Eliminate Confinement as a Response to Probation Rule Violations

Posted August 4, 2020
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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This brief zeroes in on a troublesome juvenile justice practice: the use of correctional confinement for youth who have violated the conditions of their probation — but not the law.

The document explores how confinement causes serious harm to youth but does not reduce future offending. It also examines how the heavy use of confinement for technical violations exacerbates racial and ethnic disparities while also running counter to the lessons of adolescent brain science.  

The guidance in this brief is consistent with Casey’s Transforming Juvenile Probation report.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

Young people — and too often youth of color — are being locked up for breaking the rules, not breaking the law

Supporting personal growth, positive behavior change and long-term success are gradual processes with predictable ups and downs. Confining youth for technical violations and status offenses has no confirmed public safety benefit and puts young people on a path toward future arrest and incarceration. Want to promote behavior change in youth who break the rules? Start with positive reinforcement — not confinement.