On any given day in the United States, over 50,000 youth are living in out-of-home placements because of their involvement with the juvenile justice system. Many jurisdictions continue to rely on incarceration in spite of research showing that the practice is expensive, counterproductive, and harmful to youth.
The Center’s staff have worked with over a dozen jurisdictions on strategies to reduce the unnecessary incarceration of youth. For example, CCLP plays a leading role in coordinating the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). Since 1992, JDAI has helped jurisdictions in 39 states and the District of Columbia safely reduce the reliance on secure detention and incarceration of young people. To learn more about the Center’s technical assistance opportunities in this area, contact Roxana Matiella, Director of Alternatives to Incarceration, at 202-637-0377 x107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A significant portion of youth incarceration in the juvenile justice system results from violations of probation or other court orders. Much of this incarceration is not necessary to protect the safety of the community. Instead, many courts and probation departments respond to “technical” violations of probation – such as missing appointments with probation officers, skipping school, or breaking curfew – by relying on detention and out-of-home placement as a means of holding youth accountable for their actions.
A strong system of “graduated responses” – combining sanctions for violations and incentives for continued progress – can significantly reduce unnecessary incarceration, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and improve successful probation completion rates and other outcomes for youth under supervision. The Center for Children’s Law and Policy has prepared a new Graduated Responses Toolkit designed to help jurisdictions create an effective graduated response system or improve an existing system. The publication collects best practices from jurisdictions around the country that have successfully reduced incarceration for technical violations of probation.
The Graduated Responses Toolkit contains:
Click here to download the Graduated Responses Toolkit. For questions or more information about the Toolkit or its contents, please contact Jason Szanyi at the Center for Children’s Law and Policy at email@example.com or 202-637-0377, extension 108.
“The work of the DMC Action Network, led by the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, demonstrated that communities can implement reforms that have a measurable and positive impact on youth of color.”
Laurie Garduque Director of Justice Reform, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
“CCLP has been instrumental in helping Fairfax County tackle issues surrounding racial and ethnic disparities. They have been extremely helpful in identifying specific areas to target, as well as work through individual problems and data issues. They have helped us focus our efforts, and their team has gone above and beyond to help us succeed.”
Courtney Porter Director of Research and Development, Fairfax County, Virginia, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
“CCLP helped change the culture and the landscape of law enforcement in this community. CCLP gave us the courage to look at the numbers. We’ve changed the way we do police work here in Gainesville and in Alachua County because of that relationship. We’re very thankful for CCLP coming into our lives several years ago and look forward to a long-term relationship with them moving forward.”
Captain Will Halvosa, Gainesville Florida Police Department
“It is an absolute pleasure to be working with CCLP on the campaign to Stop Solitary for Kids. I’m convinced we’re going to end this abusive practice once and for all.”
Marc Schindler Executive Director – Justice Policy Institute
“To first working with Mark 10 years ago as part of JDAI in Washington, DC to seeing CCLP really thrive over the last 10 years, I think I speak for the entire Casey Foundation when I say JDAI would not be where it is today without CCLP.”
Nate Balis Director, Juvenile Justice Strategies Group- Annie E. Casey Foundation