Building on Strength: Positive Youth Development in Juvenile Justice Programs

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago

September 5, 2008


The current juvenile justice system is correctional, designed to ensure public safety by incarcerating youth, imposing sanctions on them and thereby reducing the likelihood of future offenses. This report summarizes observations and conclusions from six juvenile justice programs that are working to improve their intervention approaches from a strength-based, positive youth development perspective.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Positive Youth Development

There's no real evidence that a strength-based approach can work in juvenile justice settings. However, there is growing interest in applying positive youth development (PYD) concepts to juvenile justice, in place of the current correctional culture of the system.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations