Juvenile courts and corrections systems in the U.S. are littered with outdated policies that increase crime, endanger kids, waste billions of taxpayer dollars and violate our values about equal justice under the law. This issue brief calls on political leaders in Washington, D.C. to promote data-driven and evidence-based policymaking for juvenile justice reform.
Federal policy for combating juvenile delinquency lags way behind data-driven, evidence-based reforms.
Findings & Stats
Since 2000, federal juvenile justice funding declined by nearly 60%.
OJJDP Budget Reductions
By 2007, the core research budget for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention was slashed 90%.
Kids color fare much worse than whites at every stage of the juvenile process, even with the same histories and when accused of the same crimes.
Statements & Quotations
Indeed, among all of the policy areas affecting vulnerable children and families, juvenile justice probably suffers the most glaring gaps between best practice and common practice, between what we know works and what our public systems most often do on our behalf.
Since the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) was passed in 1974, Washington has often played a vital role in setting minimum standards, conducting and disseminating research on best practices, and providing funding to help states and localities improve their juvenile systems. Unfortunately, in recent years the federal government’s role in juvenile justice has suffered due to inattention and drift.
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