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Stakeholders' Views on the Movement to Reduce Youth Incarceration

March 31, 2014

Youth incarceration rates have changed dramatically over the past 10 years . Following two decades of "tough-on-crime" policies and steep surges in juvenile incarceration during the 1980s and 1990s, the field is now seeing sharp reductions in youth confinement . The latest data from the US Justice Department showed that the rate of youth in confinement dropped 41% between 2001 and 2011 . Since 2001, 48 states have experienced such a decline . Several states cut their confinement rates by half or more . Juvenile facilities have closed in a dozen states, with more than 50 facilities closing in the past five years alone .The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) decided to seek the opinions of system stakeholders regarding these changes . These stakeholders included advocates who successfully pressured their local systems to adopt reforms; the majority of study participants work inside the system as judges, probation chiefs, probation officers, directors of child welfare agencies, elected officials, and district attorneys.Through interviews and listening sessions, these system stakeholders expressed their beliefs that declining youth crime and rising costs were key drivers of the current trend . Additionally, respondents said that many of these successes were driven by successful legislation, innovative incentives built into state budgets, decisions to place youth close to home, and supervision strategies that rely on positive relationships between youth and their families.

We Deserve Better: A Report on Policing in New Orleans by and for Queer and Trans Youth of Color

January 1, 2014

This report contains data drawn from surveys of LGBTQ youth describing criminalization, stories of Black transgenderwomen from various backgrounds, a timeline of events for the campaign, recommendations from the community, and next steps for BreakOUT!This report was created to further our mission -- to end the criminalization of LGBTQ youth inNew Orleans! This document is a manifestation of love, hard labor/research, bravery, and vulnerability of BreakOUT! members and theentire community. This report is a call for equal treatment and creating or strengthening support structures whichpromote mobility in the areas of safety, housing, health, education, and employment. We hope this report will help yourise to action- or at least support the young people who are organizing against forces which continue to exploit, harm, andoverall enslave us in the criminal justice system.

Prison Bed Profiteers: How Corporations Are Reshaping Criminal Justice in the U.S.

May 14, 2012

Examines concerns with the role and performance of private prisons, including reports of abuse and neglect, low pay and limited training for staff, poor government oversight, and lack of cost savings and community economic benefit. Makes recommendations.

It's About Time: Prevention and Intervention Services for Gang-Affiliated Girls

March 1, 2012

Although a substantial number of girls are involved with gangs, gang prevention and intervention services are not designed with girls in mind. As Kevin Grant, a service provider working with girls in gangs, notes, "A lot of the [gang prevention and intervention] programs that are available do not fully support the needs of girls in gangs." Girls in gangs require services that respond to their unique experiences and needs. This NCCD Focus highlights the vulnerabilities and consequences of gang involvement for girls, the service needs of girls in gangs and girls at risk of joining gangs, as well as the importance of addressing these service needs as a critical gang violence-prevention strategy. It also provides examples of how various programs are currently addressing the gender-specific needs of girls involved in gangs.

Arkansas Youth Justice: The Architecture of Reform

February 16, 2012

This report is offered to shine a light on the collective efforts underway in Arkansas to transform the state's juvenile justice system. It describes the work that has been done to build reform over the past four years under the steady and skilled stewardship of Ron Angel, Director of the Division of Youth Services (DYS). It also suggests additional changes in policy and practices that might further "revolutionize" youth services, as is called for in the division's strategic reform plan.

Juvenile Detention in Cook County: Future Directions

February 1, 2012

Cook County has a long and proud tradition of progressive practice in juvenile justice--not only with the advent of the first juvenile court but as a national leader through the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. The last two decades, however, have brought intense scrutiny in the area of juvenile detention culminating in a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union alleging a range of violations including overcrowding, unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and regular exposure to violence and abuse. With the intervention of the federal courts, substantial progress has been made to date and additional improvements are planned or underway. Nonetheless, substantial concern continues that such reforms cannot fully resolve the challenges presented by the existing facility.

Operating and Managing Street Outreach Services

August 1, 2011

Increasingly, cities have added street outreach to the mix of strategies used in comprehensive gang reduction efforts, drawing upon mounting evidence of impact. Street outreach relies on street workers to support and advocate on behalf of gang members, or those at high risk of joining gang, to change behavior patterns and link them to needed services and institutions. Street outreach workers work day and night to link marginalized and hard-to-serve individuals in communities with high levels of gang activity to social services, and play an important role in diffusing and stopping violence (Decker, Bynum, McDevitt, Farrell, & Varano, 2008; Spergel, 1966; Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention [OJJDP], 2002). These workers reach out to targeted community members at their homes, community events, on street corners, in parks, and in any neighborhood spaces where community members in gangs or at risk of joining gangs spend time (OJJDP, 2002, p. 54). Outreach workers often possess intimate familiarity with the communities in which they work. Their knowledge and skills allow them to work with individuals whom traditional service providers cannot access or support. California Cities Gang Prevention Network cities (the Network or CCGPN) note that street outreach services are an important piece of their cities' primary intervention strategies, with ties to prevention and enforcement. This bulletin identifies ways outreach programs can strategically support, care for, and hire outreach workers.

Juvenile Call-ins

August 1, 2011

Focused deterrence, also known as a "call-in," is a strategy in which community stakeholder groups deliver a nonviolence message to community members who are most likely to commit violence. Call-ins have been associated with substantial reductions in gun violence in Boston and Indianapolis (McGarrell, Chermak, Wilson, & Corsaro, 2006), and have become a widely used strategy for gang violence intervention throughout the country. As call-in strategies are implemented in more cities throughout the country, some cities are interested in applying focused deterrence to a new target population: high risk juveniles.This California Cities Gang Prevention network bulletin draws on academic literature and the experiences of Network cities like Oxnard and Salinas, and other cities including Union City, California; Boston Massachusetts; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina to provide information about juvenile call-ins. Also, to advise effective implementation of juvenile call-ins, this bulletin provides examples from cities that apply call-ins to juveniles, discusses how call-ins may differ for juveniles and adults, and discusses key elements of effective call-ins.

A Commentary on the WSIPP Report: Evaluating Whether a Risk Assessment Reduced Racial Disparity

June 1, 2011

The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) recently released a brief report on whether or not implementation of a risk assessment reduced racial disproportionality. This response to the report briefly reviews the findings, critiques the relevance of the research hypotheses, and describes limitations of the research design that undermine the credibility of the conclusions drawn from the study. It also describes a more comprehensive approach to reducing racial disparity and evaluating the success of these efforts.

Bed Space Forecast for Baltimore Youth Detention Facility

May 12, 2011

This report describes the National Council on Crime and Delinquency's forecast of future bed space needs for youth detained in the adult criminal justice system in the City of Baltimore, Maryland. These youth are processed and, if necessary, detained in the adult system-currently in the Juvenile Unit of the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC)-after either being charged with certain crimes that require their automatic involvement in the adult justice system (known as an automatic waiver) or being sent to the adult system by a juvenile court judge (known as a judicial waiver).The State is currently considering options for housing these youth, as the present facility is inadequate. A new facility is in the planning stages and is designed to hold 180 youth, based on a forecast completed by the State in 2007. In a 2010 report by NCCD, the earlier forecast was found to overestimate the number of beds needed in a new facility. Subsequently, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Corrections Services (DPS), along with two local foundations, the Open Society Institute-Baltimore and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, asked NCCD to perform this new forecast to assist in the decision-making process.

Developing an Actuarial Risk Assessment to Inform the Decisions Made by Adult Protective Service Workers

November 1, 2010

In 2008, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS) and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), with funding provided by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), collaborated to construct an actuarial risk assessment to classify BEAS clients by their likelihood of elder maltreatment and/or self-neglect in the future. Studies in adult and juvenile corrections and child welfare have demonstrated that active service intervention with high risk clients can reduce criminal recidivism and the recurrence of child maltreatment (Wagner, Hull, & Luttrell, 1995; Eisenberg & Markley, 1987; Baird, Heinz, & Bemus, 1981). The purpose of this research was to examine a large set of individual and referral characteristics, determine their relationship to subsequent elder self-neglect and/or maltreatment, and develop an actuarial risk assessment for BEAS workers to complete at the end of an investigation to inform their case decisions.BEAS and NCCD pursued development of an actuarial risk assessment with the goal of reducing subsequent maltreatment of elderly and vulnerable adults who have been involved in an incident of self-neglect or maltreatment by another person (i.e., abuse, exploitation, or neglect). The actuarial risk assessment described in this report provides BEAS workers with a method to more accurately identify high risk clients and therefore more effectively target service interventions in an effort to protect their most vulnerable clients.

A New Era in California Juvenile Justice

October 1, 2010

Behind the media and political attention focused on California prisons, which are plagued with severe levels of crowding, and a federal court order to reduce the inmate population by over 40,000, lies one of California's best-kept secrets: the state's youth correctional custodial population has declined over 80% in just over the past decade. Just since 2004 the California Youth Authority (CYA) population declined by over 5,000 inmates. The state has already closed five major juvenile facilities and four forestry camps for juvenile offenders.A number of factors have contributed significantly to the drop in the population of the CYA. The most frequently cited is the very negative media publicity in the early 2000s about the conditions inside facilities, the case of Farrell v. Harper in 2003, and realignment legislation passed in 2007 that required that more youthful offenders be managed at the county level. However, the CYA population began declining as early as 1997. The trend towards increased costs for counties to send youth to the CYA, and doubt that the CYA was an appropriate setting for many of the youth being sent there, had already begun in the late 1990s.While no single factor accounts for the drastic change in the CYA population, the research presented here points to multiple forces that came together in the mid- to late-1990s and early 2000s to change public perception, judicial behaviors, probation programs, sentencing policies, and state funding streams.We also find that this population reduction is particularly notable because it did not result in an increase in juvenile crime, as some had erroneously predicted.