Monday, August 8, 2011

New Resources on Juvenile Justice!

Juvenile detention rates have declined since 1990, as have the rates in which young people come into contact with the juvenile justice system in general. However, when young people encounter the justice system and are detained, it can have a long-lasting impact. The National Center for Children in Poverty recently released a new fact sheet for policymakers on juvenile justice. The fact sheet notes that a majority of youth in residential treatment report some form of mental health need or trauma. Furthermore, the fact sheet noted that while most juvenile residential facilities offer at least some therapy or counseling service, the majority of these facilities are ill-prepared to adequately address the needs of the youth in their custody.

  • Forty-five percent of youth are incarcerated in facilities that do not screen all new youth in the first 24 hours.
  • Among youth with a documented mental health issue that are incarcerated in residential placement facilities, 47 percent have not met with a counselor.

In addition to addressing the important mental health supports needed for youth in the juvenile justice system, the fact sheet also includes guidance for policymakers about community based alternatives, the research supporting treating youth as youth (and not in the adult criminal justice system), as well as ways of improving residential treatment.

For more state policy strategies for both preventing delinquency and ensuring quality juvenile justice services visit our homepage to sign-up for e-mail updates for new and updated results-based policy regarding Juvenile Justice - coming soon!