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Youth Justice Law Reform

/Youth Justice Law Reform

Youth Justice Law Reform

Community stakeholders, including the most affected families, should be involved in discussions on how youth facilities can be repurposed to stimulate the local economy, create quality local jobs, and provide necessary services that were not readily available. Several states and local governments have made such changes, as detailed in a recent report by the Urban Institute:[63] Maccarone of the Criminal Justice Services Division rejected speakers criticizing the lack of funding to raise age reforms. He highlighted a number of new programs, including evening centres, youth committees, mentoring, mediation and therapy. Despite the regular use of incarceration by states and counties in response to juvenile misconduct and crime, the scope and impact of juvenile incarceration in the United States is not fully understood, and traditional censuses underestimate its size. While boys are incarcerated much more often than girls, girls are particularly likely to be incarcerated for status-related offenses such as absenteeism, running away or uncontrollable behaviour. [12] Girls account for one-third of all juveniles imprisoned for status-related offenses, although they make up only 15% of juvenile justice. [13] Due to poor policies and lack of reinvestment, the proportion of black girls in prison continues to rise, and they are more likely than their white peers to be placed in institutions for minor offenses or minor technical violations, such as lack of a probation officer meeting. Although the state has saved money through its efforts to reduce incarceration, policymakers have invested too little in constructive alternatives. In 2016, for example, before the youth training school closed, the Ministry of Children and Family saved $20.6 million through staff reductions at the facility, but funding for community-based programs designed to distract teens from incarceration dropped another 25 percent due to budget cuts to the state justice system. The following year, Connecticut`s withdrawal of minor status cases from the courts generated $4 million in annual savings, but lawmakers transferred less than $650,000 to new programs put in place to deal with those cases.

[51] And although the Connecticut Juvenile Training School is closed, there are no plans to repurpose the facility, which is crucial to preventing it from becoming a place to live again. [46] Kelan Lyons, “Juvenile Justice Advocates: Let`s `Raise the Age` Again,” CT Mirror, February 10, 2020, Many speakers at Thursday`s convocation argued that government funding for support programs and juvenile detention beds needed to handle the influx of older teens into the youth system was insufficient. A February report by the Albany Times-Union found that as of the beginning of the year, only $270 million of the $800 million allocated to raise age reforms since 2017 had been spent. NCYL works to transform the juvenile justice system to better embody true justice and equality for children. We promote community-based and health-focused alternatives to harmful systemic practices and build a culture where the system treats children like children. Our work focuses on evidence-based, proven solutions to reduce relapse and treat children with empathy and care. The incarceration of children and young adults is expensive and can cause serious harm to adolescents who are separated from their families and communities, sometimes hundreds of kilometres and with few opportunities to stay connected. [7] La séparation, souvent exacerbée par des pratiques abusives au sein des institutions, peut entraîner des problèmes de santé physique et mentale permanents pour ces enfants. [44] Justice Policy Center, « Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety and Outcomes for Youth », 2013, [17] Barry Holman et Jason Zeidenberg, « The Dangers of Detention: The Impact of Incarcerating Youth in Detention and Other Secure Facilities », Justice Policy Institute, 28 novembre 2006, p. 17.

2, People who are incarcerated during puberty are more likely to be returned to custody between the ages of 20 and 30, develop alcohol dependence, and need help with their daily needs than their peers who have never been incarcerated. [30] Incarceration in adolescence and early adulthood has also been shown to have long-term adverse effects on individual health. [31] Young people who come to juvenile detention centres often come out physically and mentally worse and have lasting effects. [32] Other reforms followed. In 2016, Connecticut abolished remand for cases where the court found a child to be a risk to themselves or in a dangerous environment. [47] In 2017, legislators completely removed minor offences from the justice system and instead redirected affected youth to holistic community programs. State authorities also closed the last two safe facilities for teens: the Pueblo Unit (for girls, closed in 2016) and the Connecticut Juvenile Training School (for boys, closed in 2018). [48] Yet states still spend about $5 billion a year on juvenile prisons. [22] This is both costly and inefficient. States could achieve significant savings by continuing to close youth facilities, reducing the number of beds for out-of-home housing for youth to limit their use to extreme cases and for the shortest possible period of time, and reinvesting funds from the juvenile justice system into community-based youth programs with the involvement of the justice system. [23] [61] Piet van Lier, “Promise over punishment,” Policy Matters Ohio, January 28, 2021,

Since the 1990s, juvenile delinquency rates have declined steadily, but the harsh sentences of the 1990s remain in place in many state laws. With this change, important distinctive and rehabilitative approaches to juvenile justice have been lost due to the more serious consequences of criminal justice intervention. This report, the first product published by the CBPP to focus exclusively on juvenile justice reform and reinvestment, was made possible by the generous contributions of individuals and coalitions across the country who support judicial reform. The author would like to thank her colleagues in the State Budget Policy Team for their comments and assistance in the preparation of this report, as well as the reviewers of the Youth First Initiative, the Sentencing Project, the Urban Institute`s Centre for Legal Policy, and the Corrections Policy Initiative. Many thanks also to the staff of Connecticut Voices for Children, Kansas Action for Children and their partner Kansas Appleseed and Policy Matters Ohio, as well as their partners working on juvenile justice reforms in these states. Finally, thanks to the CBPP communications team for editing, graphics and thoughtful publishing. State legislators can make even greater progress, in the short and long term, to ensure justice for young people and equitable outcomes for them and their communities. You can: Many of these alternatives are lower-cost approaches that can hold a young person accountable while better responding to what the child needs to secure a better future through education, job training or treatment. As states move from an incarceration-based approach to alternatives, they should prioritize effective and efficient, culturally relevant and appropriate community reforms. [34] In this approach, states should apply a “continuum of care” model, a set of community programs, supports, resources, and services tailored to the individual needs of youth and their families at home. [35] Youth with experience in the justice system did not speak at Thursday`s roundtables, which several participants described as unfortunate.

[15] Movement Advancement Project, Center for American Progress and Youth First, “Unjust: LGBTQ Youth Incarcerated in the Juvenile Justice System,” June 2017,; Daiana Griffith, “LGBTQ youth are more at risk of homelessness and incarceration,” Prison Policy Initiative, January 22, 2019, A highly targeted expansion by RECLAIM Ohio is funneling funds to six counties that have historically enrolled the most minors in the state`s correctional system. This effort has reduced the admission of juvenile prisons in these counties by about 80 percent in a decade, from 989 minors in 2009 to just over 200 in 2019. [56] According to a 2018 analysis, registered minors are significantly less likely to reoffend upon release than their counterparts incarcerated in juvenile prisons. [57] The cost of the program is estimated at approximately $9,800 per youth per year, with a total state allocation of $6.4 million for fiscal year 2020. [58] The judges also noted that counties outside of Albany and Buffalo were struggling due to a lack of detention places, so juveniles had to be sent to facilities hours away. RECLAIM Ohio offers incentives to local courts to engage youth in community programs. Each county in Ohio is eligible for assistance under RECLAIM, and the funds are distributed according to a formula.

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