The number of juvenile correctional placements in participating JDAI jurisdictions were decreased by 43 percent, meaning more than 5,200 fewer youth removed from their homes each year in these jurisdictions.
Six local JDAI sites are engaged as pilot jurisdictions in an intensive process to reduce overreliance on incarceration. As of January 2014, all sites have completed in-depth system assessments that will form the basis for ambitious reform plans.
In Georgia, Casey helped develop recommendations that were incorporated into a comprehensive juvenile justice reform law enacted in 2013, and it is currently working in Georgia to develop new objective decision-making tools to ensure that only youth who pose a high risk to public safety will be confined.
The Foundation helped advance significant breakthroughs in reducing juvenile incarceration through engagements in Alabama, New York City, Washington, D.C., and other jurisdictions.
Casey publications have generated news coverage about the problematic use of juvenile incarceration in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and many other media outlets, and they have been cited by the National Academies of Science.
At the local level, Casey incarceration reduction efforts assist participating jurisdictions to:
- analyze their juvenile systems and identify causes of unnecessary overreliance on incarceration;
- implement reforms to safely and cost-effectively reduce confined populations and improve youth outcomes;
- establish rigorous data collection and analysis systems that enable local leaders to identify trends, determine what’s working (and not working), and support a process of continuous improvement.
Though each jurisdiction’s reform plans are targeted to local needs and conditions, common strategies include:
- using a dispositional matrix to ensure equal treatment of youth, divert low-risk youth from the court system and minimize unnecessary placements into residential custody;
- improving probation practices to reduce residential placements due to probation rule violations and to better address the underlying needs of youth;
- engaging families and making them partners in formulating case plans for their children;
- increasing use of evidence-based treatment models and other community alternatives to residential or correctional placements;
- improving legal representation for youth.
Promising targets for state-level reform include:
At the state level, Casey identifies states with strong interest in and capacity for reform, and provides them with intensive consultant support to identify areas for improvement and implement effective reforms.
We work with a number of partners to advance policies and practices to reduce youth confinement: