion has iden­ti­fied sys­temic or recur­ring vio­lence in juve­nile cor­rec­tions facil­i­ties across the nation. This trou­bling evi­dence shows that large, con­ven­tion­al juve­nile cor­rec­tions facil­i­ties — or plain­ly stat­ed, youth pris­ons — are inher­ent­ly prone to abuse.
  • Per­va­sive over­re­liance on con­fine­ment, even for youth accused of minor mis­be­hav­ior pos­ing min­i­mal risk to pub­lic safe­ty. In 1974, when Con­gress first enact­ed the Juve­nile Jus­tice and Delin­quen­cy Pre­ven­tion Act, more than 640,000 youth were admit­ted to juve­nile deten­tion or cor­rec­tions facil­i­ties, and the dai­ly pop­u­la­tion of youth in con­fine­ment was 79,000.13 Back then, an esti­mat­ed 20% of all boys in juve­nile facil­i­ties and 70% of all girls were con­fined for sta­tus offens­es, not delin­quen­cy.14
  • Glar­ing racial and eth­nic dis­par­i­ties. Youth of col­or, espe­cial­ly Black youth, are sub­ject to harsh­er treat­ment than white youth at most every stage of juve­nile jus­tice. For instance, Non-His­pan­ic Black youth were 15% of all youth in the Unit­ed States in 2020 but over­rep­re­sent­ed at every stage of the system: 
    • 35% of youth referred to juve­nile courts for delinquency;
    • 39% of youth for­mal­ly peti­tioned in court;
    • 40% of youth placed in pre­tri­al detention;
    • 42% of youth com­mit­ted to res­i­den­tial place­ment; and
    • 52% of youth waived to stand tri­al as adults in crim­i­nal court.15
    More­over, research con­sis­tent­ly has found that offend­ing rates dif­fer only mod­est­ly by race and eth­nic­i­ty for most offense cat­e­gories and that dif­fer­ences in behav­ior can­not explain the over­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of youth of col­or in the jus­tice sys­tem.16
  • Fail­ure to pro­tect young people’s legal rights. Because the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem was estab­lished to serve and sup­port youth rather than pun­ish them, the courts his­tor­i­cal­ly oper­at­ed with few pro­ce­dur­al safe­guards to pro­tect young people’s rights. This often led to egre­gious mal­treat­ment of young peo­ple, includ­ing lack of legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion, no pre­sump­tion of inno­cence or right to ques­tion one’s accusers and harsh pun­ish­ment (includ­ing incar­cer­a­tion) for behav­iors that would nev­er result in sim­i­lar sanc­tions if com­mit­ted by adults. The U.S. Supreme Court addressed many of these flaws in a series of deci­sions in the 1960s and 1970s.

How has the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem made progress?

America’s juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem has made encour­ag­ing progress in recent times, at least through 2021. These gains include:

  • A nation­al move­ment for deten­tion reform. Launched in 1992, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juve­nile Deten­tion Alter­na­tives Ini­tia­tive® (JDAI) has helped juris­dic­tions through­out the coun­try sharply reduce reliance on pre-tri­al deten­tion through core strate­gies, such as greater use of objec­tive deci­sion mak­ing and effec­tive alter­na­tives to deten­tion. JDAI® has reached more than 300 coun­ties in 40 states nation­wide, home to rough­ly one-third of the nation’s ado­les­cents. Many of JDAI’s eight core prin­ci­ples for deten­tion have become stan­dard prac­tices through­out the nation. In recent years, JDAI’s focus has expand­ed to oth­er parts of the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem, includ­ing reduc­ing the use of con­fine­ment fol­low­ing adju­di­ca­tion and trans­form­ing juve­nile pro­ba­tion practices.
  • Bet­ter under­stand­ing about ado­les­cent behav­ior and brain devel­op­ment. Break­throughs in brain imag­ing tech­nolo­gies and behav­ioral sci­ence show that the human brain doesn’t ful­ly devel­op until age 25. From ado­les­cent brain devel­op­ment research, we under­stand why ado­les­cents are more prone than adults to risk-tak­ing and law-break­ing behav­iors, and why most will age out of these behav­iors nat­u­ral­ly with­out any inter­ven­tion from the court. This research has spurred a series of Supreme Court deci­sions out­law­ing the death penal­ty and life with­out parole sen­tences for crimes com­mit­ted dur­ing ado­les­cence, as well as new laws in many states to raise the max­i­mum age of the juve­nile court’s juris­dic­tion because they see clear ben­e­fits of keep­ing youth out of the adult crim­i­nal jus­tice system.
  • New evi­dence on what works. Over the past four decades, schol­ars have amassed evi­dence about what does and doesn’t work to steer young peo­ple away from delin­quen­cy, includ­ing both gen­er­al prin­ci­ples and strate­gies for how to inter­vene effec­tive­ly with youth and spe­cif­ic evi­dence-based inter­ven­tion pro­gram mod­els with proven suc­cess in reduc­ing young people’s reof­fend­ing rates.1718 Schol­ars also have doc­u­ment­ed the pow­er­ful effects of ear­ly child­hood trau­ma in the lives of many youth who become enmeshed in the juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem, and they have devel­oped prac­tices that help youth address and heal from trau­mat­ic expe­ri­ences in their lives.19
  • A big drop in juve­nile incar­cer­a­tion. Since juve­nile con­fine­ment peaked in 1999 at more than 107,000 young peo­ple, the num­ber of young peo­ple held in res­i­den­tial facil­i­ties as a result of delin­quent con­duct has declined steadi­ly. By 2021, the last year for which data are avail­able, total con­fine­ment on a sin­gle day was under 25,000 — down 77% from the 1999 high. While much of the decline was due to sub­stan­tial reduc­tion in juve­nile arrests, espe­cial­ly for seri­ous vio­lent offens­es, many states have begun to lim­it the use of con­fine­ment, espe­cial­ly for less seri­ous offens­es.2021 Many statehave been clos­ing large juve­nile cor­rec­tion­al insti­tu­tions (some­times called train­ing schools, but more accu­rate­ly described as youth pris­ons). From 2000 to 2020, the num­ber of juve­nile facil­i­ties hous­ing more than 100 young peo­ple fell by more than 80% from 264 to 44, and the num­ber of youth housed in these large facil­i­ties fell 91%.22 Over the same peri­od, the share of young peo­ple housed in over­crowd­ed facil­i­ties (where the num­ber of youth exceeds the num­ber of per­ma­nent beds) fell from 20% in 2000 to just 2% in 2020.

What are some chal­lenges with the juve­nile jus­tice system?

While it has made progress, our nation’s juve­nile jus­tice sys­tem still faces urgent chal­lenges such as:

  • Racial and eth­nic dis­par­i­ties are get­ting worse. Where­as Black youth nation­wide were con­fined at four times the rate of white youth in 2001, by 2021 the Black rate of con­fine­ment had grown to 4.7 times the rate for white youth.23
  • The Unit­ed States locks up more young peo­ple than oth­er coun­tries do. Accord­ing to the 2019 Unit­ed Nations Glob­al Study on Chil­dren Deprived of Lib­er­ty, the U.S. youth con­fine­ment rate was four times high­er than Cana­da and Mex­i­co; 10 times high­er than cen­tral and east­ern Europe; and 12 times high­er than west­ern Europe.24
  • Cor­rec­tion­al con­fine­ment facil­i­ties remain dan­ger­ous and prob­lem­at­ic, rather than reha­bil­i­ta­tive. Sys­temic or recur­ring mal­treat­ment of con­fined youth had been doc­u­ment­ed in the juve­nile cor­rec­tions facil­i­ties of 29 states plus the Dis­trict of Colum­bia in research from 2000 through 2015.
  • Juve­nile pro­ba­tion, the most com­mon response to delin­quen­cy, often does not oper­ate accord­ing to best prac­tice. In 2021, rough­ly 142,000 young peo­ple were placed on some form of juve­nile pro­ba­tion. Yet research finds that pro­ba­tion is inef­fec­tive in revers­ing delin­quent behav­ior and has espe­cial­ly poor results with youth at low risk of re-arrest. Many com­mon prac­tices in pro­ba­tion are prob­lem­at­ic or counterproductive.
  • Far too many U.S. youth are arrest­ed and referred to court, and far too few of those youth are divert­ed from court fol­low­ing arrest or refer­ral. Also, there is far too lit­tle invest­ment in effec­tive com­mu­ni­ty-dri­ven diver­sion inter­ven­tions to assist youth who are suf­fer­ing with trau­ma, fam­i­ly crises and seri­ous behav­ioral health chal­lenges and to pre­vent their slide into seri­ous delinquency.

Time Lag for Fed­er­al Data is Two Years or More. What are More Cur­rent Indications?

Nation­al data for 2022 and 2023 are not yet avail­able, but more recent data from Casey’s Month­ly Youth Deten­tion Sur­vey sug­gest that juve­nile court involve­ment and youth con­fine­ment have increased since 2021. In fact, most juris­dic­tions cov­ered by that sur­vey had more young peo­ple in deten­tion at the start of 2024 than they did four years ear­li­er (before the pan­dem­ic). That increase was caused by the fact that those admit­ted to deten­tion are stay­ing much longer than they did before the pan­dem­ic — not by more young peo­ple being admit­ted to deten­tion. Youth of col­or, espe­cial­ly Black youth, have suf­fered the most from these changes. Before the pan­dem­ic, Black youth in the juris­dic­tions cov­ered by the sur­vey were about six times more like­ly than white youth to be in deten­tion, sim­i­lar to the 2019 nation­al aver­age. But by ear­ly 2024, they were about eight times more like­ly to be detained, a high­er dis­par­i­ty ratio than has ever appeared in the nation­al data going back to 1997.

Addi­tion­al resources on juve­nile justice

1. Hock­en­ber­ry, Sarah., & Puz­zanchera, Charles. (2024). Juve­nile Court Sta­tis­tic 2021. Pitts­burgh, PA: Nation­al Cen­ter for Juve­nile Jus­tice. Retrieved from https://​www​.ncjj​.org/​p​d​f​/​jcsre…
2. Puz­zanchera, C., Slad­ky A., and Kang, W. (2023) Easy Access to Juve­nile Court Sta­tis­tics: 19852021” Online. Retrieved from https://​www​.ojjdp​.gov/​o​j​s​t​a​t​b​b​/​e​z​ajcs/ 
3. Puz­zanchera, C., Sludgy, T.J., and Hang, W. (2023). Easy Access to the Cen­sus of Juve­niles in Res­i­den­tial Place­ment.” Retrieved from https://​www​.ojjdp​.gov/​o​j​s​t​a​t​b​b​/​e​z​acjrp 
4. Data from Nation­al Youth Sur­vey ana­lyzed by Hawkins, D., Smith, B., & Cata­lano, R. (2002). Delin­quent behav­ior. Pedi­atrics in Review (23)11: 382392. And, Nation­al Acad­e­mies of Sci­ences, Engi­neer­ing, and Med­i­cine. (2019). The promise of ado­les­cence: Real­iz­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for all youth. Wash­ing­ton, DC: The Nation­al Acad­e­mies Press. https://​doi​.org/​10​.​17226​/​25388
5. Blad, E., & Har­win, A. (2017, Jan­u­ary 24). Black stu­dents more like­ly to be arrest­ed at school. Edu­ca­tion Week. Retrieved from www​.edweek​.org/​e​w​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​s​/​2017​/​01​/​25​/​b​l​a​c​k​-​s​t​u​d​e​n​t​s​-​m​o​r​e​-​l​i​k​e​l​y​-​t​o​-​b​e​a​r​r​e​s​t​e​d​.​h​t​m​l​#​g​r​a​phics
6. Puz­zanchera, C., Sludgy, A., and Hang, W. (2023). Easy Access to Juve­nile Court Statistics
7. Kauff­man, E., Beard­slee, J., Fine, A., Frick, P.J., Stein­berg, L. (2020) Cross­roads in juve­nile jus­tice: The impact of ini­tial pro­cess­ing deci­sion on youth 5 years after first arrest. Devel­op­ment and Psy­chopathol­o­gy 114.  https://​www​.cam​bridge​.org/core…
8. Wil­son, H. A., & Hoge, R. D. (2013). The effect of youth diver­sion pro­grams on recidi­vism: A meta-ana­lyt­ic review. Crim­i­nal Jus­tice and Behav­ior, 40(5), 497518. https://​doi​.org/​10​.​1177​/​0093854812451089
9. Zane, S. N., Welsh, B. C., & Mears, D. P. (2016). Juve­nile trans­fer and the spe­cif­ic deter­rence hypoth­e­sis: A sys­tem­at­ic review and meta-analy­sis. Crim­i­nol­o­gy and Pub­lic Pol­i­cy, 15(3), 901925. https://www.doi.org/10.1111/17459133.12222
10. Mul­vey, E. P., & Schu­bert, C. A. (2012, Decem­ber). Trans­fer of juve­niles to adult court: Effects of a broad pol­i­cy in one court. Juve­nile Jus­tice Bul­letin. Wash­ing­ton, DC: U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice. Retrieved from https://​ojjdp​.ojp​.gov/​s​i​t​e​s​/​g​/​f​i​l​e​s​/​x​y​c​k​u​h​176​/​f​i​l​e​s​/​p​u​b​s​/​232932.pdf
11. Jor­dan, K. L. (2012) Juve­nile trans­fer and recidi­vism: A propen­si­ty score match­ing approach. Jour­nal of Crime and Jus­tice, 35(1), 5367, https://​www​.doi​.org/​10​.​1080​/​0735648​X​.​2011​.​632133
12. Hahn, R., McGowan, A., Liber­man, A., Cros­by, A., Fullilove, M., John­son, R., … & Lowy, J. (2007). Effects on vio­lence of laws and poli­cies facil­i­tat­ing the trans­fer of youth from the juve­nile to the adult jus­tice sys­tem: A report on rec­om­men­da­tions of the Task Force on Com­mu­ni­ty Pre­ven­tive Ser­vices. Mor­bid­i­ty and Mor­tal­i­ty Week­ly Report: Rec­om­men­da­tions and Reports, 56(9), 111. Retrieved from www​.cdc​.gov/​m​m​w​r​/​p​r​e​v​i​e​w​/​m​m​w​r​h​t​m​l​/​r​r​5609​a​1.htm
13. Nation­al Crim­i­nal Jus­tice Infor­ma­tion and Sta­tis­tics Ser­vice. (1979). Chil­dren in cus­tody: A report on the juve­nile deten­tion and cor­rec­tion­al facil­i­ty cen­sus of 1975 Wash­ing­ton, DC: U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice, Law Enforce­ment Assis­tance Admin­is­tra­tion.
14. Dein­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of Sta­tus Offend­ers: Hear­ing Before the Sub­com­mit­tee on Juve­nile Delin­quen­cy of the U.S. Sen­ate. Com­mit­tee on the Judi­cia­ry, 95th Cong. 2 (1977). State­ment of William J. Ander­son, Deputy Direc­tor, Gen­er­al Gov­ern­ment Divi­sion Gen­er­al Account­ing Office. Retrieved from www​.gao​.gov/​a​s​s​e​t​s​/​100​/​98556.pdf
15. Puz­znchera, C., Slad­ky, A., and Hang, W. (2023) Easy Access to Juve­nile Court Sta­tis­tics 
16. Leiber, M. J., & Peck, J. H. (2013). Race in juve­nile jus­tice and sen­tenc­ing pol­i­cy: An overview of research and pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions. Law & Inequal­i­ty: A Jour­nal of The­o­ry and Prac­tice, 31(2). Retrieved from http://​schol​ar​ship​.law​.umn​.edu/​l​a​w​i​n​e​q​/​v​o​l​31​/​i​ss2/2
17. Mendel, R. (June 28, 2023). Effec­tive Alter­na­tives to Youth Incar­cer­a­tion. Retrieved from https://www.sentencingproject.…
18. Mendel, R. (Nov. 9, 2023). Sys­tem Reforms to Reduce Youth Incar­cer­a­tion: Why We Must Explore Every Option Before Remov­ing Any Young Per­son from home. Retrieved from https://www.sentencingproject.…;
19. Buff­in­g­ton, K., Dierkhis­ing, C. B., & Marsh, S. C. (2010). Ten things every juve­nile court judge should know about trau­ma and delin­quen­cy. Reno, NV: Nation­al Coun­cil of Juve­nile and Fam­i­ly Court Judges. Retrieved from www​.ncjfcj​.org/​p​u​b​l​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​s​/​t​e​n​-​t​h​i​n​g​s​-​e​v​e​r​y​-​j​u​v​e​n​i​l​e​-​c​o​u​r​t​-​j​u​d​g​e​-​s​h​o​u​l​d​-​k​n​o​w​-​a​b​o​u​t​-​t​r​a​u​m​a​-​a​n​d​-​d​e​l​i​n​q​uency
20. Dur­nan, J., Olsen, R., Harvell, S. (2018). State-led juve­nile jus­tice sys­tems improve­ment: Imple­men­ta­tion progress and ear­ly out­comes. Wash­ing­ton, DC: Urban Insti­tute. Retrieved from www​.urban​.org/​r​e​s​e​a​r​c​h​/​p​u​b​l​i​c​a​t​i​o​n​/​s​t​a​t​e​-​l​e​d​-​j​u​v​e​n​i​l​e​-​j​u​s​t​i​c​e​-​s​y​s​t​e​m​s​-​i​m​p​r​o​v​ement
21. The Nation­al Juve­nile Jus­tice Net­work & the Texas Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Foun­da­tion. (2013). The come­back states: Reduc­ing juve­nile incar­cer­a­tion in the Unit­ed States. Retrieved from www​.njjn​.org/​u​p​l​o​a​d​s​/​d​i​g​i​t​a​l​-​l​i​b​r​a​r​y​/​C​o​m​e​b​a​c​k​-​S​t​a​t​e​s​-​R​e​p​o​r​t​_​F​I​N​A​L.pdf
22. Puz­zanchera, C., Hock­en­ber­ry, S., Slad­ky, T.J., and Kang, W. (2022) Juve­nile Res­i­den­tial Facil­i­ty Cen­sus Date­book.” Retrieved from https://​www​.ojjdp​.gov/​o​j​s​tatbb…;
23. Puz­zanchera, C., Slad­ky, T.J., and Kang, W. (2023). Easy Access to the Cen­sus of Juve­niles in Res­i­den­tial Place­ment.”
24. Nowak, M. (2019). The Unit­ed Nations glob­al study of chil­dren deprived of lib­er­ty. Gene­va: Office of the Unit­ed Nations High Com­mis­sion­er for Human Rights. Retrieved from www​.ohchr​.org/​E​N​/​H​R​B​o​d​i​e​s​/​C​R​C​/​S​t​u​d​y​C​h​i​l​d​r​e​n​D​e​p​r​i​v​e​d​L​i​b​e​r​t​y​/​P​a​g​e​s​/​I​n​d​e​x​.aspx

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