Putting kids behind bars is more a local policy choice than an actual safety issue. What lawmakers do depends not only on budgets and safety, but on the political climate. And that differs drastically from state to state. Down-sizing corrections is a growing strategy as falling crime rates allow lawmakers to focus on cost-effectiveness and the impact of juvenile justice policy. This report reviews the history and development of three juvenile justice reform strategies and analyzes their impact on policy, practice and public safety.

September 6, 2011

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    Why complicated public systems require complicated solutions.

  2. 2

    The difference between the 3 models of juvenile justice reform.

  3. 3

    4 reasons secure confinement has been the default setting for juvenile corrections.

  4. 4

    What specific states are doing to reform their juvenile justice systems.

  1. 5

    What control, cost and consequences have to do with confinement policies.

Key Takeaway

Incarceration does not reduce recidivism and may aggravate problems with school, work and behavior.

Lawmakers like that youth confinement costs can be lowered without endangering public safety.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations