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The Center Supports Single Gender or “Girl Only” Juvenile Justice Environments

| NCCD Center for Girls and Young Women

Girls in the juvenile justice system present with higher mental health issues and have patterns of victimization including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and trauma that are experienced different from boys. In most cases, these abuses have been perpetrated by males in their lives. These issues should be addressed in a gender-responsive way, ensuring that her environment is safe from revictimization.

Agency Workforce Estimation: Simple Steps for Improving Child Safety and Permanency

| Dennis Wagner, PhD, Kristen Johnson, PhD, Theresa Healy, MS

Evidence is mounting that high staff turnover and decreased worker-client contact increase maltreatment recurrence and delay permanency.

Hand in Hand: How One of the Nation's Largest Child Welfare Agencies Transformed Itself for Better Outcomes for Children

| Raelene Freitag, Kathy Park, Erin Hanusa

This special report details the comprehensive service delivery system and collaboration-based reforms that have revolutionized child welfare in L.A. County.

SDM News

| Children's Research Center

Structured Decision Making News, Practice Makes for Better Outcomes: A Trainer's Perspective

Created Equal: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the US Criminal Justice System

| Christopher Hartney, Linh Vuong

NCCD uses federal and state data to catalog racial and ethnic disparities at each stage of the justice system, including arrest, court processing, jails and prisons, probation and parole, and the death penalty. Primarily using relative rate indices, the report finds that people of color, especially African Americans and Hispanics, are overrepresented throughout the system. The report also gives similar data for youth in the juvenile justice system, and discusses racial and ethnic differences in recidivism in select states.

Making the Grade: Using Data to Improve Performance in Milwaukee's City - Chartered Schools

| Dr. Janice Ereth, PhD, Susan Gramling, Theresa Healy, MS, Andrea Bogie, MSW

This special report describes how individual schools can engage in data-driven decision making to increase the academic performance of all students.

A Question of Evidence: A Critique of Risk Assessment Models Used in the Justice System

| Chris Baird

This report explores the problems with the present state of risk assessment in the justice field as we at NCCD see them. The critique offered here is the result of many conversations with others in the justice community as well as a review of predictive research conducted in other fields. We recognize that much of what is presented is contrary to current understanding and acceptance, but we hope that it clarifies what evidence is required for the designation of best practice.

Special Report: Crime and Economic Hard Times

| Barry Krisberg, Carolina Guzman, Linh Vuong

As concerns over the current economic situation continue to grow, the question of the correlation between increased crime and a depressed economy has resurfaced. Do economic instability and its discontents, such as unemployment, reduced wages, and reduced social services lead to a general increase in criminal activity? News stories about a supposed rise in crime caused by the economic crisis are appearing regularly around the country. Recent reports by Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today seem to start from the assumption of a distinct and causal relationship. In addition, articles often focus on one city's problems. For example, the Times headline reads "Crime continues to fall in Los Angeles despite bad economy," while USA Today cites residents of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, who are convinced that "Desperate people do desperate things" because their city has seen an increase in property crimes. Both the causes of crime and the workings of the economy are immensely complex questions, and a clear, direct relationship is nearly impossible to prove. Crime stems from a multitude of variables including economic measures, demographic dynamics, health indicators, and social safety nets. There is very little conclusive research on the relationship between crime and the economy. This report examines the question using state and national data. A review of the literature discusses how this topic has been studied to date and is followed by an NCCD analysis that examines criminal justice data in conjunction with economic recessions and expansions.

Youth Violence Myths and Realities: A Tale of Three Cities

| Barry Krisberg, Christopher Hartney, Dr. Angela Wolf, Fabiana Silva

A study of media coverage of youth violence, actual crime data, and interviews with committed youth and the professionals that work with them.

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse in Juvenile Facilities

| Barry Krisberg

A special account of abuse of youth in custody in California, Texas, Florida, and Indiana and recommendations for reform.

Getting the Facts Straight About Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

| NCCD Center for Girls and Young Women

To fulfill one part of its mission, the Center for Girls and Young Women will present the public with an accurate account of girls in the juvenile justice system. Misconceptions abound regarding girls that are detained and incarcerated. Meaningful change is needed at the national, state, and local levels to prevent and respond appropriately to girls’ delinquency.This fact sheet highlights gender-specific issues regarding offense type and severity, age, placement, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and other underlying factors that impact girls’ delinquency.

Rebuilding the Infrastructure for At-Risk Youth

| Barry Krisberg, Linh Vuong

The term "at-risk youth" generally refers to those ages 10 to 17, vulnerable to delinquency, violence, substance abuse, or involvement with the justice system. Though definitions vary, the risk factors remain fairly constant: prior history of violence, poor family functioning, severe substance abuse, poverty, negative peer influences such as gangs, and school failure. Despite, or maybe due to, the inherent limitations of the juvenile justice system to positively impact families and communities, many services for at-risk youth have emerged in the form of neighborhood collaboratives, before- and after-school programs, family support systems, and diversion programs designed to keep youth out of the juvenile justice system. Unfortunately, in the past eight years, these programs have received little attention, and many cuts in the federal budget have had devastating consequences for our nation's children and future. The Bush Administration radically reduced funding for a wide range of services and programs. NCCD strongly recommends reinstating an infrastructure that we know helps youth stay out of trouble while improving the conditions of juvenile detention facilities so that they are safe and rehabilitative.