Final 2008 Juvenile Justice Fact Sheet Anne E Casey Foundation

Final 2008 Juvenile Justice Fact Sheet Anne E Casey Foundation

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701 St. Paul Street Baltimore, MD 21202 www.aecf.org 410-547-6600 Fax 410-547-6624 2008 KIDS COUNT Essay Message FACT SHEET: A Road Map for Juvenile Justice In its 2008 KIDS COUNT Data Book, the Annie E. Casey Foundation essay focuses on juvenile justice reform. The essay notes that “Our nation’s current approach to juvenile justice is costly, discriminatory, dangerous, and ineffective. Fortunately, alternative policies, practices, and programs have emerged that have the potential to transform our juvenile justice systems and greatly improve the odds of success for troubled youth. Moreover, most of these alternatives have already been implemented effectively, providing a clear and compelling road map for reform.” This FACT SHEET presents six key challenges and points toward solutions that are proven reforms to improve the outcomes of the juvenile justice system for youth, families, taxpayers and communities. Challenge #1: Trends in juvenile justice blur or ignore the well-established differences between youth and adults. KEY FACTS ± Every year, roughly 200,000 youth under age 18 are tried in adult courts. ± During the 1990s, every state except Nebraska changed its laws to expand the number of youth tried in adult courts. ± According to several recent studies, youth tried in adult courts and punished in the adult corrections system go on to commit more subsequent crime – and more violent crime – than equivalent youth tried and punished in the juvenile system. Studies also show that adult-time-for-adult-crime laws do not deter youth from crime or lower youth offending rates. ± In November 2007, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded: “Transferring juveniles to the adult system is counterproductive as a strategy for preventing or reducing violence.” PROMISING SOLUTIONS ± Connecticut has passed legislation to increase the upper age of the juvenile court’s jurisdiction from 15 up to 17, which will allow 8,000 more youth per year to receive juvenile court services and avoid a criminal record. Several other states with a maximum juvenile age less than 17 have also launched campaigns to pass similar legislation.
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701 St. Paul Street | Baltimore, MD 21202 | www.aecf.org | 410-547-6600 | Fax 410-547-6624 ± In 2005, Illinois voted unanimously to repeal an adult-time-for-adult-crime law that required youth accused of drug crimes in or around public schools or housing projects to be transferred to the adult system. They did so after public hearings revealed that two- thirds of youth touched by the law were low-level offenders, and 97% were youth of color. Challenge #2: Indiscriminate and wholesale incarceration of juveniles is proving expensive, abusive, and bad for public safety. KEY FACTS
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Final 2008 Juvenile Justice Fact Sheet Anne E Casey Foundation

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