We provide technical assistance to state and local governments interested in using a data-driven approach to design, enact, and implement system-level reforms to juvenile system systems.

These reforms have goals of:

  • Achieving better rehabilitation outcomes for youth,
  • Improving public safety by reducing recidivism, and
  • Using juvenile justice resources more effectively.

Our Juvenile Justice work includes:

  • Data analysis to identify drivers of the juvenile justice population.
  • System assessment to better understand how the system operates and identify opportunities for improving efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Presentations on research and evidence-based practices to provide system stakeholders with a foundational understanding of how to successfully reduce recidivism for youth.
  • Policy options to support the development of policies grounded in data and research.
  • Legislative & regulatory support to help states develop legislation required for statutory changes as well as necessary agency regulation/policy changes to implement policy reforms.
  • Implementation technical assistance to help agencies effectively implement new juvenile justice policies.
  • Training and education on evidence-based practices for system stakeholders, including numerous trainings targeted toward correctional staff.
  • Performance measurement support to help document and measure the success of different policies, and their effect on reducing recidivism.

Examples of our work in this area include:

Policy Reform

We partner with Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project (PSPP) to help states advance fiscally sound, data-driven policies and practices in juvenile justice that protect public safety, hold youth accountable, and control corrections costs. Our team has had a significant role in the adoption of comprehensive reforms in juvenile justice system in numerous states, including South Dakota, Hawaii, Kentucky, Georgia, West Virginia, Kansas, and Utah.

Implementation

We also serve as the primary technical assistance provider for the Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) initiative Smart on Juvenile Justice: A Comprehensive Strategy to Juvenile Justice Reform. The initiative launched in 2014 to assist states with implementation of comprehensive juvenile justice reform legislation.

We work in partnership with OJJDP and state-level stakeholders spanning the system from the point of arrest through disposition and aftercare to support the development and implementation of reforms. The work that has been undertaken in the Smart on Juvenile Justice States serves not only to increase the states’ capacity to introduce and integrate legislative reforms, but highlights the commitment toward a sustainable approach that will ensure the success of youth.

Recent Publications