Reducing the Unnecessary Incarceration of Youth

CCLP staff help jurisdictions across the country reduce unnecessary incarceration of youth without jeopardizing public safety. We provide technical assistance to sites in 16 states that participate in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). CCLP also serves as one of three partner organizations helping the Foundation manage JDAI. In our reform work with JDAI, we have helped many communities safely reduce their reliance on secure detention and incarceration, save money, and reallocate resources to community-based programs that are more effective at helping youth avoid future involvement with the justice system.

Our staff have also worked with several jurisdictions to address one of the biggest drivers of youth incarceration: violations of probation and court-ordered terms and conditions. In Maryland, Connecticut, and the District of Columbia, we helped officials develop a robust system of graduated responses – both incentives for positive behavior and sanctions for negative behavior – for youth under supervision in the community. These reform efforts have helped achieve significant reductions in detention and incarceration for violations. CCLP staff have prepared a 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.

To learn more about the Center’s training and technical assistance opportunities, visit our resource page or contact Roxana Matiella, Director of Alternatives to Incarceration, at 202-637-0377 x107 or