Eight Principles to Transform Care for Young People in the Justice System

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

October 6, 2019


This issue brief identifies eight principles that every juvenile justice system should embrace to transform care for youth in custody. These principles are designed to help all youth realize their potential — regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, neighborhood or personal history.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Youth in custody need (and deserve) these eight principles enacted today

States, counties or cities must dramatically reduce youth confinement and build stronger community-centered responses. Yet, such a transformation will take time, and the 43,000 young people who are in custody today — and are disproportionately and overwhelmingly youth of color — can’t wait. These eight principles from the Casey Foundation can immediately and effectively elevate the standard of care for youth in custody while the push to close all youth prisons continues.

Video Explainer on Eight Principles

Findings & Stats

Excerpts on Transforming Care for Youth in Custody