Want to keep youth out of the juvenile justice system? Maybe the best way is not to lock them up in the first place. A new report that examines innovative efforts to reduce recidivism across the country recommends that authorities focus more effort on youth whose behaviors pose a threat to public safety — and to stop pouring those who don’t into the justice system.
The report, produced by the the Council of State Governments Justice Center and Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, lays out six strategies the authors say can reduce the number of teens who become repeat offenders. It’s the product of interviews with four dozen people in the field — judges, administrators, probation officers, academics and advocates — about practices that they’ve found improve those outcomes.