NCCD Now: Youth Deincarceration

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NCCD Now: Youth Deincarceration

Danielle Stewart, Communications Coordinator, NCCD

Over the past 10 years, the number of youth confined to secure facilities has dropped dramatically. The latest data from the US Department of Justice showed that the rate of youth in confinement dropped 41% between 2001 and 2011. Since 2001, 48 states have experienced such a decline. This is definitely a reason to celebrate, but other numbers point out how much work still needs to be done.

Racial and ethnic disparities have increased over the last 10 years. In 2002, youth of color represented 68% of sentenced youth. They received twice as many probation terms and three times the number of out-of-home placements and sentences to a secure facility. As of 2012, youth of color grew to more than 81% of the sentenced juvenile justice population. They now receive four times the number of probation terms and sentences to secure facilities compared to White youth and 14 times the number of sentences to out-of-home placement.

In order to understand the juvenile deincarceration movement, NCCD spent a year out in the field, talking with juvenile justice stakeholders about what policies and best practices contributed to the youth deincarceration trends happening in their jurisdictions. By looking at longitudinal county-level data to measure deincarceration changes between 2002 and 2012, and by speaking with more than 140 experts through 30 interviews, five state-based listening sessions, and a national convening, we learned a lot about what worked, what did not, and what still needs to be done.

In an effort to support the work of eliminating racial disparity while celebrating the deincarceration movement’s successes to date, we will begin a several-week series on the NCCD blog with guest posts from stakeholders and experts within the field. Stay tuned as these individuals and organizations write about different facets of the deincarceration movement, its successes, and the challenges that remain.

To read the complete deincarceration study, composed of a series of five reports and three information sheets highlighting specific subjects including reform legislation, supervision and placement, and including families in the deincarceration process, click here.

Our deincarceration blog series will be cataloged here as each post goes live:

James Bell, Executive Director, the Burns Institute: Adelante: Embracing the New Normal

Sue Burrell, Staff Attorney, Youth Law Center: The Legislature's Role in Juvenile Justice Reform: A California Example

Deborah Fowler, Deputy Director, Texas Appleseed: Deincarceration: Celebrate the Successes, But Keep on Working

Ryan Gies, Deputy Director, Division of Courts and Community Services for Ohio Department of Youth Services: RECLAIM Ohio: Still Promoting Reform After 20 Years

Jeffrey A. Butts, PhD, Director, Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice: Positive Youth Justice: A Model to Support Youth

Carmen Daugherty, Policy Director, Campaign for Youth Justice and Mishi Faruqee, Policy Strategist, American Civil Liberties Union: Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System: a Win-Win Situation

Dr. Brian Lovins, Assistant Director, Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department: Moving Beyond an N of 1

Jeannette Bocanegra, Family and Community Organizer, Community Connections for Youth: Familes Pulled into the Juvenile Justice Sytem Need Support

Sue Burrell, Staff Attorney, Youth Law Center; Jennifer Carreon, Policy Researcher, Solutions for Youth Justice; and Michelle Weemhoff, Associate Director, Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency: Building a Stronger Juvenile Justice System Through Strong Oversight

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