This report from a KIDS COUNT essay summarizes six key challenges for reforming the juvenile justice system in the U.S. for the benefit of youth, families and communities. Using case studies from states across the U.S., the report highlights strategies for success in reducing youth incarceration and recidivism. Information from this report was originally presented in the introductory essay for the 2008 KIDS COUNT Data Book.

December 30, 2008

KIDS COUNT Policy Reports

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    The six key challenges to juvenile justice reform.

  2. 2

    Key facts about youth crime and incarceration.

  3. 3

    What states are doing that is working.

  4. 4

    What should be done at the federal level.

Key Takeaway

Juvenile Justice Reform Is Possible And Necessary

The idea of making substantive reforms to the nation's broken juvenile justice system is daunting, but should not be viewed as an impossible task. Several promising projects in cities across the U.S. demonstrate that change is possible, and in some cases can even generate cost savings over currend spending as well as many other meaningful benefits for youth, families and communities.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations