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Raising the Age, Justice Policy Institute, 2017

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Shifting to a safer and more effective juvenile justice system

RAISETHEAGE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION

Justice Policy Institute (JPI) is a national nonprofit that is dedicate to reducing the use of incarceration and the justice system by
promoting fair and effective policies. JPI staff includes Paul Ashton, Jeremy Kittredge, Olivia Martinez, Marc Schindler, Jamille
White, Keith Wallington, and Jason Ziedenberg. We would like to acknowledge the following individuals who helped support the
development of Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System.

RESEARCH INTERNS


JPI Research Interns that assisted with this project include Margaret Christ, Paola Dela Cruz, Amanda Pierson, 

Katherine Sponaugle, Mahalia Thomas, Megan Travaline, Chelsea Voronoff, Sara Walenta.

REVIEW


While all estimates, inferences, and the way information is characterized in the document are the sole responsibility 

of JPI, we would like to acknowledge the following reviewers for giving us feedback to improve the document:
Abby Anderson, Executive Director, Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance;
Sheila Bedi, Professor of Law at the Northwestern School of Law, attorney with the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center;
Phyllis Becker, Director, Missouri Division of Youth Services;
Nate Balis, Director, Juvenile Justice Strategy Group, Annie E. Casey Foundation;
Steven Bishop, Senior Associate, Juvenile Justice Strategy Group, Annie E. Casey Foundation;
Elizabeth Clarke, President and Founder, Illinois Juvenile Justice Initiative;
Naoka Carey, Executive Director, Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Massachusetts;
Lael Chester, Research Fellow, Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School;
Aleksandra Chauhan, Assistant Public Defender, Richland County, Columbia, South Carolina;
John DeJoie, Legislative Advocate, Children's Lobby Coordinator at Child and Family Services;
Brian Evans, State Campaigns Director, Campaign for Youth Justice;
Peter Forbes, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services;
Rachel Gassert, Policy Director, Louisiana Center for Children's Rights;
Elizabeth Henneke, Policy Attorney, Texas Criminal Justice Coalition;
Stephanie Kollmann, Policy Director, Bluhm Legal Clinic, Children and Family Justice Center;
Candice Jones, Senior Advisor to Arne Duncan, Emerson Collective, former director, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice;
Elizabeth Powers, Director of Youth Justice, Children’s Defense Fund (New York City);
Marcy Mistrett, Chief Executive Officer, Campaign for Youth Justice;
Katayoon Majd, Program Director for Juvenile Justice, Public Welfare Foundation;
Jim Moeser, Deputy Director, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families;
Kristin Staley, Deputy Director, Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency;
Jessica A. Sandoval, Vice President and Deputy Director, Campaign for Youth Justice;
Jeree Thomas, Policy Director, Campaign for Youth Justice;
Aprill O. Turner, Director of Communications and Media Relations, Campaign for Youth Justice;
Eric Zogbry, Juvenile Defender at North Carolina Office of the Juvenile Defender, Office of Indigent Defense Services.
JPI would like to acknowledge Annie Balck for her editorial review of the final draft of this brief.
JPI would like to acknowledge Julie Holman Design for formatting the publication, graphs and summaries.

FUNDERS

This report would not have been possible without the generous support of the 

Public Welfare Foundation and independent donors to JPI.


Contents




INTRODUCTION .....................................................................................................................................5

GRAPH A: DECREASE IN YOUNG PEOPLE AUTOMATICALLY EXCLUDED FROM JUVENILE COURT (2007-2014) ---------------6

Timeline: Which States Raised the Age? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 15

STRATEGY 1: EXPANDING THE USE OF DIVERSION .................................................................................17

STRATEGY 2: MAKING PROBATION AND AFTERCARE 

APPROACHES MORE EFFECTIVE............................................................................................................ 21

STRATEGY 3: ADDRESSING YOUNG PEOPLE’S MENTAL HEALTH

NEEDS OUTSIDE THE DEEP END OF THE SYSTEM ...................................................................................25

STRATEGY 4: REDUCING THE USE OF PRETRIAL DETENTION ....................................................................29

STRATEGY 5: REDUCING RELIANCE ON FACILITIES AND FOCUSING

RESOURCES ON COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACHES .............................................................................33

The Costs to Taxpayers of Raising the Age Have Been Overstated ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------39
GRAPH B: CONNECTICUT’S JUVENILE JUSTICE EXPENDITURES (2001-2012) -------------------------------------------------------------40

GRAPH C: MASSACHUSETTS OVER-ESTIMATION OF RAISE THE AGE COSTS ----------------------------------------------------------------- 41

GRAPH D: ILLINOIS JUVENILE JUSTICE CASELOAEDS AFTER RAISING THE AGE -----------------------------------------------------------42

GRAPH E: ILLINOIS JUVENILE JUSTICE BUDGET THROUGH RAISE THE AGE (2010-2016) --------------------------------------------43


STRATEGY 6: KEEPING YOUNG PEOPLE SAFE BY COMPLYING 

WITH THE PRISON RAPE ELIMINATION ACT (PREA) ................................................................................49

States That Raised the Age Saw Juvenile Crime Rates Fall --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------53
GRAPH F: FIRST GENERATION RAISE THE AGE STATES DECREASED ARRESTS (2005-2015) ------------------------------------------53

GRAPH G: CONNECTICUT JUVENILE AND YOUNG ADULT SYSTEM INVOLVEMENT (20015-2015)--------------------------------- 54


STRATEGY 7: IMPROVING JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEMS’ 

MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES, AND STRENGTHEN STRATEGIES 

TO SERVE YOUNG PEOPLE MORE EFFECTIVELY ......................................................................................57

Juvenile Confinement Fell in States That Raised the Age ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------61
GRAPH H: RAISE THE AGE STATES DECREASE IN CONFINED YOUTH (2006-2013) -------------------------------------------------------62

GRAPH I: REDUCED YOUTH CONFINEMENT IN CONNECTICUT SINCE RAISING THE AGE (2012) -----------------------------------63

GRAPH J: ILLINOIS JUVENILE JUSTICE CONFINEMENT (2009-2015) --------------------------------------------------------------------------64

GRAPH K: MASSACHUSETTS CONFINED AND DETAINED YOUTH (2006-2015) ------------------------------------------------------------65


CONCLUSION .....................................................................................................................................67

SUMMARY OF QUOTATIONS .................................................................................................................75

ENDNOTES ..........................................................................................................................................79

Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

INTRODUCTION

RAISINGTHE AGE



“If I were kept in the
juvenile system, I would’ve
already been home with a
trade and or a college
degree in child counseling,
showing I can be a good
citizen in society. Instead,
I’m being labeled and
wrote off as a lost cause.”

—17-YEAR-OLD IN A JAIL IN MISSOURI1

STATES ARE MOVING TOWARDS
“RAISING THE AGE” OF ADULTHOOD

Since the establishment of juvenile court at turn of the
20th century, what defines the age of adulthood has been
arbitrarily set between the ages of 16 and 18. Over the
past two decades more research has emerged showing
that justice-involved teenagers are more likely to move
past delinquency and successfully transition to adulthood
if they are served by a juvenile justice system, not the
adult criminal justice system.2
The pathway that feeds the most 16-and-17-year-olds into
adult court, adult jail, or adult prison is automatic
exclusion of young people from the juvenile justice
system solely based on their age.

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Graph A: Decrease in Young People Automatically Excluded from Juvenile Court (2007-2014)
Of the estimated hundreds of thousands of young people
who ended up in the adult court and corrections system in
the mid-1990s, most landed there because of laws that
excluded them from the juvenile justice system almost
entirely based on age. 3 In the mid-1990s—a time when
many states made it easier to transfer youth to the adult
system—there were 14 states that designated the age of
criminal responsibility below 18 years.
However, over the past ten years, half of the states that
once saw all 16- and/or 17-year-olds excluded from
juvenile court based solely on their age changed their
laws. Now, unless a young person is charged with or
convicted of the most serious behavior, it is presumed
that most youth who touch the justice system will fall
under the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system. Since
2007, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts,

Mississippi, New Hampshire, and South Carolina have all
passed laws to “raise the age” so that most young people
will be in the juvenile justice system—not the adult justice
system. Two states (Louisiana and South Carolina) passed
raise the age laws just in 2016. This leaves the fewest
number of states—seven—in several decades that set the
age of criminal responsibility lower than age 18.
Underlining the bipartisan nature of the issue,
Republican legislators and governors and have voted for
and signed raise the age legislation. Conservative and
Democratic lawmakers agreed to change policy in light
of increasing research on what works to help a young
person move past delinquency and information
showing that it is more cost effective to serve youth who
touch the justice system at home through improved
local approaches. 


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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

people’s needs are assessed and using that information to
manage resources more effectively.

“Here’s the reality: Raise the age
resulted in a significant decrease in
the number of cases, and today I
am proud to report that: we now
have the lowest number of
juveniles in pre-trial detention. We
now have the lowest ever
population at the Connecticut
Juvenile Training School. The
number of inmates under the age
of 18 at Manson Youth Institute is
also at its lowest ever….”




—CONNECTICUT GOVERNOR DANNEL P. MALLOY 4
During this past decade when seven states raised the age,
the number of young people excluded from the juvenile
justice system solely because of their age was cut in half.
In Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach,
the National Research Council of the National Academy of
Sciences stated that raising the age is part and parcel of
the kind of developmentally appropriate juvenile justice
approach that all youth justice systems need to be moving
towards. 5 A developmentally appropriate juvenile justice
approach is one that diverts as many young people as
possible from the justice system, addresses a young
person’s mental health challenges in the community, and
reduces the use of pretrial detention and postadjudication facilities so resources can be focused on
serving youth in their communities. A developmentally
appropriate juvenile justice approach also keeps young
people safe by complying with federal laws aimed at
protecting youth from sexual violence—such compliance is
accomplished when a state raises the age and thereby
removes youth from adult prisons and jails. Jurisdictions
can further embrace a more developmentally appropriate
juvenile justice approach by improving how young

The pace of legislative changes with regard to age of
juvenile court jurisdiction is accelerating: in 2017, most of
the seven remaining states that set the age of juvenile
jurisdiction below age 18 are expected to consider raise
the age proposals for certain groups of teenagers (Georgia,
Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and
Wisconsin). The reason for this continuing change is a
growing acknowledgement that raising the age is good
public policy, and because today there are increasingly
more scientifically proven and cost-effective ways to
address delinquency by relying on developmentally
appropriate juvenile justice approaches. Because these
approaches lead to more youth being served in their home
communities, and not placed in more expensive, more
restrictive, and less effective settings, an increasing
number of states have seen that initial concerns about
escalating costs have not materialized, and there are costeffective pathways to serve 16- and 17-year-old youth in
their juvenile justice systems.
A developmentally appropriate juvenile justice
approach is more cost effective.

As juvenile justice systems have come to rely on more
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approaches,
the number of young people in confinement has been
halved, freeing up resources to serve and support youth in
their homes or home communities.
Each of the three states that led the national trend in
raising the age— Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts—
managed to contain costs, reduce confinement, reallocate
funds to more effective approaches that keep most young
people in the community, and enhance public safety.
States raised the age without overwhelming their
juvenile justice systems. 

Prior to raising the age, juvenile justice stakeholders in
Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire
said that taking on responsibility for 16- and 17-year-old
youth would come with multi-million-dollar price tags. 6

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Instead, in Connecticut, the projected 100 million additional
dollars that stakeholders thought might be needed to raise
the age were never spent. Over the same period after raise
the age legislation was passed, Connecticut’s juvenile justice
department and courts reallocated $39 million to expand
the number of community-based approaches that could
serve youth outside of a more expensive custodial setting.

therefore already equipped to serve 16- and 17-year-old
youth in their youth justice systems.

In Illinois—with the fifth largest population in the country—
the projected 35 percent increase in youth in the juvenile
justice system because of raise the age never materialized,
and the predicted investment in new courtrooms and new
State’s Attorney positions was not necessary: there was no
“sudden surge” of additional probation or court caseloads in
Illinois’ juvenile justice system. While Illinois stakeholders
set aside some funds to help local jurisdictions transition to
raise the age for 17-year-olds charged with felonies, no
Illinois agencies needed to apply for emergency funding.
Amidst a continuing steep drop in juvenile crime and a state
budget crisis, the juvenile justice system managed to absorb
17-year-olds with few additional resources.

By way of example, North Carolina took significant steps to
expand the use of diversion, reduce the number of youth
in pretrial detention and post-adjudication facilities, and
focus more of their juvenile justice resources on
community-based approaches. As a result of taking these
steps towards a more developmentally appropriate
juvenile justice approach, one stakeholder body tasked
with evaluating North Carolina’s judicial system offered
that the state has already built the capacity and generated
the resources to raise the age. The $44 million in cost
savings that North Carolina’s Division of Juvenile Justice
generated over the past decade by closing and reducing
reliance on facilities and using more effective practices to
manage justice-involved youth built the capacity for the
system to serve 16- and 17-year-old youth.

In Massachusetts, the actual costs of raising the age were 37
percent less than the projected costs, dropping from $24.6
million, to $15.6 million.

“[Raising the age] is better for
public safety because research
conclusively shows that
consistently the juvenile
justice system does a better
job preventing recidivism than
the adult correction system.
This means in the future, we
will have fewer crime victims
and less money spent on
incarceration.” 


In New Hampshire, legislators were told that raising the age
for 17-year-olds would carry a $5.3 million price tag. In
reality, no new dollars were appropriated to serve 17-yearolds when the state raised the age.
In some cases, a state that raised the age experienced a
slight uptick in the number of 16- or 17-year-olds in a part
of the system that did require some new resources to
address young people’s needs effectively. However, these
population changes can be measured in dozens of youth—
not hundreds, not thousands. The small upticks were
managed because states raised the age during a time of
decline in juvenile crime, and strategies to absorb 16- or
17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system were part of
an overall shift towards a developmentally appropriate
approach that seeks to maximize resources.




—LOUISIANA GOVERNOR JOHN BEL EDWARDS7

States considering raise the age proposals this year have
already taken steps towards improved approaches, and are

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1) Reducing juvenile confinement and falling
juvenile crime helped states raise the age.

All juvenile justice systems have benefited from
declining juvenile crime trends that have facilitated
some states’ ability to absorb 16- or 17-year-old youth
into their juvenile justice systems. Along with declining
crime, one of the reasons the projected costs of raising
the age never materialized in Connecticut, Illinois,
Massachusetts, or New Hampshire was that some cost
estimates did not analyze the savings accrued from
young people reoffending less often8 when served by
the juvenile justice system versus the criminal justice
system. Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts
outperformed the nationwide trend towards reducing
the use of juvenile confinement, and outperformed the
rest of the country in declines for violent juvenile crime
and property crime arrests.
2) Raising the age is part of a shift to more effective,
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice
approaches. 

This report will examine the shift juvenile justice
systems in raise the age states have taken—and continue
to take—to embrace more developmentally appropriate
approaches, and how these approaches have helped
juvenile justice systems implement the changes needed
to absorb 16- or 17-year-olds (or both).
The brief will also highlight the steps taken by states
that have raised the age—and work underway by states
looking to raise the age this year—to implement a more
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach:
these places have built, or are building, the capacity to
serve youth who are currently in their adult justice
system back into their juvenile justice system.
While some states still have to pass legislation to raise
the age, and no place is ever finished embracing better
juvenile justice approaches, policymakers in the
remaining seven states can now change laws governing
the age of jurisdiction with a clear roadmap showing
how they can contain costs and enhance public safety
while absorbing 16- and 17-year-olds into their youth
justice systems.

3) Raise the age states are enhancing public safety,
keeping youth safe, and developing fairer, and more
effective juvenile justice systems.

The data show justice-involved teenagers are more likely to
move past delinquency and successfully transition to
adulthood if they are served by a juvenile justice system,
not the adult criminal justice system: these better
outcomes are related to the fact that if a young person is
justice-involved, the juvenile justice system is more likely
than the adult criminal system to keep a young person safe
and serve him or her more effectively, and is a fairer way to
address a young person’s behavior.

SAFER
Youth tried as adults are more likely to reoffend,9 and
commit more serious offenses10 if they do reoffend, as
compared with youth kept in the juvenile justice system. 

Along with keeping the community safer by reducing
reoffending, raising the age means youth are less likely to
experience the long-term trauma and victimization that has
been documented to occur more often when youth are in the
adult justice system.11 The National Prison Rape Elimination
Commission found that young people are more likely than
any other group to be sexually victimized in an adult
facility.12 In line with the passage of the Prison Rape
Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), several law enforcement
leaders in states considering raise the age legislation support
raising juvenile court jurisdiction to keep youth safer and to
connect youth to a rehabilitative approach that makes it more
likely a young person will succeed.
When systems keep young people safe they are less likely
to reoffend, which also means fewer victims and lower
justice system costs (from law enforcement to courts to
corrections) in the long-term for taxpayers. 13

FAIRER
Raising the age is also a matter of fairness. 

Significant proportions of young people move through a
delinquency phase, regardless of their race or ethnicity. But
due to a whole set of reasons that relate to how laws are
enforced, how a justice systems functions, and systemic
racial and ethnic bias, young people of color are more likely
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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

to be involved in the justice system.14 By way of example,
in Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts—the states that
led the raise the age policy trend—African American and
Hispanic/Latino young people are about one out of three
youth overall, but are three out of four youth confined or
placed out of the home. White youth, by contrast, are
seven out of 10 youth overall in these states, but make up
just two out of 10 of the youth confined or placed out of
the home in Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts’
juvenile justice systems.15
As a result of young people of color being over
represented in the juvenile justice system overall, all
effort to reduce the number of young people who
experience an unsafe system that is not designed to meet
youth’s developmental needs will have a
disproportionately positive impact on young people of
color. Put another way, when states raise the age and
ensure that young people are safe and served by a
developmentally appropriate system, the vast majority of
youth who benefit from this improved system are young
people of color.
Everyone benefits when young people of color are served
by more effective practices that help them connect to
school and work, and help youth move past delinquency
and contribute to the community throughout their lives.
That said, it is essential to continue to focus on reducing
the disproportionate impact of justice system
involvement on young people of color, with analyses
showing that racial and ethnic disparities may be
widening even as fewer youth overall are confined.16




“It was pretty scary really, only a
year ago at the age of 17 I went
to court than went to jail. I didn’t
think that it would be all too bad,
but for a 17-year-old it’s mentally
and emotionally draining.” 

—A YOUNG PERSON EXPOSED TO THE ADULT
SYSTEM IN MISSOURI 17

MORE EFFECTIVE
Adult justice system approaches are, in many ways, 

the opposite of the more developmentally
appropriate juvenile justice approaches many
juvenile systems are embracing. The adult criminal
justice system is not the right place to help a young
person succeed. 

The vast majority of 16- and 17-year-olds who are arrested
are never sentenced to prison: if they are incarcerated, it is
while they are pending trial. In states whose age of
criminal responsibility is 16 or 17 years of age, such youth
are detained in adult jails while pending trial. These jails
(and in some cases, prisons) are not equipped to help a
young person move past delinquency and successfully
transition to adulthood.
A U.S. Department of Justice study showed that nearly 40
percent of adult jails do not provide any education services,
and only seven percent provide services to help train young
people for a job. 18 The adult justice system is poorly
equipped to provide young people with appropriate
schooling, job training, and mental and physical health
treatment opportunities, which prevents young people
from gaining the necessary tools to move past crime and
delinquency. Even if youth avoid exposure to an adult
prison or jail, those who are tried as adults face “collateral
consequences,” 19 such as laws that limit their ability to get
a job, receive student loans, and live in certain kinds of
housing.20 In this way, the youth justice system is the more
effective system, because it is more focused on
rehabilitation, confidentiality, and family engagement than
the adult system.
The stories of Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts show
that raising the age can save taxpayers money by ensuring
that when young people are involved in the justice system,
they are served by a system that is proven to be more
effective at helping them to move past delinquency than
the adult justice system. Because a more effective juvenile
justice approach also costs less and is more cost effective,
raising the age can be part of a larger strategy of managing
public resources.


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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

ROAD MAP 

TO RAISE 

THE AGE:
States can contain costs and enhance public
safety while absorbing 16- and 17-year olds
into their youth justice systems by:

1)

Expanding the use of diversion.


2)

Making probation and aftercare
approaches more effective.


3)

Addressing young people’s mental
health needs outside the deep end
of the system.


4)

Reducing the use of pretrial
detention.


5)

Reducing reliance on facilities, and
focusing resources on communitybased approaches.


6)

Keeping young people safe by
complying with the Prison Rape
Elimination Act (PREA).


7)

Improving juvenile justice systems’
management of resources, and
strengthening strategies to serve
young people more effectively.


HOW ARE STATES THAT ARE RAISING
THE AGE SHIFTING TO MORE A
DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE
JUVENILE JUSTICE APPROACH?
The 50 states and the District of Columbia all have unique
features in how their juvenile justice systems work. This
means a state may have to develop its own pathways to
advance a better juvenile justice approach that fits with
the specific structure and context of its own youth justice
system.
Not every state used the exact same steps to shift to a
more developmentally appropriate approach, and not
every state took such steps prior to raising the age of
juvenile jurisdiction. In Connecticut and Illinois,
stakeholders advanced developmentally appropriate
changes to help them implement raise the age in the
years that followed the initial absorption of older teens
into their juvenile justice systems. Places like Georgia,
New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Mississippi, Texas,
and Wisconsin have already enacted the kinds of
significant juvenile justice reforms that match those
embraced by Connecticut and Illinois after they raised the
age legislatively.
Juvenile justice systems in states that have 

raised the age or are considering such legislation 

in 2017 have taken steps to move towards a more
developmentally appropriate approach by using 

the following strategies:

1) Expanding the use of diversion. 

One million youth are arrested annually, and nearly 95
percent of those arrests are for non-violent offenses.
Research shows that when a young person is arrested or
adjudicated he or she is more likely to reoffend and be rearrested, which in turn means he or she is more likely to
experience deeper justice system involvement (like being
confined, placed out of the home, and ultimately,
involved in the adult justice system).
An arrest record can also impact a young person’s
employment well into adulthood. 

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Pre-arrest and pre-adjudication diversion strategies
provide meaningful opportunities to address a young
person’s behavior outside the juvenile justice system,
and avoid the negative consequences of needless justice
system involvement.
More developmentally appropriate juvenile justice
approaches seek to ensure that when a young person
comes into contact with law enforcement, he or she is not
arrested nor formally processed by the justice system.
Instead, juvenile justice systems are finding ways to hold
youth accountable through cost-effective approaches that
help youth move past delinquency. Juvenile justice
systems in Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi,
North Carolina, Michigan, and Texas have all taken steps
to expand the use of pre-arrest or pre-adjudication
diversion.
2) Making probation and aftercare approaches more
effective.

There are as many as 300,000 youth who are on juvenile
probation, and 100,000 youth returning from a juvenile
facility every year, each of whom who should be
receiving some form of aftercare in the community to
help them leave delinquency behind them. While
community supervision is cheaper than confinement,
probation and aftercare approaches that are solely
focused on conditions around surveillance and
monitoring—like whether a youth is making a curfew,
keeping an appointment, or fulfilling restitution and
community supervision obligations—are not, in
themselves, effective at helping youth succeed.
Instead of simply keeping an eye on youth or making
them follow the rules, more developmentally
appropriate probation and aftercare focuses on engaging
a young person in behavior change, partners with
community organizations, works with families, and
attempts to limit the likelihood a young person’s
supervision will be revoked. Juvenile justice systems in
Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts,
Mississippi, and New York have implemented changes to
make their probation or aftercare approaches more
effective.


3) Addressing young people’s mental health needs
outside the deep end of the system.

About one in five young people between the ages of 13 to
18 will face a mental health challenge at some point
during his or her adolescence. Not accounting for the
severity of the condition a young person might face, some
have estimated that 70 percent of the youth in the juvenile
justice system are affected with a mental health challenge
at some point, compared to 20 percent of youth in the
general population. While most of these mental health
challenges can be addressed through treatment or therapy
that allows a young person to remain with a guardian and
at home, when a young person’s mental health challenges
are not addressed, his or her health conditions can
deteriorate and lead to lifelong consequences, including
justice system involvement.
A more developmentally appropriate approach connects
youth to community-based mental health services and
helps youth get the treatment they need in a way that
does not deepen their justice system involvement.
Juvenile justice systems in Louisiana, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin have mechanisms to
address young people’s mental health needs outside the
deep end of the system.
4) Reducing the use of pretrial detention.

In 2013, 17,800 youth were detained pending trial in a
juvenile facility, and because the population of youth who
are detained turns over during a year, there are estimates
that hundreds of thousands of youth may experience
pretrial detention on an annual basis. Research shows that
pretrial detention can have a whole series of negative
consequences: youth who are detained pretrial are more
likely to reoffend than youth who are not detained,
physical and mental health conditions often worsen
during detention, and detained youth can face significant
challenges reconnecting to school, getting a job, and
staying employed.
Reducing the number of youth who are incarcerated
before trial helps a juvenile justice system operate more
effectively, and helps young people avoid the negative
consequences associated with detention. 


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Reducing young people’s exposure to pretrial detention
helps reduce the likelihood a youth will reoffend and end
up placed out of the home or confined—all of which
reduces taxpayer costs. Juvenile justice systems in
Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts,
Mississippi, Missouri, and New York have taken measures
to reduce the use of pretrial detention.

By keeping more youth at home or in their home
communities, juvenile justice systems that are raising the
age are better able to refocus resources to serve more
youth in a more cost-effective way. Juvenile justice systems
in Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and
Wisconsin have all taken steps to reduce reliance on
facilities and focus resources on community-based
approaches.

5) Reducing reliance on facilities, and focusing
resources on community-based approaches.

A growing number of jurisdictions are relying less on more
expensive out-of-home placements or confinement and
more on community-based approaches. Rather than
narrowly relying on removing a youth from the home, a
number of juvenile justice systems have begun to see the
positive financial and developmental outcomes stemming
from use of multiple strategies to supervise more youth in
the community and reallocate resources to serve more
youth at home.
Policymakers have redeployed existing taxpayer dollars to
support programs that serve young people closer to home,
at home, or in their home communities, and have reduced
the number of young people placed in the most expensive
options. While states have used a different combination of
strategies, both current and pending raise the age states
have developed fiscal incentives to expand ways to serve
youth locally, shortened lengths of stay in the system or
prohibited confinement for certain behaviors, and
reallocated money saved from facility closures facilities to
programs that serve youth locally.

PREA has become a catalyst for raise
the age initiatives by galvanizing
stakeholder support for states and
localities to avoid the increased
taxpayer costs that would result from
having to alter the physical structure of
facilities that house youth under 18, 

in order to comply with federal law.

6) Keeping young people safe by complying with the
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

An effective juvenile justice approach seeks to keep young
people safe, wherever they are in the system.
The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission found
that youth incarcerated in an adult facility are the group
most at risk of sexual assault and are 50 percent more
likely than other age groups to report being attacked by an
adult inmate with a weapon while being confined. To help
keep young people safe, the national standards of the
Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 order that any
individual under the age of 18 who is incarcerated must
be “sight and sound separated” from adults and placed in
a common space away from contact with adults; that youth
not be needlessly isolated simply to comply with PREA;
and that young people who are incarcerated be given the
opportunity for exercise, special education services, and
other educational and employment programs. If a state
does not comply with PREA, it can lose federal grant
funding.
PREA has become a catalyst for raise the age initiatives by
galvanizing stakeholder support for states and localities
to avoid the increased taxpayer costs that would result
from having to alter the physical structure of adult
facilities to comply with federal law.
Rather than rely on retrofitting jails or prisons adult
facilities—where it is well established that young people
are more likely to come into harm’s way—sheriffs and adult
corrections officials have called on policymakers to raise
the age in order to keep youth safe. 


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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Stakeholders in Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, and Texas’ juvenile justice systems have cited
the need to keep young people safe and comply with PREA
as reason to raise the age.
7) Improving juvenile justice systems’ management
of resources, and strengthening strategies to serve
young people more effectively.

In the past, juvenile justice systems did not have access to
or use tools, such as needs-based assessment instruments,
to ground decisions on the best way to serve a youth.
Instead, stakeholders may have developed their
approaches for responding to young people’s behavior
based on more subjective factors, and did not tailor those
approaches to strategies that were proven to help youth
move past delinquency.

families, but for anyone concerned about improving the
economy or enhancing public safety in states with lower
ages of juvenile court jurisdiction.
Lawmakers should simply take the next step, change their
laws, and embrace the tools now available to juvenile
justice leaders around the country to shift towards a more
developmentally appropriate approach to successfully
absorb 16- and 17-year-old youth into the juvenile justice
system. As has been shown in states that have already
raised the age, legislative changes to ensure that young
people are served by a juvenile justice system more
attuned to their needs can be the first step towards a
broader shift towards a developmentally appropriate
approach that manages jurisdictional change and
resources effectively.

When juvenile justice systems make better use of
objective tools that can assess what a young person might
need to move past delinquency, and can analyze what is
working in the system to help youth change their
behavior, systems can shift to a more cost effective,
developmentally appropriate approach. Juvenile justice
systems in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Missouri, New York, North Carolina, and Texas have all
made better use of tools to help address the individual
needs of youth and also manage resources more
effectively.

In 2017, elected officials in Georgia, Michigan, Missouri,
New York State, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin will
be considering legislation that could help these states
achieve the kind of outcomes that Connecticut, Illinois,
and Massachusetts have experienced due to raising the
age for 16- and 17-year-olds.

THE SENSE OF URGENCY AROUND
RAISING THE AGE

More broadly, by continuing the shift to more effective
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approaches,
states that have already raised the age, and those that are
currently considering raise the age proposals, can curb
overall costs, enhance public safety, and successfully
manage the change of absorbing 16- and 17-year-olds
into the juvenile justice system.

States that have raised the age have curbed overall costs,
enhanced public safety, and successfully managed the
change of absorbing 16- and 17-year-olds into the
juvenile justice system by shifting towards a more
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach.
When young people are in the adult justice system, young
people and communities are less safe than they could be,
and until these policies change, youth will continue to face
challenges transitioning to adulthood because of their
exposure to the adult justice system. This is why raising the
age is such an urgent issue not only for youth and their

Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New York State, North
Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin do not lack a roadmap or
examples of how to raise the age: they simply need to
pass legislation to raise the age as part of their ongoing
shift towards embracing a more developmentally
appropriate juvenile justice approach.

In Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective
Juvenile Justice System, the Justice Policy Institute will
explore the process states took to raise their age of
juvenile jurisdiction, and show how acts of legislation were
part of a process to make the juvenile justice system more
effective, fairer, and focused on keeping youth safe as they
transition to adulthood.


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TIMELINE: WHICH STATES RAISED THE AGE?
When and where were 16- or 17-year-olds absorbed into the juvenile justice system?

Of the tens of thousands of young people under age 18
who end up under adult court jurisdiction, most are
there because the age of adult court jurisdiction for
offenses (misdemeanors or felonies, or both) is either 16
or 17 years of age. While even those states that have
already raised the age still have pathways allowing some
youth who engage in certain behaviors to be transferred

to the adult system, five states have changed their laws
so that 16-year-olds, 17-year-olds, or both are not
automatically excluded from juvenile court jurisdiction
simply because of their age. There are also seven states
that are considering raise the age proposals in 2017 that
would place 16-year-olds or 17-year-olds (or both) under
the jurisdiction of the juvenile justice system. 










states that previously automatically placed
• 7youth
under adult court have raised the age.


2007

2010

2013 2014

2016

• 7 states still automatically place 16- or 17-yearolds (or both) under adult court jurisdiction.





Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

States that have passed legislation to 

raise the age:


”In 2007, Rhode Island lowered its upper
age of juvenile jurisdiction to 16 as a
cost-saving measure, then four months
later changed it back to 17 after finding
out that criminal justice was not less
expensive than juvenile justice. Now, it
seems evident that the tide is changing
in favor of returning 16- and 17-year-olds
to juvenile court jurisdiction.”

Connecticut (2007 to 2012): The state passed legislation
in 2007 to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction so
that the presumption would be for 16- and 17-year-olds to
remain in the juvenile justice system. The law was
implemented in two stages: in 2010, 16-year-olds were
incorporated into the juvenile justice system and in 2012,
17-year-olds followed.
Rhode Island (2007): In 2007, Rhode Island lowered its
upper age of juvenile jurisdiction to 16 as a cost-saving
effort, then four months later raised the age back to 17
after learning that placing such youth in the criminal
justice system was not actually more cost effective.
Mississippi (2010): In April 2010, the state raised the
age of juvenile court jurisdiction for most 17-year-olds
charged with felonies. Seventeen-year-olds charged with
misdemeanor offenses were already under juvenile court
jurisdiction.
Illinois (2010 to 2014): The state passed a raise the age
law in 2009 (effective in 2010) that created a presumption
that 17-year-olds who engaged in misdemeanant behavior
would fall under juvenile court jurisdiction, while the state
would simultaneously create a plan to include felony
behavior at a later time. In 2011, a law was passed
commissioning a study on how Illinois could raise the age
to include 17-year-olds charged with felonies. 

In 2013, Illinois passed legislation creating a presumption
that 17-year-olds charged with felony-level offenses would
fall under juvenile court jurisdiction, effective in 2014.
Massachusetts (2013): The Commonwealth of
Massachusetts raised the age so that juvenile court is the
presumption for all 17-year-olds except those charged
with murder. The change was effective when the law was
signed in September 2013.
New Hampshire (2014): In 1996, New Hampshire
lowered the age of juvenile court jurisdiction so that 17year-olds came under adult court jurisdiction. In 2014, the
state passed a raise the age law placing 17-year-olds back
under juvenile court jurisdiction, effective in July 2015.

-DR. MELISSA SICKMUND, DIRECTOR OF THE 

NATIONAL CENTER FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE, THE 

RESEARCH DIVISION OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL 

OF JUVENILE AND FAMILY COURT JUDGES21

Louisiana (2016): Last year, Louisiana passed legislation
placing 17-year-olds under juvenile court jurisdiction. In
accordance with the law, as of July 2018, 17-year-olds
charged with non-violent offenses (misdemeanors and
felonies) will be included in the juvenile justice system,
and as of July 2020, 17-year-olds charged with certain
statutorily defined violent offenses will also be included in
the juvenile justice system.
South Carolina (2016): Last year, South Carolina passed
legislation moving 17-year-olds charged with
misdemeanor and most felony offenses under juvenile
court jurisdiction. The change will be fully implemented by
July 1, 2019.

States that are considering legislation to
raise the age:

In 2017, at least seven states will be considering
legislation to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction for
young people charged with either misdemeanors or most
felonies (or in some cases, both). The change would apply
to young people aged 16 or 17 years old, depending on
the current law and the specific proposed legislation in
each state. These seven states include: Georgia (for 17year-olds), Michigan (for 17-year-olds), Missouri (for 17year-olds), New York State (for 16- and 17-year-olds),
North Carolina (for 16- and 17-year-olds), Texas (for 17year-olds), and Wisconsin (for 17-year-olds).


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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

1
STRATEGY 1: EXPANDING THE USE OF DIVERSION

“We’re trying to intercept kids
before they get involved with the
courts. We don’t want it to be the
case that youth have to get
arrested before they get help. 

We need to build some viable 

off-ramps from the highway to 

the juvenile justice system.” 




– ELVIN GONZALEZ,FAMILY DIVERSION 


ADMINISTRATOR OF THE BERRIEN COUNTY 

TRIAL COURT, MICHIGAN22

Juvenile justice systems working towards a more
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach
seek to ensure that when a young person comes into
contact with law enforcement, he or she is not arrested
nor formally processed by the justice system. Instead,
these juvenile justice systems are seeking to hold youth
accountable in ways that will help them move past
delinquency in a cost-effective manner. Juvenile justice
systems in Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan,
Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas have
taken steps to expand the use of pre-arrest and preadjudication diversion.
Every year, nearly one million youth are arrested23 and
nearly 95 percent of those arrests are for non-violent

offenses.24 Research shows that a young person who is
arrested or adjudicated has a greater likelihood of
reoffending and being rearrested, which means he or she
is more likely to experience deeper justice system
involvement (being confined, placed out of the home,
and ultimately, involved in the adult justice system).25
Studies also show that having a formal conviction or
adjudication makes it more likely that a young person will
end up being confined or placed out of the home.26
Additionally, an arrest record can negatively impact a
young person’s employment well into adulthood. Prearrest and pre-adjudication diversion strategies provide
meaningful opportunities to address a young person’s
behavior outside the juvenile justice system, and avoid
the harmful consequences of justice system involvement.
There is a difference between pre-arrest and preadjudication diversion, but both help youth avoid
deeper penetration into the youth justice system. 

Pre-arrest diversion is typically facilitated by giving law
enforcement discretion to redirect an individual from the
youth justice system before making a physical arrest, or
allowing police to issue a citation (e.g., a ticket) in lieu of
an arrest. Pre-arrest diversion may also include efforts to
resolve behavior in a school setting, rather than resorting
to referral to law enforcement and arrest, thereby avoiding
the negative spiral of processes that can lead to deeper
justice system involvement.27 Pre-arrest diversion can also
act as a safeguard against creation of a juvenile arrest
record.28
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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

In some cases, juvenile justice systems use pre-adjudication
diversion, in which case a youth is diverted back to the
community by the courts: This process avoids a conviction,
and prevents a young person from being needlessly put on
probation, placed out of the home, or confined when his or
her behavior could have been addressed in some other less
invasive way. Pre-adjudication diversion can take many
forms, including the use of community accountability
courts, restorative justice, and other community-based
services.29 Although pre-adjudication diversion doesn’t
avoid the initial encounter with law enforcement, it does
prevent potential negative future consequences due to
deeper justice system involvement.
The purpose of diversion is not only to protect youth from
deeper system involvement, but also to save systems
money by reducing the use of expensive incarceration. One
study of Florida’s pre-arrest diversion initiative found that
each time a youth was diverted from the formal justice
system, it saved taxpayers between $1,400 and $4,600.30
States that have raised the age and many states considering
legislation to absorb 16- and 17-year-olds into their
juvenile justice systems have taken steps to increase the
use of pre-arrest or pre-adjudication diversion to reduce
young people’s justice system involvement.
Illinois significantly increased its reliance on diversion
tactics for youth. In 2005, Public Act 93-0641 established
Redeploy Illinois, a continuum of community-based, preadjudication diversion programs to divert youth who are at
risk of deeper juvenile justice system involvement. In 2012,
6,373 Illinois youth were diverted by the legislative
enactment of Comprehensive Community-Based Youth
Services and 85 percent successfully returned home after
program completion. An analysis from 2005 to 2014 found
that the Illinois approach diverted nearly 60 percent of
youth who came into contact with the juvenile justice
system.
Similar to fiscal incentives used in Michigan, New York,
North Carolina, and Wisconsin to grow more local options
to serve youth at home, an annual appropriation through
the Redeploy Illinois31 program was set up to help
localities divert more youth—saving $88 million in justice

system costs, according to Illinois analysts.32 While there
remains a need for more available diversion options
across Illinois, in two modestly sized counties—Ogle33 and
Peoria34—a significant percentage of youth served by
diversion programs avoided deeper justice system
involvement.

“Although about 18,000 misdemeanor
arrests were moved from adult to juvenile
court in 2010, the total number of youth 

in the juvenile system actually dropped 

due to decreases in overall crime and
juvenile arrests, as well as increased 

use of diversion options.”




—ILLINOIS JUVENILE JUSTICE COMMISSION35
Connecticut has also made more zealous use of pre-arrest
diversion: using state dollars, some localities
implemented a school-based pre-arrest diversion
program that linked youth with services to help them
avoid deeper involvement in the juvenile justice system. A
2011 analysis of Connecticut’s pre-arrest school-based
diversion initiative showed that between 2010 and 2011,
in-school arrest rates dropped 50-59 percent, in-school
suspensions dropped nine percent, and out-of-school
suspensions dropped eight percent.36 In an effort to
improve how schools and police respond to a young
person’s behavior, Connecticut passed a law in 2015 that
requires school systems and law enforcement to develop
memoranda of understanding with regard to school and
police collaborations, and report to state agencies the
variety of efforts schools are taking to address young
people’s behavior without use of suspension, expulsion,
or arrest.37 In 2016, Connecticut further increased its
reliance on diversion approaches for behaviors that occur
in schools by passing a law that eliminates both truancy
and “defiance of school rules” as grounds for judicial
intervention within the Families in Need of Services
system, thereby reducing the number of young people
who can be charged with status offenses and potentially
penetrate into the deeper end of the system.38

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

At least one-third of all juvenile cases in
Connecticut are handled and successfully resolved
in a non-judicial manner, usually by a referral from
probation before the case is brought to a judge.

complaints filed against them within two years of initial
processing.43 In 2015, the proposed raise the age law
included the establishment of urban and rural diversion
pilot projects to expand avenues to address young
people’s behavior before they are formally processed by
the justice system.44

Connecticut’s diversion approach also includes Juvenile
Review Boards—panels comprised of volunteers, police,
school, and juvenile justice system staff who work to
resolve a youth’s case without a formal arrest or
adjudication. Youth may be required to engage in
substance abuse treatment, pay restitution to the victim
and/or write a letter of apology, or engage in other
activities that resolve the case without a formal
adjudication.39

As part of Mississippi’s raise the age legislation in 2010,
youth courts were granted the ability to use informal
adjustments—as opposed to formal adjudications—for
some offenses as a diversion approach to help youth
avoid deeper justice system involvement.45

In Louisiana, which passed raise the age legislation in
2016, local efforts to increase diversion have been
ongoing since before the state raised the age. Jefferson,
Calcasieu, and Lafayette Parishes have all taken specific
steps to provide more access to pre-adjudication
diversion. The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office
established pre-adjudicatory community accountability
services, such as school-based conflict resolution
programs, a restorative justice strategy that diverts youth
for behaviors common to many young people (e.g.,
engaging in a fight). In 2014, the program diverted 500
students from juvenile court involvement, with the goal of
keeping more young people in school.40 A legislatively
authorized study preceding the passage of Louisiana’s
raise the age legislation in 2016 called for the juvenile
justice system to continue to expand diversion options.41
North Carolina has taken the initiative to improve its preadjudication process by actively engaging the youth and
his or her family to create a pathway for diversion. State
law allows local justice systems in North Carolina to
develop diversion programs for youth, the availability of
which varies across the state. In some communities, if a
youth complies with the individualized diversionary plan
offered by the court—something that may include
mediation, counseling, or teen court42—he or she can
avoid deeper justice system involvement. In the latest
analysis from 2011, 76 percent of those youth who
completed a diversionary plan had no formal juvenile

Missouri’s Division of Youth Services offers roughly 4
million dollars in the form of an Incentive Subsidy
Program to local juvenile courts to develop and
operationalize diversionary programming throughout the
state.46
Michigan,47 New York,48 and Texas49 have taken steps to
expand their ability to divert significant numbers of
young people in some of the largest counties and cities
that send the most youth to the statewide justice system.
Texas has taken significant steps to document cases of
youth who end up in the justice system because of
behavior in schools, and has changed some policies
related to school referrals, which has resulted in the
expansion of diversionary approaches.
In short, juvenile justice systems across the country are
working towards a more effective developmentally
appropriate approach that includes pre-arrest and/or preadjudication diversion as means to hold young people
accountable for their behavior while reducing their justice
system involvement. Increased reliance on diversion can
make a juvenile justice system more effective overall,
reduce costs, and help states absorb 16- and 17-year-olds
into their youth justice systems.


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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

2
STRATEGY 2: MAKING PROBATION AND AFTERCARE 

APPROACHES MORE EFFECTIVE



“While I can’t claim innocence,


far from it in fact, I found myself
having become a victim of the
system. My only ‘help’ came from
two juvenile probation officers.
Their advice was to ‘tell them
(police) what they want to know.’”




—17-YEAR-OLD, MISSOURI50
Instead of simply keeping an eye on youth or making them
follow the rules, more developmentally appropriate
probation and aftercare focuses on engaging a young
person in behavior change, partners with communityorganizations, works with families, and limits the likelihood
a young person’s supervision will be revoked. Juvenile
justice systems Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana,
Missouri, Mississippi, and New York have implemented
changes to make their probation or aftercare approaches
more effective.
National estimates show that 305,300 youth are placed on
juvenile probation following a delinquency adjudication,51
and 100,000 youth return from a juvenile facility each year,
each of whom is supposed to receive some form of aftercare
in the community to help them move past delinquency.52

Whether youth are on probation, in aftercare, or being
managed in the community pretrial by juvenile probation
staff, if a jurisdiction’s approach to community supervision is
not effective, young people may become more entangled in
the justice system and end up being detained, placed out of
the home, confined or re-confined. A more effective
approach to community supervision is not only better for
youth, but also saves taxpayers money on incarceration and
crime costs: when community supervision is more effective,
research shows that youth placed on probation are less likely
to commit a new crime than those placed in a residential
facility,53 and young people receiving the right aftercare
approach are less likely to return to a facility or reoffend.54
While community supervision is cheaper than confinement,
probation and aftercare approaches that are solely focused
on conditions— whether a youth is making a curfew, keeping
an appointment, fulfilling restitution and community
supervision obligations—are not, in themselves, effective at
helping a youth succeed and can end up costing more in the
long run.55
A more effective approach to probation and aftercare
supervision engages a young person in a process of
behavior change: the better approach is more therapeutic
rather than control oriented, matches interventions to the
specific assessed risk and needs of a young person, and
involves meaningful partnerships between the justice system

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and nonprofits in order to connect youth to appropriate
services while keeping them at home.56 The goal of this
approach is to get a young person the right service at the
right level of intervention, and to give youth the tools they
need to move past delinquency.57

developed a graduated-response grid, which gives probation
officers concrete options to use instead of revoking a youth to
costly confinement if they are not compliant or need a more
intensive approach.

States that have raised the age or are on the cusp of change
have seen more young people served effectively at home by
moving away from control and punishment models of
probation and aftercare, and instead shifting their
supervision practices to engage the young person in a
change process with the community.
Connecticut changed its community supervision approach to
prohibit young people from being detained or re-committed
to a facility based simply on a technical probation violation,
and instituted a set of graduated incentives for probation
officers to use to help young people change their behavior
and reduce the number of youth revoked and re-incarcerated.
Connecticut’s approach to juvenile probation also shifted to
rely more on counseling and treatment, allowing more youth
to be at home, and in turn reducing the number of youth
confined or placed out of the home.58 Connecticut developed
centers around the state that offer increased individual or
group programming for young people on probation—when
appropriate—and reduce reliance on a residential setting.
Louisiana’s Office of Juvenile Justice and some parishes that
provide juvenile probation have been working to improve
their community supervision approach. Overall reduced
caseloads can better equip the juvenile justice system to
individually tailor its supervision approach to each youth, and
improve the chances a young person will connect to services
based on their assessed needs. According to one accounting
of the impact of these changes, “probation reform activities in
targeted sites like Calcasieu and Jefferson parishes have
resulted in a 37 percent to 43 percent reduction in probation
caseloads.”59
The specific changes some local probation departments have
been working towards in Louisiana parishes include
improving how assessment and screening tools are used to
develop better plans for serving a young person in the
community. The Office of Juvenile Justice, which operates
probation at a state level, and the Juvenile Detention
Alternatives Initiative sites with local probation have also

Jefferson Parish focused on its administrative coordination of
the probation process in order to actively engage youth and
better match them to services, while also developing data
collection systems to study and improve the approach.60
Jefferson Parish reported a recidivism rate of 53 percent for
youth on probation in 2009, which dropped to 20 percent in
2012, after changes were implemented.61 More recently,
Jefferson Parish’s Department of Juvenile Justice received
technical assistance from the Juvenile Detention Alternatives
Initiative, focused on how to improve case planning by
shifting away from simply enforcing court orders to
increasing collaboration with families.

“The largest impact [of raising the
age] would be on probation at 294
additional youth at a time. But, it is
likely [Louisiana] can absorb that
[consequence]. In 2013, the
Institute for Public Health and
Justice reported that probation
caseloads were at a historic low and
continuing to fall dramatically. Dr.
Mary Livers, [head of the Office of
Juvenile Justice], similarly reported
falling juvenile probation caseloads
in December of 2014. In 2011,
there were 608 fewer youth on
probation than just four years
before.”62

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“By increasing probation’s
ability to access interventions
that have been demonstrated in
research to be effective with the
high-risk juvenile probation
population, probation can
reduce future delinquency and
crime, detention, placement,
and incarceration.”




—NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF PROBATION 

AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES 63

“Some of these kids need to get
the hell out of my office and we
need to not touch them because
all government touches, just
like all social services touches,
aren’t good touches. They
almost all have unintended side
effects.”




—VINCENT SCHIRALDI, FORMER COMMISSIONER, 

NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION64
In New York State, 16 percent (270 youth) of the young
people confined by the Office of Children and Family
Services were confined because of technical violations in
2014. 65 Some of New York State’s local probation
departments worked towards improving their community
supervision approach with the development and use of
Juvenile Risk Intervention Services Coordination (JRISC).
Active in seven counties,66 JRISC was designed to help
juvenile probation officers address the risk and needs of
young people and reduce recidivism among youth at either
the diversion or probation supervision stage. JRISC also

seeks to help probation departments move to an approach
that is more home-based and broadly focused on meeting
the needs of the entire family during the process.The New
York City Department of Probation—the largest probation
department in the state—has been working to improve its
approach in order to reduce young people’s justice system
involvement. In the past, the department focused more on
identifying the shortcomings of a youth and less on their
strengths. Now, New York City is embracing a probation
approach that builds a young person’s assets through a
strengths-based focus.67 To increase the chances that a
young person will connect to the appropriate supports in
his or her community, New York City began using a
validated assessment tool to improve the accuracy,
consistency, and efficiency of the officers’ approach to
managing youth.68 During the time New York City was
moving towards an improved juvenile probation approach,
from 2009 to 2012, there was a 45 percent decrease in
violation rates.69 By 2012, the New York City Department of
Probation’s violation rate was just 3.1 percent, compared to
a statewide violation rate of 11 percent.70

Today in New York City, a much lower proportion of young
people who face a probation violation end up in secure
detention (e.g., a detention center) versus non-secure
detention options, which can include group home settings
situated throughout the city that are run by nonprofits.71
Like Jefferson Parish, New York City is currently receiving
technical assistance from Juvenile Detention Alternatives
Initiative on how probation can more effectively work with
families.
Resulting from the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the
U.S. Department of Justice, Mississippi’s Division of Youth
Services changed its probation practices in 2015. Along
with now requiring probation staff to give youth ageappropriate explanations of their rights and the
probationary process, the division is shifting to an
approach designed to avoid probation violations that
could lead to re-incarceration until all other reasonable
available alternatives have been exhausted.72
St. Louis County, a large population county in Missouri, has
worked to keep youth who violate probation out of pretrial

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juvenile detention by implementing an administrative
sanction grid and carefully scrutinizing all requests to reincarcerate a young person.73

has also fallen significantly. Between 2004 and 2015, the
average daily population in IDJJ facilities dropped 56
percent. 77

Texas has made progress in connecting young people to a
program when they are on probation: in 2005, 44 percent
of youth under community supervision were connected to a
service, compared to 57 percent in 2012.74

Connecticut improved its aftercare approach through a
partnership between the state’s Department of Children and
Families (the child welfare system) and the Court Support
Services Division (CSSD). One area of Connecticut’s aftercare
focus was gender-specific services.78 The state established
targeted aftercare programming for girls, including genderspecific parole supervision for girls returning home from
state custody; a network of private agencies operating
gender-specific group homes; and creation of specialized
girls-only probation units concurrent with the establishment
of various community-based alternatives to avoid
unnecessary contact with the youth justice system.79 From
2006 to 2012, the detention admission rate for girls
declined 36 percent, while the boys’ detention rate went
down 25 percent.80

In Georgia, the Department of Juvenile Justice and local
probation were authorized legislation passed to establish
administrative caseloads—something that reduces a young
persons’ needless contact with the justice system.75
Along with improvements to probation, a number of
juvenile justice systems that have raised the age have
also improved their approach to aftercare.
Prior to 2015 in Illinois, a young person in aftercare
following an Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ)
commitment may have been on community supervision
longer than an adult would have been for the same offense—
something that would needlessly expose a youth to the
potential harms of a longer supervision term than actually
needed to help a young person connect to community
resources. In 2015, Illinois legislators limited the length of
time a young person is on aftercare to be proportionate to
what an adult might experience for a similar offense. That
same year, Illinois legislators also reduced the number of
young people who end up in IDJJ with pending criminal
charges, but who might be better served by being under
county supervision until the charge is resolved.76

By moving juvenile justice probation and aftercare away
from a narrow focus on compliance to an approach that
engages a young person in behavioral change, and by
partnering with community organizations that can limit a
young person’s justice system involvement, jurisdictions
increase their capacity to serve all youth—including 16- and
17-year-olds—more effectively.

DJJ worked to improve the Illinois’ approach to aftercare
supervision across the state as part of an overall strategy to
reduce the length of stay of young people in facilities,
reduce reliance on confinement, and increase the number
of youth in the community. IDJJ instituted aftercare
specialist positions that connect youth to mental health
treatment and educational and vocational services to
increase the chances young people succeed when they
return home.

“The data coming out of Texas showed
us, for the first time, how much better
kids do closer to home. It also showed
us that additional investment in
probation and treatment alone
doesn’t translate into reduced
recidivism among youth under
community supervision. We need to
make sure the services and supports
we provide youth in the community
are grounded in the latest research.”


As opposed to a decade ago, the proportion of Illinois youth
monitored in the community versus inside a youth facility
has almost doubled, and the number of youth on aftercare



—SUSAN BURKE, UTAH’S DIRECTOR OF 

JUVENILE JUSTICE SERVICES 81


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STRATEGY 3: ADDRESSING YOUNG PEOPLE’S MENTAL HEALTH

NEEDS OUTSIDE THE DEEP END OF THE SYSTEM
Question: What is/was your experience 

as a 17-year old in the adult system? 


While about one in five young people ages 13 to 18 will
face a mental health challenge at some point during
their adolescence, most of these conditions can be
addressed through treatment or therapy that allows a
youth to remain with a guardian and at home.83 When a
young person’s mental health challenges are not
addressed, they can become more severe and lead to
lifelong consequences. When a youth with a mental
health challenge comes to the attention of law
enforcement and courts, he or she may end up in the
justice system when a more cost effective, communitybased approach could have addressed his or her needs
earlier on, thereby avoiding detention or confinement.
Not accounting for the severity of the condition a young
person might face, some have estimated that 70 percent
of youth in the juvenile justice system are affected with a
mental health challenge at some point,84 compared to
20 percent of youth in the general population. 85




“My experience in adult prison 

is a very mental straining
experience. Having to worry 

about not getting taken
advantage of, set up, physically
abused is a very scary thought. 

I do not have the mentality that
most of these women have to
know how to survive in prison.”
—A 17-YEAR-OLD, IN A MISSOURI JAIL82
A more effective and developmentally appropriate
juvenile justice approach connects youth to communitybased mental health services and helps youth get the
treatment they need in a way that does not deepen their
justice system involvement. Juvenile justice systems in
Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin have mechanisms to
address young people’s mental health needs outside the
deep end of the system.

Jurisdictions that address young people’s health needs
in the community in turn keep more young people out of
the deepest end of the juvenile justice system. Through
this approach, states and localities partner with public
health systems to connect youth who are diverted, on
probation, in aftercare, or in a detention alternative with
treatment while they are at home or in their home
community.

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Such approaches to addressing a young person’s mental
health needs outside the justice system are also more
cost effective than pushing youth deeper into the justice
system: more of these services can be funded by federal
funding streams or state-based health funding streams
than those services provided within juvenile justice
facilities.86 In other words, addressing a young person’s
mental health challenges in the community is a way to
save taxpayers money and reduce reliance on more
expensive options that needlessly deepen a young
person’s justice system involvement.
States that raised the age or are close to legislative
change have developed various approaches to lessen
youth’s justice system involvement by addressing a
young person’s mental health needs either outside of
the formal justice system or at different stages along the
juvenile justice continuum.
In Massachusetts, the Youth Advocacy Department (the
public defender office) uses social workers and education
advocates as part of its defense team, and Massachusetts is
among a few states that have a statewide juvenile court
clinic system that provides access to mental health clinicians
for evaluations and guidance in every juvenile court.




“When more states keep youth
from being unnecessarily
confined to access treatment,
everyone benefits. Rather than
burdening overstretched
systems, we can strengthen
them while better providing 

for kids, families and
communities.”

–JOSEPH J. COCOZZA, PH.D., FOUNDER AND 

FORMER DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CENTER FOR 

MENTAL HEALTH AND JUVENILE JUSTICE87

While Texas has not yet raised the age, the state has
expanded ways to keep young people with mental health
challenges out of the deepest end of the justice system.
Youth experiencing a mental health challenge in Texas
might qualify for the Front-End Diversion Initiative
(FEDI). This pre-adjudication diversion program targets
youth with mental health needs to reduce their
encounters with the formal justice system by
establishing an individualized supervision plan
designed to address a particular treatment need. In
2012, only 7.7 percent of the youth diverted under FEDI
were adjudicated and FEDI youth were 11 times more
likely to avoid reoffending. The FEDI approach gives
youth, the community, and case managers88 tools to
address a young person’s mental health needs while
reducing his or her justice system involvement.89
Texas also took steps to provide options for the juvenile
justice system to address a young person’s mental health
challenges outside of one of its few remaining state-run
secure facilities. In 2010, 1,400 youth were served by the
Special Needs Diversionary Program, which seeks to
keep youth with mental health challenges from being
removed from their homes or placed in a state-run
juvenile facility.90 A recent analysis showed that 73
percent of the youth served by the Special Needs
Diversionary Program experienced reductions of mental
health symptoms and reoffended less often.91
The state of Texas and some Texas counties have also
established a “system of care”: a strategy to help youth
and families access services facilitated by behavioral
health agencies92 in 59 counties across the state.93 The
system of care model focuses on reducing juvenile
justice system involvement by connecting youth and
families to services, including mental health treatment,
additional support so that a young person can remain in
school, and support for the young person’s family.94
Systems of care help save taxpayers money by
harnessing the resources of health funding streams to
keep young people out of the deep end of the juvenile
justice system, and address young people’s needs in a
more cost-effective way than confinement.95 


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“If you only have a hammer, you see every 

problem as a nail. Given the disproportionately high 

number of juveniles who enter the system with an 

unmet mental health need, states and local jurisdictions
must change the tools they make available to 

supervising juvenile probation officers.”




–ERIN ESPINOSA, PH.D., RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, TEXAS INSTITUTE FOR EXCELLENCE IN MENTAL
HEALTH IN THE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN96

A number of Michigan counties have developed ways to
address young people’s mental health challenges outside
of the deepest end of the justice system in a more costeffective way. Wayne County, which encompasses Detroit,
developed a community-based mental health treatment
approach for justice-involved youth through the
development of a Care Management Organization and
assessment centers that link dozens of nonprofits together
to deliver treatment and other services to youth and
families in their home communities. Wayne County’s
approach helps assess young people’s needs—including
their mental health and associated needs—early on in their
justice system involvement.
The Wayne County model is credited with helping
Michigan’s largest county reduce the number of youth
placed in public training school facilities (i.e., youth
facilities) from 731 in 1998 to just two in 2010.97 

As Wayne County focused on treating more of young
people’s mental health issues outside the deepest end of
the justice system, recidivism rates dropped from 56
percent in 1998 to 17.5 percent in 2012.98 Wayne
County has been able to lower taxpayer costs through its
model by reducing reliance on juvenile confinement
options that are solely paid for by the state; instead, the
county relies on pooled health and child welfare services
that share their costs with the federal government.99

Similarly, Berrien County, Michigan reduced its out-ofhome placement from 125 in 2001 to 40 in 2015 by
working with law enforcement, mental health, and child
welfare agencies to care for youth with related issues
outside of the deep end of the juvenile justice system.100
Wisconsin is currently considering a proposal to raise the
age of jurisdiction for 17-year-old youth. The state’s
largest county has developed a treatment infrastructure
to address young people’s mental health needs outside
the deepest end of the justice system. Under the
Wraparound Milwaukee model, Milwaukee County
(which includes Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee),
uses a blended funding model, combining local, state,
and federal dollars to reallocate funding that typically is
directed towards the most expensive part of the mental
health and juvenile justice systems—residential
treatment.
These resources are redirected towards a
community-based system of care approach to work
with youth in the justice and child welfare systems
who have mental health issues.
Youth who might otherwise be served by more
traditional child welfare or juvenile justice services are
connected to community partners who develop a plan
based on the individualized needs of the youth,
including treatment and support for his or her family.

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In 2015, of the youth served by Wraparound Milwaukee
for whom discharge information was available, 92 percent
had achieved “permanency,” meaning they were living at
home, adopted, placed with a relative, placed in a
subsidized guardianship, or in sustained care. Just over 10
percent of youth in Wraparound Milwaukee had a new,
referred offense after enrollment (a reoffense rate much
lower than what is typical for youth who are confined), with
reoffending dropping off significantly the longer a young
person was active in the program.101 And, youth in
Wraparound Milwaukee attend school approximately 86
percent of the time.
The Wraparound Milwaukee model also saves taxpayers
money. Compared with more expensive psychiatric
hospitalization ($38,100 per client monthly cost) or
residential care ($10,050), the average cost of

Wraparound Milwaukee per month per youth is
$3,124. 102 Because Wraparound Milwaukee allows youth
to remain at home and address mental health issues
outside of an institutional setting, it is also able to draw
down health system funding streams (including those
costs shared with the federal government), rather than
relying solely on state juvenile justice funding.103
Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Wayne County, Michigan have
not only succeeded in effectively addressing more young
people’s mental health needs outside the justice system,
they have also saved significant taxpayer dollars. The
biggest counties in Michigan and Wisconsin—two states
that will likely consider raise the age legislation in 2017—
have both developed local models that greatly reduce the
use of confinement or out-of-home placement for youth,
especially those with mental health needs.


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4
STRATEGY 4: REDUCING THE USE OF PRETRIAL DETENTION


“The state's detention centers
are a revolving door. It's clear
that our current system is
putting too many juveniles on
a path to becoming career
criminals. It's expensive, it's
not working, and it's time to
change.” 




– FORMER POLICE CHIEF LLOYD PERKINS 

SKANEATELES, NEW YORK, FORMER PRESIDENT 

OF THE NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION OF 

CHIEFS OF POLICE104
Reducing the number of youth who are incarcerated
before trial helps a juvenile justice system operate more
effectively, and helps young people avoid the negative
consequences associated with detention. Reducing young
people’s exposure to pretrial detention helps reduce the
likelihood a youth will reoffend and end up placed out of
the home or confined—all of which reduces taxpayer costs.
Juvenile justice systems in Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois,
Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, and New
York have taken measures to reduce the use of pretrial
detention.




In 2013, 17,800105 youth were detained in a juvenile
facility on a given day pending trial, and because the
population of youth who are detained turns over during
a year, there are estimates that hundreds of thousands106
of youth may experience pretrial detention on an annual
basis. While there may be a valid reason to detain a
young person pretrial if he or she is at risk of flight or
poses a significant public safety risk, the vast majority of
young people who are arrested can be released pending
their court hearing, and various approaches exist to make
sure that young people show up to court.

There are number of reasons why a more
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice
approach detains as few youth as possible. 

First, compared with the range of other ways systems can
ensure that a young person shows up to court, pretrial
detention is expensive. Over the course of twenty years, a
single detention bed can cost the public between $1.25
million and $1.5 million, or $32,000 to $65,000 per
year.107
Second, research shows that pretrial detention can have a
whole series of negative consequences: youth who are
detained pretrial are more likely to reoffend than youth
who are not detained; physical and mental health
conditions often worsen during detention, and youth who
are detained can face significant challenges reconnecting
to school, getting a job, and staying employed.108 


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One analysis found that 60 percent of detained youth drop
out of school within five months after release, and one out
of three young people who experience depression after
detention actually developed the condition after placement
in detention. 109
Research on the impact of pretrial detention in both the
juvenile and adult arenas shows that even if a young
person only spends a few nights in detention, it can make
it harder for him or her to transition to adulthood, and
increases the chance that he or she will ultimately end up
confined or placed out of the home.110 One study found
that among adults who were detained for the entire
pretrial period were four times more likely to be sentenced
to jail and over three times more likely to be sentenced to
prison than individuals who were released during the
pretrial period.111 Youth who are detained pretrial are 8.5
percent more likely to be adjudicated delinquent and
twice as likely to reoffend than those who are not
detained.112 In Florida, a study compared youth with
similar backgrounds and found that those who were
detained were three times as likely to end up in
correctional facilities than those who were kept in their
communities pre-adjudication.113
Because of the negative impact pretrial detention has on
young people’s individual trajectories and public safety
more broadly, local and statewide juvenile justice systems
in 300 counties and 39 states are working to implement
components of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives
Initiative (JDAI)—an effort that seeks to reduce overall
pretrial detention while systematically strengthening
juvenile justice systems through a combination of
strategies. 114
Reducing pretrial detention has an impact on the use of
confinement and out-of-home placement because
effective detention alternatives focus on ensuring that
most youth remain at home, thereby avoiding all the
negative consequences of pretrial detention while also
connecting young people to necessary services.
Jurisdictions that engage in detention reform implement
objective screening or risk assessment procedures to help
sort out the few youth who might need to be detained,

and identify youth who can remain at home with various
supports to ensure school and court attendance and
address broader family needs. Pretrial detention reforms
help clarify and improve criteria for sending youth to outof-home placements and centralize the decision-making
process. Once jurisdictions experience successful
outcomes in reducing pretrial detention, they build an
appetite to advance broader reforms that can reduce the
number of youth who are confined.115

A number of jurisdictions that raised
the age or are considering raise the
age legislation have engaged in
significant work to reduce the use of
pretrial detention for youth, setting
the stage for additional reforms that
limit out-of-home placement and
confinement.
In Beyond Detention: System Transformation through
Juvenile Detention Reform, the Annie E. Casey Foundation,
which created JDAI, showed that efforts to reduce pretrial
detention coincided with reduced confinement and out-ofhome placement. Multnomah County, Oregon; Santa Cruz,
California; and Cook County, Illinois, which are also
identified as model sites for detention reform, all
experienced reductions in pretrial detention that were
matched by reductions in post-adjudication confinement
or out-of-home placement.116 Outcomes like these
encouraged the Annie E. Casey Foundation to expand its
JDAI work to focus on the deep end of the system, helping
sites reduce reliance on confinement and out-of-home
placement.117
A number of jurisdictions that raised the age or are
considering raise the age legislation have engaged in
significant work to reduce the use of pretrial detention for
youth, setting the stage for additional reforms that limit
out-of-home placement and confinement. JDAI sites
currently include large population cities or counties in

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several states that have raised the age (e.g., Illinois,
Louisiana, Massachusetts), as well as states that are
considering raise the age legislation in 2017 (e.g. Georgia,
Missouri and New York).
Cook County, Illinois (Chicago) was part of the original
JDAI pilot program; between 1992 and 2013, the average
daily population of the county’s pretrial detention system
dropped 63 percent.118 Today, Illinois has six counties and
three judicial courts participating in JDAI. In Chicago,
juvenile arrests declined nearly 43 percent between 2009
and 2014, simultaneous with the city’s work to reduce its
reliance on pretrial detention.119

“I think that the research has
shown that it's better for the
young people to be in smaller
facilities that are closer to the
communities in which they live.
…The less like a prison you can
make the detention for the young
people, the better off they are. 

…You don't want the Juvenile
Temporary Center to be a 

pipeline to the Department 

of Corrections.”




—COOK COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT 

TONI PRECKWINKLE120
Connecticut has also experienced declines in the use of
pretrial detention for youth. The average daily population
in the state’s detention centers dropped from 132 youth in
2006 to 67 in 2015.121 The combined yearly admission to
both the Bridgeport and Hartford detention centers
dropped 19 percent from 2014 to 2015 (2,201 youth
down to 1,782).122
Mississippi raised the age for 17-year-olds convicted of
felonies in 2010. Two years before Mississippi passed its

raise the age law, JDAI expanded in five counties across
the state. Between 2007 and 2013, there was a 42 percent
decrease in the rate of use of out-of-home placement, preand post-adjudication.123 Between 2009 and 2012,
Mississippi’s five JDAI counties also experienced a 65
percent decrease in confinement and out-of-home
placement.124
In 2006, Massachusetts’ Department of Youth Services
(DYS) joined JDAI. Between 2007 and 2014, DYS
experienced a 54 percent reduction in statewide
admissions of youth to pretrial secure detention facilities,
and a 52 percent decrease in detention bed occupancy. 125
These declines persisted after Massachusetts raised the
age in 2013, with continuing reductions in the number of
youth detained or committed after an adjudication in
every year since the change.
Over the past decade, three out of the four largest
population counties and the biggest city in Missouri
stepped up their efforts to reduce the number of young
people detained pretrial. Over a number of different
timeframes this decade, Greene, Jackson, and St. Louis
counties and the city of St. Louis reported reductions in the
number of young people admitted to detention facilities,
shorter lengths of stay in youth detention facilities, and
lower average daily populations of young people in
pretrial detention.126 Jackson County (which includes
Kansas City, Missouri) reported that as it reduced use of
pretrial detention and more youth were served in the
community, the juvenile justice system’s reliance on deepend placements also fell, and the capacity at its
commitment facility was reduced.127 Today, JDAI is active
in 34 counties across 17 judicial districts in Missouri.
States that more recently passed raise the age laws or are
currently considering raise the age legislation have also
engaged in significant work to reduce the number of
youth in pretrial detention.
As part of JDAI, Louisiana, which raised the age in 2016,
has worked towards limiting its reliance on pretrial
detention, and between 2006 and 2013, the number of
youth committed to out-of-home placement declined 35
percent.128 


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Many New York State localities are reducing use of pretrial
detention. In 2010, JDAI was active in six New York counties;
since 2010, statewide pretrial detention use has declined 38
percent with more dramatic decreases in certain areas, most
notably in Albany (44 percent), Monroe (67 percent), and
Nassau (69 percent).129
This means that as New York State prepares to pass raise the
age legislation and as Louisiana implements its raise the age
law, both states have already reduced their reliance on
detention, out-of-home placement, and confinement,
creating the capacity within their local juvenile justice
departments to manage youth in the community and
successfully absorb older youth into the juvenile justice
system.
Some Georgia counties have been advancing efforts to
reduce pretrial detention for more than a decade. The sixth
biggest county in Georgia, Clayton County, became a JDAI
site in 2003, and has since seen an 80 percent decrease in
their average daily detention population. Outcomes like
these led Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to establish a State
Steering Committee for the JDAI. The committee is working
to expand JDAI efforts to counties throughout Georgia.130
Consistent with the fact that raising the age of jurisdiction
can catalyze review and reform of a variety of juvenile justice
practices, raising the age in Illinois helped stakeholders
focus on systemic and legislative strategies to reduce the
number of young people detained pretrial.

Before Illinois raised the age, Cook County stakeholders
were told that if the state raised the age for youth charged
with felonies, the county’s pretrial detention center might
see over 100 additional youth on any given day.131 Analysts
predicted that the principal driver of this increase would
stem from prosecutors transferring over 100 more 17-yearolds to the adult system using other legal pathways, and
these 100-plus youth would end up spending more time in
detention because of the nature of their charge.
Stakeholders sought to address this challenge by further
narrowing Illinois’ transfer laws by reducing prosecutorial
discretion: legislation supported by the Cook County Board
President gave Illinois judges more authority to review
whether a young person under age 15, or any youth
charged with certain offenses should have his or her case
transferred to adult court simply by a prosecutor’s
decision.132
When facing similar challenges to what Cook County
navigated, judges, prosecutors, and defenders can create
case processing agreements in order to guide how a transfer
case should be handled, with the goal of detaining as few
youth for as little amount of time possible.
Many states have already shown that reducing the

use of pretrial detention helps improve the
effectiveness of the whole youth justice system,
including implementation of a juvenile court age of
jurisdiction change. 


“We know that many of us made mistakes as kids, but most of us
were in forgiving environments. Once a kid is labeled a criminal, 

it is very difficult for him or her to escape the stigma and to reach
his or her full potential. It does not make sense to treat all 

16- and 17-year-olds as adults when the science and our own
common sense tells us that that is too early.”



–ROY L. AUSTIN, JR.,FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT, 

OFFICE OF URBAN AFFAIRS, JUSTICE AND OPPORTUNITY, DOMESTIC POLICY COUNCIL133 

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5
STRATEGY 5: REDUCING RELIANCE ON FACILITIES AND FOCUSING

RESOURCES ON COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACHES
There were half as many young people confined or placed
out of the home 2013 as there were in 1997. 135 One
reason why jurisdictions are now relying less on costlier
out-of-home placements or confinement is because of
increased reliance on community-based approaches.
Rather than narrowly relying on removing a youth from
the home, a number of juvenile justice systems have
begun to see the positive financial and developmental
outcomes stemming from use of multiple strategies to
supervise more youth in the community. These
community-based approaches are explicitly designed to
reduce young people’s incarceration, develop options to
help juvenile justice stakeholders reduce reliance on
confinement, and save taxpayers money.

“When we lock up a child, 

not only are we wasting
millions of taxpayer dollars,
we’re setting him or her up 

for failure in the long run. 

The system as it exists now is
unfair to everyone involved 

and needs to be changed.” 




– SENATOR CHRISTOPHER MURPHY 

(D-CONNECTICUT)134
By shifting towards a more developmentally appropriate
juvenile justice approach that keeps more youth at
home or in their home communities, juvenile justice
systems that are raising the age are better able to
refocus resources to serve more youth in a more costeffective way. Juvenile justice systems in Connecticut,
Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri,
Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and
Wisconsin have all taken steps to reduce reliance on
facilities and focus resources on community-based
approaches.

By creating options that steer youth away from the
deepest end of the juvenile justice system, these
community-based approaches also create the capacity
for the system to serve young people once under adult
court jurisdiction.
Across the U.S., the strategies used to expand communitybased approaches have varied. However, raise the age
states share a common set of strategies, including
developing fiscal incentives to expand ways to serve youth
locally, shortening a young person’s length of stay in the
system, prohibiting the confinement of young people for
certain behaviors, and reallocating money by closing
facilities and serving youth locally. 


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STRATEGIES TO EXPAND COMMUNITY-BASED APPROACHES:
1. Fiscal incentives: 

When state juvenile justice departments allocate more money to a county, court, or community-based
organization to serve youth who might otherwise be confined or placed out of the home, it incentivizes
an expansion of community-based approaches. Fiscal incentives have been used in states that have
already raised the age, like Illinois, as well as states that are considering raise the age legislation in
2017, like Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. Whether they have raised the age
or are about to, these states are successfully using fiscal incentives to reduce taxpayer costs and serve
more youth in less expensive settings.
2. Shortening length of stay: 

When juvenile justice systems reduce the amount of time that a young person is confined or placed out
of the home, it means that youth returns home faster. Some systems have tied shorter length of stay to
improved aftercare approaches, reducing their use of more expensive, less effective options. Connecticut,
Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas have all taken steps to shorten
young people’s length of stay, increasing the system’s capacity to absorb other youth populations, and
focusing the system on the most effective, least expensive ways to serve a young person.
3. Prohibiting the confinement of young people for certain behaviors: 

When juvenile justice systems change laws, policies and practices to bar the commitment, or the
confinement of youth for certain kinds of offenses or behaviors, they reduce the number of youth that
can penetrate the deepest end of the juvenile justice system. Over the past decade-and-a-half,
Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire and Texas have barred the commitment of youth to state-run justice
systems, or barred the confinement of youth for certain behaviors.
4. Reallocating money by closing facilities: 

Juvenile justice systems that have increased their use of community-based approaches have
simultaneously been able to reduce their use of juvenile facilities—the most expensive options—and
reallocate those dollars to strategies to serve youth at home.136 After Ohio closed eight facilities, the
proportion of the state Department of Youth Services budget spent on facilities declined from 52 percent
to 38 percent.137 Between 2007 and 2011, Texas redeployed over $100 million it was spending on the
department responsible for the operation of state-run facilities to various fiscal incentives or local
systems to serve youth in their home counties.138 The Annie E. Casey Foundation reports that 52 facilities
closed across 18 states between 2007 and 2011, showing that systems across the country have had an
opportunity to reallocate money within their juvenile justice budgets as part of their shift to a more
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach.139

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Juvenile justice systems that are raising the age can use
these four strategies to reduce reliance on confinement
and out-of-home placement, and increase the use of
community-based approaches for youth who have been
adjudicated delinquent—also then allowing absorption of
older youth in a more cost-effective way.

convicted of felonies in 2013, there has been an overall 17
percent decrease in confinement of youth in state secure
facilities.144

Illinois is a good example of a state that expanded
community-based approaches through multiple strategies
implemented before, during, and after the state’s raise the
age change.
Before Illinois raised the age, the state developed
Redeploy Illinois, a fiscal incentive to expand the number
of community-based approaches so that more justiceinvolved youth remained at home. While limited to a
select number of counties—and excluding the largest
counties that send the most youth to IDJJ facilities—since
2005, Redeploy Illinois has helped over 1,300 youth avoid
incarceration, and participating counties achieved a 56
percent average reduction in commitments.140

“Raising the age will not
require new detention or
youth incarceration facilities.”




—ILLINOIS JUVENILE JUSTICE COMMISSION141
Since the 1990s, the length of time that a young person is
confined in a facility in Illinois has declined by an average
of four months.142 This reduction in length of stay was part
of an overall effort by IDJJ to improve its approach to
aftercare. Length of stay reductions were matched with
improvements in aftercare, so that youth leaving
confinement were better able to successfully connect to
more community-based resources in their home
communities.143
Because Illinois reduced the number of youth confined
post-adjudication, the state was able to close three
facilities and reallocate money within the department’s
budget to serve more youth at home in less expensive
settings. Even with the absorption of 17-year-olds

To further reduce confinement of young people in Illinois,
in 2015, lawmakers voted to prohibit committing young
people convicted of misdemeanant offenses to IDJJ, and
clarified the existing prohibition against committing youth
for status offenses. The changes were estimated to reduce
IDJJ commitments by 110 youth annually.145
Similar to Illinois, Connecticut juvenile justice
stakeholders implemented multiple strategies that have
resulted in fewer youth being confined, and made more
dollars available to support community-based
approaches.
In 2007, Connecticut ended the practice of detaining or
committing young people in locked facilities on the
grounds that they disobeyed a judge’s order in a status
(non-criminal) case. In the years following the passage of
its raise the age law, Connecticut’s Department of
Children and Families also decreased the length of stay
for youth sent to the Connecticut Juvenile Training
School. Simultaneously, the Department of Children and
Families and the Court Support Services Division
increased funding to incentivize the development of
more community programs for court-involved youth. By
2009, the annual budget for such programs reached $39
million.146
When Mississippi raised the age in 2010, its legislation
created more sentencing options for courts in order to
help the state reduce reliance on juvenile confinement,
building on statutory changes made in 2005 to expand
the kinds of dispositions available to the courts.147

Raise the age states share a common set of
strategies, including developing fiscal incentives
to expand ways to serve youth locally, shortening
a young person’s length of stay in the system,
prohibiting the confinement of young people for
certain behaviors, and reallocating money by
closing facilities and serving youth locally.


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Along with states that have already raised the age, states
that are considering raising their ages of juvenile court
jurisdiction have taken steps to reduce reliance on
facilities, and focus resources on community-based
approaches.
Michigan spent a decade ramping up its emphasis on
community-based approaches and moved away from
relying too heavily on confinement, which has helped
build the juvenile justice system’s capacity to absorb
older youth.148
The Michigan Child Care Fund (MCCF) funds communitybased services through a 50 percent cost-share between
the state and county. Under the cost-sharing approach,
counties are reimbursed 50 percent for eligible costs,
which incentivize use of community-based approaches.
In 2012, MCCF allocated nearly $400 million to support
programs throughout Michigan counties.149
Some mid-sized Michigan counties, like Midland, used
these MCCF dollars to shift their juvenile justice system’s
strategy to focus on expansion of community-based
options. Instead of placing a youth out of the home,
Midland increasingly used evidence-based options such
as Multisystemic Therapy and Brief Strategic Therapy—
primarily at-home approaches that address youth’s
mental health challenges. From 2008 to 2011, the
county saved $2.1 million by expanding communitybased approaches, 150 and its delinquency rates—that is,
the number of adjudicated offenses or probation
violations—dropped 77 percent.151

Because Georgia, New York, 

North Carolina, Michigan, Missouri,
Texas and Wisconsin developed
approaches to reduce reliance on
facilities for a decade, they are more
prepared to absorb older youth into
their juvenile justice systems.

Along with using the Michigan Child Care Fund to expand
cheaper, more effective community-based options, Wayne
County also reduced lengths of stay, both for young
people in formal out-of-home placements as well as those
under community supervision. By 2012, the average
length of stay for a youth in an out-of-home placement
was 6.3 months—down from one to two years in the
past.152 The length of stay in Wayne County continues to
drop based on continued reliance on community-based
approaches. 153
New Hampshire’s raise the age legislation also limited
permissible lengths of stay for young people convicted of
certain offenses in the juvenile justice system: young
people who have not committed violent crimes cannot be
held for more than 6 months unless there are issues of
safety for the youth, or for others. New Hampshire also
barred commitment of any youth aged 11 or younger to
facilities unless there is no other suitable placement.154
Both legislative changes reduced the state’s reliance on
confinement.
New York, Missouri, Texas, and North Carolina have also
developed approaches to reduce reliance on facilities over
the past decade, and therefore are more prepared to
absorb older youth into their juvenile justice systems
should they pass raise the age legislation.
New York has dramatically limited its reliance on out-ofhome confinement—best exemplified by the closure or
downsizing of 31 juvenile justice facilities155—as part of its
work toward improving young people’s outcomes and
enhancing public safety.
New York’s “Close to Home” initiative enabled the
Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) to serve locally
all New York City youth sent to non-secure out-of-home
placement post-adjudication, using a portion of the dollars
once spent on incarcerating these young people often
elsewhere in the state. To keep youth in the New York City
area, ACS partnered with nine nonprofit organizations to
provide 31 non-secure residential placement options that
offered specialized and individualized programs with an
emphasis on aftercare in the community. A 2014 analysis
showed that 93 percent of youth in the aftercare program

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of Close to Home remained in their neighborhood after
program completion.156 Simultaneous to Close to Home,
New York City also used a variety of strategies to reduce
the length of stay for young people in an out-of-home
placement from 12-18 months down to seven months.157

have been supported for more than a decade by a
dedicated state funding stream; funding in 2016 was
$750,000.164

Missouri—a state that already engaged in significant efforts
in the 1990s to reduce reliance on confinement for
committed youth—closed six secure detention facilities in
2011. The Missouri Circuit Court Budget Committee then
rededicated $300,000 annually from the savings from
closures to support community-based alternatives to
detention.158
Over the past decade, state policymakers in Texas have
sought to develop more community-based approaches to
reduce reliance on state- or county-run juvenile facilities.
Lengths of stay for young people in state-run secure
facilities in Texas declined 12 percent between 2005 to
2012, from 20.9 months to 18.2 months.159 A committee
within the Texas Juvenile Justice Department now meets
monthly to review who is confined in the system and
discuss if any youth can be moved out of a state-run
juvenile facility and returned to the community.

Under the provisions of House Bill 242, Georgia juvenile
justice stakeholders took significant steps in 2013 that
would help the system reduce reliance on facilities, and
focus resources on community-based approaches. HB 242
prohibits residential commitment for all young people
who present with a status offense, or are convicted of
certain misdemeanors. House Bill 242 also established a
fiscal incentive grant program to encourage local
government to develop an approach that can serve a youth
in the community, and changed the way certain felony
offenses were classified to allow for more judicial
discretion to tailor a length-of-stay to better fit the needs of
the youth. In 2013, it was estimated that these initiatives
would save Georgia taxpayers nearly $85 million through
2018 and avoid the need to open two additional juvenile
residential facilities—something that should allow the state
to reinvest a portion of the savings to expand communitybased approaches to serve youth at-home.165
If some policymakers believe large new facilities might be
needed in order to absorb 16- or 17-year-olds (or both)
into the juvenile justice system. Connecticut’s experience
provides a cautionary note.

The closure of nine juvenile facilities between 2007 and
2012 led to a $150 million reduction in the state’s
corrections budget.160 Between 2007 and 2011, Texas
redeployed over $100 million it was spending on the
department responsible for the operation of state-run
facilities to various fiscal incentives or local systems to
serve youth in their home counties.161
Another state that is poised to raise the age, North
Carolina, experienced a 48 percent decline in the number
of youth in detention centers, as well as a 33 percent
decline in youth committed to state-run facilities from
2010 to 2015.162 As legislative talks progress around raise
the age, the state’s reform efforts have already decreased
the juvenile justice population and redirected dollars
towards community-based approaches. North Carolina
provides fiscal incentives through its Alternatives to
Commitment programs, which have comparatively lower
recidivism rates than those of confinement options.163
North Carolina’s Alternatives to Commitment programs

During the tough-on-crime period in the 1990s,
Connecticut Governor John Rowland made the decision to
build a 230-bed secure juvenile facility, the Connecticut
Juvenile Training School. Later, in the years prior to raising
the age, Governor Jodi Rell declined to adopt
recommendations to refocus the state’s juvenile justice
approach on a smaller, regional network of placement
options that would allow youth to remain closer to home—
an approach that has been adopted by and is still in use in
Missouri. Despite both governors’ unwillingness to shift
their juvenile justice approach, other efforts across the
state to serve youth in a more developmentally
appropriate way in their home communities have been
successful, and the oversized Connecticut Juvenile
Training School is unnecessary—only 42 boys were housed
at the facility in the fall of 2016. However, decades later,

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Connecticut taxpayers continue to foot the bill for the
facility. Connecticut’s current governor, Dannel Malloy, has
stated his plan to close the nearly empty facility in 2018.
As the Harvard Kennedy School Malcolm Wiener Center
for Social Policy Program in Criminal Justice Policy and
Management noted in 2016, “many consider [the
construction of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School
(CJTS)] a tragic mistake that the state continues to try to
mitigate—or at the very least a ‘missed opportunity’ for
reform. Fortunately, Connecticut has closed the Pueblo
Unit (hardware secure facility for girls), and taken
significant steps to reduce the population of youth held
in CJTS.”166
In other words, after nearly two decades and the
expenditure of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars,
Connecticut policymakers are now seeing that such a

large, expensive juvenile facility is not needed, and that
they can successfully manage justice-involved youth—
including 16- and 17-year-olds—through less expensive,
more effective community-based approaches.
By reducing reliance on facilities and focusing resources
on community-based approaches, youth justice systems
across the country can expand options so that youth
remain at home and can move past delinquency without
the negative consequences associated with confinement.
These approaches allow the system to address young
people’s needs all along the pretrial and post-adjudication
continuum (as well as prior to any law enforcement or
court involvement) at much lower cost than confinement
or out-of-home placement, and such approaches are better
suited to help youth naturally and successfully achieve
developmental milestones and positive outcomes.


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THE COSTS TO TAXPAYERS OF RAISING
THE AGE HAVE BEEN OVERSTATED
Policymakers in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire voiced concerns early on that absorbing 16- and
17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system would come with increased costs for taxpayers. In all four states, these
estimated increased costs never materialized.
Other states considering raise the age legislation conducted
cost-benefit analyses on the issue and found that they will
be able to manage absorption of 16- and 17-year-old youth
without a significant increase in costs to taxpayers.
Ultimately, in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New
Hampshire, fiscal notes or other estimates indicating that
raising the age would increase taxpayer costs were shown to
be inaccurate. 167

1) CONNECTICUT
The projected $100 million in increased costs from
raising the age never occurred, and $39 million was
reallocated to community-based approaches. 


“County juvenile detention
centers and state juvenile
incarceration facilities were not
overrun, as some had feared.
Instead, one detention center
and two state incarceration
facilities have been closed, and
excess capacity is still the
statewide norm.“




In Connecticut, a fiscal note for its raise the age legislation
—ILLINOIS JUVENILE JUSTICE COMMISSION167
estimated that $100 million of taxpayer money would be
needed to fully implement the change.168 However,
Connecticut did not experience a $100 million increase in its juvenile justice budget. In Fiscal Year 2001-02, spending on
the juvenile justice system was $139 million; by Fiscal Year 2011-12, spending actually slightly dropped to $137 million.
169

Like many other states, Connecticut changed its practices, which helped contain costs. By way of example, between 2005
and 2015—a decade during which the state stepped up a variety of strategies to address youth behavior informally—
juvenile dispositions in Connecticut fell by 34 percent, and the use of juvenile detention fell by 38 percent.170 The New
Haven Juvenile Detention Center was closed in 2011, due to a variety of policy changes, which netted Connecticut a
savings of three million dollars and eliminated 94 detention beds.
Once more, young people were in community settings—a public expenditure that is far less than what taxpayers had paid
to confine youth—the juvenile justice system could leverage non-justice system funding streams to serve youth. This is one
reason why during the same time the juvenile justice department budget remained essentially flat, systems serving
Connecticut’s youth were able to reallocate $39 million to expand the number of community-based approaches that could
serve a youth outside of a more expensive custodial setting. 


Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Graph B: Connecticut’s Juvenile Justice Expenditures (2001-2012)

While raising the age (2007), Connecticut reduced reliance on confinement, and reallocated money to serve youth in the
community. Today, there is evidence that Connecticut’s current approach is actually more cost effective, saving taxpayers
money far downstream with reduced recidivism and decreased encounters with the adult criminal system.
Raising the age was credited with reducing the number of 18- to 21-year-olds in the adult state prison system in
Connecticut: Governor Malloy stated that over the six years after implementation of raise the age, there was a 51 percent
decline in the number of young adults in the adult justice system, which saved the state $58 million annually in adult
prison system costs.171

2) MASSACHUSETTS
The costs of raising the age were 37 percent less than the projected costs.

When Massachusetts’ raise the age legislation was first contemplated, the Juvenile Court Administrative Office provided
estimates of what it might cost to absorb 17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system: it projected that the system would need
three dozen new probation officers or supervisors (at a cost of $1,875,878), eight new judicial positions (at a cost of
$1,040,000), and more clinicians at the Juvenile Court Clinics to assess young people’s needs (at a cost of $1,158,499). The
office also estimated that 197 additional beds in 14 programs would be needed at the Department of Youth Services at a total

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annual operating cost of $20.5 million.172 Altogether, the Juvenile Court Administrative Office estimated that $24.57 million
additional dollars would be needed annually to raise the age in Massachusetts.
When the legislation eventually passed in 2013, it did include a budgetary increase of $15.6 million for the Department of
Youth Services (DYS)—37 percent less than what was originally estimated. To put the increase of DYS’ budget in context, the
cost of raising the age in Massachusetts was less than nine percent of the overall juvenile justice budget.173 These dollars were
used to develop a few options to serve approximately four dozen youth.174 During a time when the juvenile court’s
delinquency caseloads continued to decline,175 the probation department took steps to offer more approaches that sought to
keep additional youth in the community, and DYS continued to improve outcomes with the young people they served.
In 2017, a technical assistance report offered a series of recommendations to DYS to help the department continue to
implement efforts to raise the age for 17-year-olds, including building on DYS’ relatively new management information
system in order to improve mechanisms for collecting and analyzing data; developing a faster way of assessing young
people’s needs so that they spend less time in a DYS assessment program; and improving the department’s ability to provide
housing, and educational and employment opportunities to youth who age out of DYS.176
While recent recommendations to improve DYS operations might carry some new costs, none of the recent reports or
recommendations made by or for DYS called for a significant expansion of the state’s mechanisms or infrastructure to
incarcerate young people. Instead, in April 2016, Massachusetts closed a 15-bed secure177 treatment program for girls based
on the department’s decreased operational needs, and is in the process of closing a secure assessment program.
Graph C: Massachusetts Over-Estimation of Raise the Age Costs

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

3) ILLINOIS
A 35 percent increase in youth in the juvenile justice system never materialized, and funding was not needed for
new courtrooms or new State’s Attorney positions.

Using data from 2009—the year before Illinois legislators voted to raise the age for young people charged with
misdemeanor offenses—stakeholders offered estimates that the juvenile justice system might have to manage 18,000
more arrests—if the age of jurisdiction was changed.178 Stakeholders raised concerns that 1) probation caseloads would
rise; 2) the number of youth in court would rise; and 3) as law enforcement adjusted to addressing the behaviors of 17year-old youth in the juvenile justice system, more youth who in the past would have been charged with misdemeanor
offenses would end up charged with felonies.
In the years that followed, the projected 35 percent increase of youth entering the juvenile justice system and the
expected rise in costs associated with their processing never materialized.
Graph D: Illinois Juvenile Justice Caseloaeds after Raising the Age

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Instead, through the latest data available through 2015, juvenile probation caseloads for all youth charged with
misdemeanors and felonies continued to decline. While the juvenile court stakeholders surveyed by the Illinois Juvenile
Court Commission asked for some dollars to be set aside for the courts to manage the additional number of youth charged
with felonies, in the years that followed, those dollars were not needed; the number of 17-year-olds charged with felonies
moving through the system declined.179
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office opposed changing the age of jurisdiction for 17-year-olds charged with
misdemeanors, based, in part, on financial concerns. The office’s analysis of future case trends—not accounting for the
juvenile justice policy changes in Illinois that were preparing the system for the absorption of 17-year-olds—predicted that
an additional 2,191 cases would be referred to Cook County courtrooms. Accordingly, the office believed that Cook County
would require three additional courtrooms, each staffed with three Assistant State’s Attorneys at the cost of $855,153 per
year.180 However, no additional courtrooms were needed as the ongoing policy change already underway decreased the system’s population.
Since Illinois began implementation of its raise the age legislation in 2010, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
budget has remained at about the same level it was at a decade ago.
Graph E: Illinois Juvenile Justice Budget through Raise the Age (2010-2016)

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4) NEW HAMPSHIRE
The estimated five million additional dollars for raise the age were never appropriated. 

In New Hampshire, legislators were told that raising the age for 17-year-olds would carry a $5.3 million price tag:
“assuming a comparable number of 17-year-olds would enter or remain in the juvenile justice system, the Department
estimates this bill will increase state expenditures by $5,287,493 in FY 2016 and each year thereafter.”181 In reality, no
new dollars were appropriated to serve 17-year-olds when the state raised the age.

5) NORTH CAROLINA & CONNECTICUT
Raising the age will save taxpayers money over the long-term.

Fiscal notes associated with raise the age proposals have not
generally accounted for the ensuing improved public safety
outcomes—and the savings likely to accrue from less crime 

and fewer crime victims—that are a likely result of serving 

youth in a developmentally appropriate system that is 

better designed to help them succeed.

“The Division of 

Juvenile Justice 

already has produced
cost savings of over $44
million that can be used
to pay for raise the age.”


Demonstrations from a research method that accounted for 



THE
ON
COMMISSION
CAROLINA
—NORTH
an expected reduction in recidivism and reoffending if youth 

ADMINISTRATION OF LAW AND JUSTICE
were served in the juvenile justice system rather than the adult
system showed Connecticut and North Carolina stakeholders that
raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction to include most of the young
people touched by the justice system would generate more benefits for taxpayers than costs.

The Urban Institute estimated in 2006 that for every new dollar Connecticut might spend to raise the age, it would save
three dollars through benefits from reduced crime and lower incarceration costs.182 In remarks made before the
Connecticut General Assembly, the Urban Institute stated, “if [raise the age] has the expected results, Connecticut’s
residents will be its beneficiaries, since the impact of reduced crime will be felt throughout Connecticut’s neighborhoods.
Less crime will mean fewer victims, fewer missed days of work, lower medical bills, and, maybe most important, less fear
and less suffering.” 183
As part of North Carolina’s ongoing efforts to explore bringing 16- and 17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system, the
General Assembly created the Youth Accountability Planning Task Force in 2009 to examine the impact of potential raise
the age legislation. The task force’s analysis found that jurisdictional reform to include 16- and 17-year-olds in the juvenile
justice system would generate $52.3 million in net benefits from the combined perspective of taxpayers, victims, and
youth themselves.184
North Carolina has generated cost savings and built capacity to raise the age by shifting to a more
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach.

In November 2016, the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice Committee on Criminal
Investigation and Adjudication185 —a subcommittee of a justice system stakeholder body tasked with evaluating North
Carolina’s judicial system—published a report on raising the age.
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In its report, the committee noted that North Carolina has already generated cost savings and built the capacity to serve
more 16- and 17-year-olds in its juvenile justice system by shifting towards a more developmentally appropriate juvenile
justice approach. According to the committee, “the Division of Juvenile Justice already has produced 

cost savings of over $44 million that can be used to pay for raise the age.”

“The Division of Juvenile Justice already has produced cost savings
of over $44 million that can be used to pay for raise the age.”




—NORTH CAROLINA COMMISSION ON THE ADMINISTRATION OF LAW AND JUSTICE 

COMMITTEE ON CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND ADJUDICATION
North Carolina achieved these savings by shifting towards a developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach that:

• Reduces the use of
pretrial detention: The
juvenile justice system
has made better use of a
detention assessment tool
that has in turn reduced
the number of youth
housed in pretrial
detention. The number of
youth admitted to a
detention center fell from
6,246 in 2010 to 3,229 in
2015.

• Expands the use of
diversion: Better use of a
detention assessment tool
also helped North Carolina’s
juvenile justice system place
more low-risk young people
in less expensive diversion
programming and
alternatives to secure
custody. The committee
reported that the annual cost
per child for diversion
programming is $857,
versus an annual cost of
$57,593 per detention
center bed.

• Reduces reliance on facilities and focuses
resources on community-based approaches:

It costs North Carolina $125,000 per year to confine a
person in a youth development center (i.e., a secure
facility). As a result of changes to law, policy, and
practice that increase reliance on less expensive
community-based options, the juvenile justice system
has significantly reduced the number of youth
detained pretrial or committed to a facility. According
to the committee, “due to the reduction in pretrial
detentions and commitments to youth development
centers noted above, the Division [of Juvenile Justice]
has been able to close a number of detention center
and youth development center facilities, repurposing
portions of these facilities to provide assessment
services and crisis intervention.” The committee stated
that juvenile facility closures reduced annual
operational costs in the juvenile justice system by
$14.1 million.


While North Carolina was taking steps towards implementing a more developmentally appropriate juvenile justice
approach that helped the system contain costs and build capacity, the state experienced improved public safety outcomes:
the rate of delinquent complaints per 1,000 youth ages six to 15 decreased from 27.55 in 2010 to 20.78 in 2015, and the
committee asserted that the “reduced delinquency rate has reduced cost to the Division [of Juvenile Justice].”
Overall, “the Committee recommends reinvesting the $44 million in cost savings already achieved by the Division of
Juvenile Justice to support raise the age.” The committee also recommended that North Carolina continue to expand the
juvenile justice system’s use of diversion by replicating across the state existing programs to reduce school-based referrals
and requiring regular juvenile justice training for law enforcement officers in order to help the state accelerate its use of
diversion and speed the shift towards a more developmentally appropriate approach. 

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Legislators themselves may not hold fiscal estimates in high regard.

In the realm of justice policy, the challenges around developing the
estimated fiscal impact of policy change can be more pronounced.
WHY DIDN’T THE ESTIMATED INCREASED COSTS OF RAISING THE AGE MATERIALIZE?
Since every state juvenile justice system is distinct, the reasons vary as to why Connecticut, Illinois, New Hampshire, and
Massachusetts were able to raise the age without significantly increasing juvenile system costs. But a couple common
factors may have helped each system absorb 16- and/or 17-year-olds without incurring significant new costs: the inherent
limitations of fiscal notes and estimates, the difficulty of projecting the real long-term costs and benefits of changes to
youth justice policy, the drop in juvenile crime, and ongoing efforts to reallocate dollars from confinement to communitybased approaches
1) The limitations of fiscal notes and estimates offered by governmental entities.

It is probably not a surprise to policymakers that the estimated future costs of justice policy changes are frequently
inaccurate, and proven to be so over time. While local justice agencies generated some of the estimates falsely indicating
that raising the age would raise costs, even legislative fiscal offices face significant challenges in quantifying the long-term
costs and benefits of changes to juvenile and criminal justice policy.
According to one analysis by the Center on Budget and Planning Priorities,186 of the nearly 600 criminal justice reform
bills that were enacted in 49 states between 2009 and 2011:
• Forty percent lacked a fiscal estimate altogether;
• The majority of states failed to examine fiscal impacts beyond a year or two into the future;187
• Few states described the method used to determine fiscal impacts so that the public can review the analysis;188 and
• Very few states commissioned a non-partisan organization to conduct the analysis in order to ensure credibility.189
Legislators themselves may not hold fiscal estimates in high regard, either. In West Virginia, nearly 75 percent of all
Democrat and Republican legislators agreed that fiscal notes are accurate about or less than half the time.
In the realm of justice policy, the challenges around developing the estimated fiscal impact of policy change can be more
pronounced: some effective criminal justice reforms, including certain drug and mental health treatment programs,
require initial modest startup costs but reduce future prison spending significantly. Without an official analysis of the
future savings, legislators are less likely to understand the long-term fiscal benefits of these reforms, and the chances of
enactment are reduced.190
2) The lack of cost-benefit analyses that account for reduced reoffending and savings.

Connecticut and North Carolina took steps to conduct a cost-benefit analysis examining the cost savings for taxpayers that
stem from youth who experience better outcomes and reoffend less after coming into contact with the juvenile justice
system.191 But even when a cost-benefit analysis is used, it is—by its nature—a conservative estimate of the long-term costs
and benefits. When Illinois stakeholders reviewed existing cost-benefit analyses, the researchers noted that comparisons
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with studies from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that the recidivism rates used by North Carolina may have
underestimated the public safety benefit of keeping youth in juvenile court, meaning that there may be even more real
benefit to taxpayers than originally estimated if 16- and 17-year-olds are placed in the juvenile justice system.192
3) The juvenile crime drop. 

All 50 states experienced a drop in juvenile crime during the decade when five states raised the age. Falling crime means
fewer youth are arrested, referred to court, adjudicated, on probation, and incarcerated, all of which reduces taxpayer costs.
Illinois stakeholders noted that the significant drop in juvenile crime during the years of raise the age implementation
helped the state manage the policy change, and was part of the context that built popular support for narrowing the
transfer pathways on a number of fronts. As of the spring of 2017, the latest available data show that juvenile crime is still
at 20-year lows. In the last year alone, the number of youth arrested for violent crimes dropped by 3.1 percent and it is
down almost 50 percent from ten years ago.193
4) Estimates did not include reallocation of dollars from confinement to community-based approaches. 

In some of the states that raised the age, stakeholders decided to reallocate dollars from the most expensive, least
effective ways of addressing a young person’s behavior to practices that are cheaper and more effectively reduce a young
person’s justice system involvement.
While the Connecticut Department of Children and Families’ budget remained flat for a decade, the courts and DCF did
reallocate $39 million to expand the number of community-based approaches that could serve a youth outside of a more
expensive custodial setting. In Massachusetts, 17-year-olds were already being supervised by probation, and the
probation department could make adjustments within its own budget, without legislation or a special budget, to have
juvenile officers rather than adult probation officers supervise 17-year-olds.
Not every state has been able to use raise the age as an opportunity for reinvestment: Illinois is still navigating a serious
and sustained state budget crisis that has limited efforts to expand funding for community-based approaches. Still,
because Georgia, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin have all taken some steps to reallocate dollars
within public sector youth-serving systems to support less expensive, more effective approaches, they already have a
pathway to avoid significant costs as they raise the age, as has been the case in nearly half a dozen states that have already
raised the age. Whether states have raised the age or are about to, juvenile justice approaches that serve young people in
the community can use federal funding streams to pay for some of their services, which can play a role in significantly
reducing costs for state and county taxpayers.
Directors of public agencies have an obligation to provide a good-faith estimate of what the fiscal impact of a policy
change might be on their operations, and these projections are relevant to the discussion of how taxpayer dollars should
be spent to achieve public safety and healthy youth development outcomes.

As leaders in the seven states that are considering raising the age review
these estimates, they need to also consider ways in which the potential costs
can be contained by implementing the kinds of practice and policy changes
that are becoming the best practice standard in the juvenile justice field.
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6
STRATEGY 6: KEEPING YOUNG PEOPLE SAFE BY COMPLYING 

WITH THE PRISON RAPE ELIMINATION ACT (PREA)




“Raising the age of juvenile
jurisdiction furthered the
Commonwealth’s efforts to
comply with the federal Prison
Rape Elimination Act (PREA). This
law requires courts and facilities
to provide sight and sound
separation between adults and
juveniles in order to protect young
people under the age of eighteen
from possible rape and sexual
assault in adult holding cells and
prisons. Costly construction and
staffing changes in the adult
facilities were not needed in
Massachusetts because of the
shift of youth under 18 to the
juvenile system.”

—ANNUAL REPORT, MASSACHUSETTS
DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH SERVICES (2015) 194

A developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach
seeks to keep young people safe, wherever they are in the
juvenile justice system. Rather than rely on facilities—where it
is well established that young people are more likely to
come into harm’s way—sheriffs and adult corrections officials
have called on policymakers to raise the age to keep youth
safe. Stakeholders in Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, and Texas have cited the need to keep young
people safe and comply with PREA as reason to raise the age.
In 2003, the United States Congress enacted legislation—the
Prison Rape Elimination Act—to protect people in prisons that
provided information, resources, recommendations, and
funding to federal, state, and local facilities to protect
individuals from rape and sexual assault in prison.195
PREA Guidelines for Youth Under Age 18

According to PREA’s national standards, regardless of state law,
any individual in a jail or prison under the age of 18 must:
•
•
•
•

Maintain a ‘sight and sound separation’ from the adults
in a facility;
Be placed in a common space, shower areas and
sleeping quarters away from contact with an adult;
Avoid isolation placement by the agency to comply with
the standard;
Be afforded the opportunity for exercise, special
education services, and other educational and
employment programs when possible.196

Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Rather than actively enforcing these regulations through
the Department of Justice, the federal government
incentivizes policy and practice changes by withholding
five percent of certain federal grants from noncompliant jurisdictions.197 However, despite this
penalty, some states find it too expensive to comply with
PREA’s mandates due to their facilities’ physical
structure; such non-compliant states may regularly
place 16- and 17-year-olds with adults—putting youth at
increased risk of harm (including self-harm) and
violating federal law.

“My staff tries hard, but adult jails
cannot prepare 17-year-olds for
success. Outside, these kids are
juniors in high school. We don’t
offer a high school education in
the jail. Our staff is not equipped
to manage the unique needs of
adolescents. And most of the
offenders we house have been
through the system before—they
are not the right peers for 17-yearold-children.” 




– SHERIFF MIKE NEUSTROM AND DIRECTOR OF
CORRECTIONS ROB REARDON, LAFAYETTE PARISH 198
In some cases, states submit an assurance of
compliance and provide a plan to the U.S. Attorney
General on how they intend to comply with the national
standards in order to maintain federal funding.
Congress recently passed the Justice for All Act in 2016,
which establishes a timeline for state compliance under
PREA: states that have submitted assurances have a
three-year period from the date of enactment of the act
(December 16, 2016) to submit a certification of
compliance or provide the Attorney General with proof

that at least two thirds of the state facilities are in compliance
with PREA standards. If they are unable to show such
progress, the grant funds are redistributed to other
complying states.199
The reason PREA mandated this particular safety approach for
young people is because the National Prison Rape
Elimination Commission found that youth who are
incarcerated in an adult facility are the group most at risk of
sexual assault and are 50 percent more likely than adults to
report being attacked by an adult inmate with a weapon.200
Some states that have raised the age of jurisdiction have
done so to comply with PREA, allowing them to avoid the
increased taxpayer costs of redeveloping their adult facilities
physical structure by supporting a policy change that simply
keeps as many youth out of the adult system as possible. In
this way, PREA has become a catalyst for raise the age
initiatives by galvanizing stakeholder support for complying
with PREA by moving young people out of the adult justice
system whenever possible.
The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission cited PREA
compliance as one reason to complete the state’s raise the
age process by absorbing 17-year-olds charged with felony
offenses into the youth justice system:
“Illinois cannot continue its status quo of housing felonycharged 17-year-olds with adult inmates without financial
cost. In fact, monitoring for compliance with new federal
Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) guidelines begins in
2013. PREA will require all offenders under 18, even those in
the criminal system, to be housed separately from adults in
all lockups, jails, detention centers, and prisons.
Noncompliance can result in a five percent penalty on several
federal formula funds and block grants, which support state
and local law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois.”201
Sheriffs and administrators of adult facilities have
become key advocates of changing the age of
jurisdiction to help comply with PREA. 

In Lafayette Parish, months prior to Louisiana’s passage of
raise the age legislation, Sheriff Mike Neustrom and Director
of Corrections Rob Reardon expressed their concerns over
housing youth with the adult population, reflecting national
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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

data202: “[A]dult jails cannot prepare 17-year-olds for
success. Outside, these kids are juniors in high school.
We do not offer a high school education [program] in the
jail.”203 The sheriff and director of corrections continued
to call for the youth justice system to absorb the
remaining 17-year-olds: “[W]e house just a handful [of
17-year-old youth] each day in our adult jail, though I
wish that number were zero.”204 These corrections
officials stated that retrofitting Lafayette Parish’s jail
facility to comply with PREA’s mandates would be too
costly for the jurisdiction’s budget.205

The sheriff of Dallas stated that the logistics of keeping youth
away from adults in order to maintain the federal funding
are costly, as the county already spends upwards of $80,000
a week to keep 60 young people separated from its adult
population.210
PREA’s mandates bolster work in states to raise the age and
keep young people (and system staff) safe, but as with efforts
to move towards a more developmentally appropriate
juvenile justice system, keeping everyone safe requires
ongoing diligence.
In 2016, staff at the Massachusetts Department of Youth
Services reported concerns that the newly integrated 17year-olds might have increased assaults among youth and
staff from 2014 to 2016. As a result, DYS convened a Safety
Task Force composed of members of the legislature, union
representatives, juvenile justice agency leadership, and other
human service professionals to examine current challenges
in the system and to make recommendations on how to
reduce violence based on best practices. 211 DYS remains part
of national initiatives that partner with the Council of
Juvenile Correctional Administrators and the U.S. Office of
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to improve
safety for youth and staff and reduce the use of solitary
confinement.

Prior to New Hampshire’s raise the age reform, the
legislature explored the cost of complying with PREA by
retrofitting the adult system to accommodate 17–yearolds. However, an analysis conducted for the raise the
age bill estimated that the state could avoid spending
$10 million to retrofit an adult facility by allowing the
youth justice system to absorb 17-year-olds instead.206
New Hampshire became fully PREA compliant in
2014.207
During testimony in support of Massachusetts’ raise the
age bill, the sheriff of Middlesex County said, “recent
research does not indicate that sentencing young people
as adults serves as an effective crime deterrent… young
people imprisoned alongside adults are more likely to
reoffend” and in turn threaten any work a jurisdiction
might be doing to enhance public safety.208
In Texas, law enforcement officials who oversee county
jails have raised concerns about the costs of complying
with PREA and have supported raising the age for 17year-olds because it will help them address PREA
mandates, avoid costs, and keep youth safe. The sheriffs
of Brazos, Dallas, and Harris counties said they “prefer to
see these teenagers moved to facilities with
rehabilitative services better suited for their age. … In
addition to providing rehabilitative and safety services to
17-year-olds, raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction
would provide long-term cost savings to counties
struggling to comply with the federal Prison Rape
Elimination Act.”209

“Raising the age of juvenile
jurisdiction would provide 

long-term cost savings to
counties struggling to comply
with the federal Prison Rape
Elimination Act.”




—THE SHERIFFS OF BRAZOS, DALLAS, 

AND HARRIS COUNTIES, TEXAS212

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Raising the age can help policymakers avoid the
real-life consequences for young people that ensue
when a state or county does not comply with PREA. 

Last April, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas
failed its PREA audit because the jail facility in Texas’
largest county did not separate 17-year-olds from adults
by sight and sound. While the Harris County Sheriff has,
in the past, supported raising the age, absent an actual
change in the law, the county is contemplating
achieving PREA compliance by sending 17-year-olds to a
different facility in Limestone County—roughly three
hours away from their families. One hundred and eighty
youth might be impacted by the plan, which has been
under discussion since 2015. Removing youth from
their homes and placing them in pretrial detention in a
jail can traumatize young people even when the facility
is well run; sending a young person to a faraway county
only further frustrates efforts to keep youth connected to
their families and communities—to which they will
ultimately return.213 


The most tragic consequence of a system failing to
implement PREA and do everything it can to keep young
people safe is harm to young people, either by others or
themselves.
Just in January 2017, a 17-year-old teenager died after
apparently hanging himself in the Fort Bend County Jail 

(an adult facility in Texas)—an individual example that is
sadly consistent with research showing that young
people are more likely to engage in self harm when they
are incarcerated with adults.214
The implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of
2003 has not been a flawless process for any
governmental entity. However, Governors, counties,
legislatures, and correctional administrators have
responded to the potential challenges around noncompliance—the impact on youth, a state’s budget, and
public safety—by using raise the age as a tool to improve
safety for young people involved in the justice system, in
a cost-effective way.


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STATES THAT RAISED THE AGE SAW
JUVENILE CRIME RATES FALL
When policymakers changed laws to make it easier to transfer youth to the adult criminal justice system by a number
of different pathways, they did so under the rationale that the change would help improve public safety and reduce
youth crime. By sharp contrast, over the past two decades, research has emerged showing that youth in the adult court
and correctional system are more likely to have higher recidivism rates than those served in the juvenile system.215
Youth tried as adults are also more likely to reoffend and commit more serious offenses216 when compared with youth
kept in the juvenile justice system.
Perhaps it should be no surprise, then, that the states that have taken the biggest steps to ensure that young people
once in the adult criminal justice system are now back in the youth justice system—and have shifted more broadly
towards a developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach—have experienced good public safety outcomes.

Graph F: First Generation Raise the Age States Decreased Arrests (2005-2015)
Between 2005 and 2015, Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts shifted to a more developmentally appropriate
juvenile justice approach. During that time, juvenile crime fell in these states, and in the United States in general: the
federal violent crime index fell 29 percent and property crime rates fell by 42 percent, according to the latest data
from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR). 217

Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Graph G: Connecticut Juvenile and Young Adult System Involvement (20015-2015)
Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts—the three states that led the move to raise the age—outperformed the rest of
the country in juvenile crime declines for violent and property crime218 (based on arrest data compiled by the UCR in
2005 and 2015). Connecticut and Illinois saw a 60 percent plus decline in violent crime index arrests over the decade
— nearly double the drop of the U.S. average (29 percent). One analysis by a Connecticut justice agency noted, “even
with the addition of 16- and 17-year-olds [into the juvenile justice system], juvenile court referrals declined.”219
Massachusetts just raised the age in 2013, but over the decade during which the state reduced the use of
confinement in the lead-up to absorbing 17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system, the Commonwealth
experienced declines in violent crime and property crime that outperformed the national average (a 33 percent
decline in index crimes, and a 48 percent decline in property crimes). In the two years since Massachusetts raised the
age, there has been no significant uptick in the number of youth ending up in adult court or subject to adult
sentencing via other legal pathways available to prosecutors and courts.220
The decline in juvenile crime in Illinois that followed raise the age was credited with helping the juvenile justice
system manage the change, with lower additional costs for taxpayers. While some stakeholders in Illinois raised
concerns that raising the age for 17-year-olds might result in additional system costs, because crime was on the
decline, when 17-year-olds were absorbed into the juvenile justice system, there was no “sudden surge” and no
additional costs. 221
Illinois also saw no increase in the number of youth charged, convicted, and transferred to the adult system through
the other mechanisms that remain available to courts.222 By contrast, Illinois legislators made changes to the state’s
transfer law that reduced the number of youth who could be transferred to the adult system without a judicial hearing,
effectively lowering the number of youth who are transferred to the adult system.223 

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Is there a raise the age effect?
Along with the leading raise the age states outperforming the juvenile crime drop seen in
the rest of the country, public safety stakeholders in at least one state that absorbed 16- and
17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system also experienced reduced crime and reduced
adult imprisonment among the first group of people that may have benefited from the
jurisdictional change. 

According to Connecticut’s Office of Policy Management Criminal Justice Policy and Planning
Division, there has been a decline in the number of people aged 18 to 21 in state facilities.
Between 2008 and 2014, there was a 44 percent drop in arrests of 18- to 21-year-olds. “By
2012, arrests among youth aged 18, 19 and 20 were down significantly, and by 2014, the
drop-in arrests was edging towards older youth. We observed that arrests among younger
offender cohorts declined most.”224 The office’s analysis also showed that the number of 18to 21-year-olds in the adult corrections system declined 54 percent. 

It may be too soon to definitively say whether or not there is actually a “raise the age effect”—
that is, whether as 16- and 17-year-olds benefit from being in the juvenile justice system,
they are less likely to reoffend or recidivate into late teens and twenties, thereby improving
public safety outcomes and reducing imprisonment among young adults. 

However, it is notable that Missouri’s state director of adult corrections credits the success of
Missouri’s acclaimed juvenile justice approach and its low recidivism rates with slowing adult
prison population growth and obviating the need for construction of three new prisons.225 

But, Connecticut was an early adopter of strategies that have been shown to improve public
safety outcomes, reduce costs, and help young people succeed, and perhaps other states
considering raising the age are getting a glimpse into the future from trends seen in
Connecticut and other states that removed youth from the adult system and shifted towards
more developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approaches.


Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System




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7
STRATEGY 7: IMPROVING JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEMS’ 

MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES, AND STRENGTHEN STRATEGIES 

TO SERVE YOUNG PEOPLE MORE EFFECTIVELY



“What we have found is that
changing the culture in the
building [i.e., implementing
risk/needs assessment tools],
they already know that we
aren't going to bring certain
kids into detention.”


help address the needs of youth and also manage
resources more effectively.

—HENRY UPSHAW, ADAMS COUNTY JUVENILE
DETENTION CENTER ADMINISTRATOR, MISSISSIPPI226

Today, the youth justice system is increasing its reliance
on objective tools that help assess what a young person
needs and identify potential risks associated with his or
her prior behavior, and help determine what intervention
will best address those risks. Additionally, systems are
increasing reliance on tools to help structure decisionmaking with regard to the best way to serve a youth,
consistent with the best practices and the most effective
use of scarce resources. These tools are used throughout
the juvenile justice system and can assist with pretrial,
pre-adjudication, and placement decisions. These tools
are not designed to replace the in-depth individual
assessments conducted by juvenile justice professionals




When juvenile justice systems make better use of tools
that can assess what a young person might need to move
past delinquency, and can analyze what is working in the
system to help youth change their behavior, systems can
shift to a more cost-effective and developmentally
appropriate juvenile justice approach.
Juvenile justice systems in Connecticut, Georgia,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North
Carolina, and Texas have all made better use of tools to

In the past, juvenile justice systems did not have access to
or use tools, such as needs-based assessment
instruments, to ground decisions on the best way to serve
a youth. Instead, probation officers, judges, prosecutors,
public defenders, and nonprofits may have used mostly
subjective factors to develop their responses to a young
person’s behavior, rather than tailor approaches to
strategies that have been proven to help youth move past
delinquency.

Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

in order to decide how to best serve a youth: these tools
are used to improve how systems serve the thousands and
thousands of youth they see, and provide better
information to stakeholders to help them make better
decisions to help youth move past delinquency and help
systems manage resources more effectively.

Juvenile justice systems are starting to use the
following tools more often, and more effectively:


“By minimizing interventions for lowrisk youth, juvenile justice systems
will avoid the costly and harmful
mistake of over-intervening with
youth who, with limited systems
involvement, will likely age out of
their delinquent behavior on their
own, and do so without much, if any,
further impact on public safety. Fewer
interventions for low-risk youth also
mean more resources can be devoted
to the supervision and services for
young people at higher risk for
reoffending.” 


• Risk Assessments: an assessment that seeks to
provide information to a decision-maker on the
relative risk that a youth may continue on a
delinquency pathway without the appropriate
intervention, compared with other youth who
demonstrate similar characteristics. Risk assessments
typically use a scale of low- to high-risk to help
designate what an appropriate response and plan of
care might be for a youth. 227




• Needs Assessments: an assessment that evaluates
the social, behavioral, and criminogenic needs of an
individual that can be altered through effective
treatment and programming, in order to provide
information to a decision-maker to help tailor a
response that can steer youth away from reoffending
and further penetration into the juvenile justice
system. 228 Needs assessments can identify whether a
young person has a behavioral health issue, but there
are a series of other mental health screening tools
that are used by professionals to better identify what
treatment a young person might need at various
stages in a juvenile justice process.
• Structured Decision Making (SDM): An SDM is
an example of a tool designed to provide information
to a decision-maker in a juvenile correctional setting
(or to the courts) through an assessment score that
helps indicate, at various decision points, what might
be the best way to serve that youth, including
whether the youth can remain at home. 229

–COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS JUSTICE
CENTER230
When the information collected from these tools is
analyzed in the aggregate—that is, examined for all the
youth who come into a system—it can be integrated with
other information on what it costs to deliver a service and
the outcomes that are generated. When all this
information is reviewed by the appropriate decisionmakers, a juvenile justice system can better align its
practices through a cost-benefit lens: the system can
develop a plan on how to deliver the best service with the
least cost, and allow decision-makers to more effectively
manage resources.231
With the better decision-making that stems from use of
these kinds of tools, states that raised the age or are on
the cusp of raising the age have the ability to implement
new management strategies to run their systems more
efficiently, and more easily absorb new roles and
responsibilities that may be associated with serving 16and 17-year-old youth.

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

For example, in 2010, two years before full
implementation of Connecticut’s raise the age legislation,
the Court Support Services Division created clinical
coordinator positions to provide needs assessments for
system-involved youth. The change was credited with
improving Connecticut’s process of identifying youth with
mental health issues, and speeding up the connection of
youth to appropriate services and care. 232 The
implementation of this tool saves Connecticut an
estimated $450,000 a year by reducing the length of stay
in detention, and limits a young person’s exposure to the
negative impacts associated with pretrial detention. 233
States that have raised the age as well as those
considering raise the age legislation have begun to pair
screening tools, risk assessments, and needs assessments
as part of an overall management strategy to assure that
each youth is being served in a more effective way.
States that have not yet raised the age, like Michigan,
New York, North Carolina, and Texas, can be better
prepared to limit young people’s justice system
involvement by using tools to make better decisions at
various stages of the juvenile justice process, thereby
creating the capacity to serve new populations. These
states now have concrete tools to absorb 16- and 17-yearolds into the youth justice system without necessarily
increasing costs: based on results from assessment tools,
they can provide youth with the least expensive, most
effective intervention to help them change their behavior.
In 2010, Texas implemented a risk and needs assessment
instrument for county-run probation departments to help
these systems improve how they developed each young
person’s case plan.234 Additionally, to verify that the
system is providing effective services, Texas implemented
the Juvenile Case Management System, which collects
data on outcomes for each case. While the system needs
to be strengthened, it has been implemented in 226 out
of 254 counties in Texas, and represents a step towards
improving how the state and counties can manage
resources and tailor better responses to reduce a young
person’s justice system involvement.235

Since 2001, Texas has also mandated the use of the
Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Second
Version (MAYSI-2) as a validated mental health screening
tool for all youth referred to local probation departments.
This screening tool allows departments to identify youth
in need of mental health services and direct youth to
appropriate interventions. The use of the MAYSI-2 has
been credited with helping local juvenile probation
departments pair youth with specialized juvenile
probation officers who provide case management, link
youth and their families to community-based services,
and help keep young people out of state-run juvenile
correctional facilities.236
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness,
around 70 percent of youth who touch the juvenile justice
system have a mental health challenge of some severity
at some point. North Carolina improved its use of
assessments to identify these youth, provide better
responses when a young person has a health challenge,
and manage resources better.237 The state implemented
the Global Appraisal of Needs (GAIN) tool in 2010 to
detect youth who might have a substance abuse problem
or mental health issues. The management system
continues to be improved: in 2015, 68 percent of juvenile
justice-involved youth who were assessed using these
tools completed their treatment programs, compared to
45 percent in 2011.238
The use of tools to help manage decisions around the
best way to serve youth are becoming more common
nationally, and New York City very recently began to use a
Structured Decision Making approach to help augment its
decision-making. New York City’s SDM provides
recommendations to decision-makers to help them
design a better approach to addressing what a young
person might need. The city’s Department of Probation
developed an SDM grid that was implemented city-wide
in 2013 to provide more background information (family
history, legal history, peer relationships, and educational
attainment) in order to help stakeholders make better
custody recommendations.239

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

By making better use of screening
tools and assessments, a juvenile
justice system can improve how 

it manages resources and
strengthen strategies to serve
young people more effectively—

all of which can limit a young
person’s justice system involvement
in a cost-effective way.
Although Wisconsin has not yet raised the age,
Outagamie County received a grant to improve its system
management tools as part of an overall approach to place
back in the juvenile system eligible 17-year-olds 240 who
had been arrested. Initial results show that serving such
youth in the juvenile justice system was successful—and
did not have associated negative safety outcomes or
financial impact because of the “return of investment”
facilitated by providing youth with the appropriate
services in the juvenile system. 241

When Georgia lawmakers passed their juvenile justice
reform bill in 2013, they required juvenile justice systems
to collect and track data, and called on the state to
develop and implement a performance measurement
system to analyze the information collected. The law also
called for Georgia’s state-run juvenile department and for
local probation agencies to develop and begin using
structured decision-making (SDM) tools to guide
placement recommendations.243
Improving a juvenile justice system’s ability to assess,
analyze, and apply information about individual young
people to help a system shift towards a more
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach is
an ongoing process.
Authors of a Harvard Kennedy School Malcolm Wiener
Center for Social Policy Program in Criminal Justice Policy
and Management analysis of how Massachusetts can
improve its current approach to meeting the needs of 17year-olds recommended that DYS improve its systems for
collecting data to evaluate outcomes for young people by
implementing youth surveys and training to collect
aggregate data.244

In 2011, the Supreme Court of Missouri, through a court
operating rule, mandated statewide use of a detention
assessment tool. Even prior to 2011, Missouri had been
working to advance a centralized information system to
ensure consistency and system planning across
communities engaged in efforts to reduce the use of
pretrial detention: sites now rely upon one statewide
computerized data system and one set of common codes
from admission to detention. 242 Engaging in this
improvement in data information systems simultaneously
with implementation of assessment tools places Missouri
in a much stronger position to reduce the number young
people confined in a juvenile setting both pretrial and
post-adjudication.

By making better use of screening tools and assessments,
a juvenile justice system can improve how it manages
resources and strengthen strategies to serve young
people more effectively—all of which can limit a young
person’s justice system involvement in a cost-effective
way. Better use of these tools will reduce the inefficiencies
that can occur when a juvenile justice professional lacks
the information needed to objectively understand what a
young person needs—which can lead to decisions that are
based on that professional’s “gut instincts” or subjective
views of the appropriate response to delinquency—and
improve public safety by directing youth to the
intervention most likely to reduce the chances of
reoffending.


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JUVENILE CONFINEMENT FELL
IN STATES THAT RAISED THE AGE
Periodically, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention publishes a
census for every state on one day in a given year of the number of young people who are committed to a juvenile
justice system and confined in a facility or placed out of the home.245 While the data collected makes it hard to
know the exact type or the exact quality of the setting a young person might be in, this Census of Juveniles in
Residential Placement (CJRP) represents one way to account for the degree to which a juvenile justice system relies
on confinement and out-of-home placements, and to compare that reliance to the system’s practices in the past and
the practices of other states.
Between 2006 and 2013—a time when Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts were shifting towards a more
developmentally appropriate and effective juvenile justice approach, and when they were implementing raise the
age—nearly every state saw a decline in the number of young people committed to the juvenile justice system and
confined or placed out of the home. Nationally, there was a 39 percent decline in the number of youth committed
to the juvenile justice system and confined or placed out of the home during this period.
According to this national data set, the first generation of raise the age states—Connecticut, Illinois, and
Massachusetts—outperformed the rest of the country in reducing the number of youth committed to juvenile
justice system and confined or placed out of the home.246
Between 2006 and 2013, Connecticut and Illinois experienced greater drops in the number of committed youth
confined or placed out of the home than the 50-state average—a 50 percent drop in Connecticut and a 53 percent
drop in Illinois compared to a 39 percent drop nationwide. The trend through the year before Massachusetts raised
the age showed that the state well outperformed the national average drop in the use of confinement and out-ofhome placement (a 64 percent decline, versus a 39 percent decline), according to the CJRP.
Put another way, during the time when these states began or were on the cusp of absorbing 16- or 17-year-olds (or
both) into their juvenile justice systems, they significantly reduced the use of confinement.

Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Graph H: Raise the Age States Decrease in Confined Youth (2006-2013)
The CJRP additionally shows that states that just passed or are considering raising the age in 2017 also significantly
outperformed the rest of the country in reducing the number of youth confined or placed out of the home postcommitment.
Those states that outperformed the national average between 2006 and 2013 include Michigan, New Hampshire,
New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin. Put another way, the five biggest states that are close to raising the
age have already reduced the number of young people in the deepest end of their justice systems, potentially freeing
up some capacity to serve new populations, if necessary. Missouri, a state that may consider raise the age legislation
in 2017, also did not outperform the national average drop in the use of confinement according to the CJRP, possibly
because the state had already successfully advanced a decade earlier a juvenile justice reform approach (the “Missouri
Model”) that reduced reliance on large, distant, locked facilities.247 While Louisiana and South Carolina did not
experience greater drops in confinement or out-of-home placement than the national average, both experienced a
sizeable drop in confinement—about 30 percent in both states over the 2006 to 2013 period.
As noted, the CJRP is only one way to account for a state’s use of confinement. While every state juvenile justice
system is distinct and it is hard to do an exact comparison of the deepest end of their systems, there are several
indicators from multiple states that have raised the age or are just about to that they are significantly reducing their
reliance on confinement.

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CONNECTICUT:

Connecticut’s juvenile justice system saw a shift in the confinement population during the time that the state
implemented its raise the age law. At various points along the youth justice continuum, Connecticut has
experienced a reduction in the number of youth confined, despite the system absorbing 16- and 17-year-olds.
From 2001 to 2010, Connecticut reduced its juvenile confinement rates from 215 per 100,000 to 49 per
100,000;248 Connecticut experienced a 70 percent reduction in residential commitments from 2000 to 2011; 249
and the average daily population of the state’s pretrial detention centers fell from 132 in 2006 to 67 in 2015. 250 

In the years since Connecticut raised the age, more young people that touch the justice system are at home, and
fewer young people are confined.
The reduction in the confinement population in Connecticut was accompanied by the closure of a state-operated
detention center in New Haven in 2011,251 and by July of 2018, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School will also
be closed.252
Graph I: Reduced Youth Confinement in Connecticut Since Raising the Age (2012)

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ILLINOIS:

Reducing reliance on confinement provides a state with an opportunity to reconfigure the justice system towards
meaningful reform. As a result of the drop-in confinement in state-run juvenile facilities in Illinois, three stateoperated juvenile prisons were closed (in Murphysboro, Joliet, and Kewanee) as well as the DuPage County
Detention Center.253
Graph J: Illinois Juvenile Justice Confinement (2009-2015)

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MASSACHUSETTS:

Similar to what Connecticut and Illinois experienced, Massachusetts—another first-generation raise the age state—
also observed a sharp decline in its Department of Youth Services population. Between 2000 and 2012, before age
of jurisdiction reform was implemented in Massachusetts, the system reduced the number of committed youth by
65 percent.254 Although there was a slight uptick in the commitment population in 2012-13, Massachusetts
continues to significantly lower its reliance on the deep end of the system.
Graph K: Massachusetts Confined and Detained Youth (2006-2015)

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CONCLUSION

THERE ARE STEPS POLICYMAKERS CAN TAKE TO 

SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENT RAISING THE AGE
“Help us, our lives matter. 

This is not the way to teach 

us juveniles a lesson. 

This is not what you 

call justice.”




—17-YEAR-OLD, IN A MISSOURI JAIL255
There is a growing consensus that justice-involved
youth are more likely to move beyond delinquency
and successfully transition into adulthood if they are
served by an effective youth justice system that relies
on developmentally appropriate juvenile justice
approaches. 

Such a system diverts as many young people as possible,
ensures probation and aftercare approaches engage
youth and help reduce youth’s justice system
involvement, and develops ways to address mental health
needs outside the deep end of the system.




Each of these strategies will reduce reliance on all forms
of confinement, allow for resources to be focused on
community-based approaches, and create system
capacity to absorb 16- and 17-year-olds.
An effective, developmentally appropriate juvenile
justice system uses tools and management tactics to
ensure that young people are directed to the
individualized approach best designed to help them
move past delinquency.
A developmentally appropriate youth justice system
diligently works to keep youth safe, in part by complying
with the Prison Rape Elimination Act’s mandate to
separate youth from adults in facilities, which works in
tandem with raising the age.
While Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts have not
taken every step that is necessary to build an effective,
developmentally appropriate youth justice system, in
the past decade, they took enough of these steps in
order to successfully implement raise the age, without
significantly increasing costs. 


Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

By taking significant steps towards a more effective youth
justice system, Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts
were able to absorb 16- and 17-year-old youth into their
juvenile justice systems, and across all three states,
ensured:

Last year, Louisiana and South Carolina passed raise the
age legislation that moved 17-year-olds into their
juvenile justice systems. Both Louisiana and South
Carolina have taken steps towards a more effective
juvenile justice approach that ensures taxpayer costs are
kept in check and focuses on redirecting resources so
that the vast majority of youth who touch the justice
system remain at home.

• Costs did not rise significantly for taxpayers:
These juvenile justice systems implemented
approaches that helped their juvenile justice
systems dramatically reduce reliance on
confinement, so they could redirect resources to
serve more youth at home.

In 2017, elected officials in Georgia, Michigan,
Missouri, New York State, North Carolina, Texas, and
Wisconsin will be considering legislation that can help
these states achieve the kind of cost containment and
public safety outcomes that Connecticut, Illinois, and
Massachusetts have experienced since raising the age
for 16- and 17-year-olds.

• Public safety outcomes improved: Connecticut,
Illinois, and Massachusetts raised the age and
outperformed the rest of the country in terms of
declines in juvenile violent crime and property
crimes according to FBI arrest data. These improved
public safety outcomes are consistent with research
that shows when youth are kept in the juvenile
justice system rather than transferred to the adult
system, they are less likely to reoffend.
Mississippi and New Hampshire have far fewer youth
who touch their justice systems than Connecticut, Illinois,
and Massachusetts, but they also raised the age this
decade. While Mississippi and New Hampshire absorbed
fewer older youth into their juvenile justice systems,
these two states also took steps towards a more effective,
developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach
by diverting more youth from the system, reducing the
use of pretrial detention, and reducing reliance on
confinement. Like every state in the country, juvenile
crime rates fell in Mississippi and New Hampshire,
showing that states can shift towards an approach that
keeps both young people and the community safe.

“Our current system of charging
youth as adults has been proven
to reduce public safety. 

And yet New York remains one 

of two states that automatically
charges 16-year-olds as adults.
…The legislature needs to do
more to protect our communities
by passing comprehensive
legislation to raise the age 

in the coming session.”




—MADISON COUNTY SHERIFF ALLEN RILEY256 


Costs did not rise significantly for taxpayers in places that raised the age.
These juvenile justice systems implemented approaches that helped 

their juvenile justice systems dramatically reduce reliance on confinement, 

so they could redirect resources to serve more youth at home.

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THESE SEVEN STATES ARE READY TO MAKE THE SHIFT:

Juvenile justice leaders in these states have already taken significant measures to ready their youth justice systems to
absorb older youth by relying on the strategies that helped Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts manage their
change process.
Michigan, Texas, and Wisconsin already have county-based models that have proven that they can address young
people’s mental health challenges in the community and outside the deep end of the juvenile justice system, and
models that show how the state can increase diversion so that increased resources can be focused on serving more
youth in their home communities.
New York State and North Carolina already have roadmaps developed by justice system stakeholders that show how
they can effectively serve 16- and 17-year-old youth in the juvenile justice system without dramatically increasing
taxpayer costs, again relying on many of the strategies that Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts used to implement
raise the age successfully.
The states still implementing raise the age, or that have yet to pass raise the age legislation do not lack examples of
how they can successfully serve 16- and 17-year-old youth in their juvenile justice systems without increasing costs; they
simply need to embrace the many tools now available to juvenile justice leaders around the country to help move
towards more effective approaches.

OVERCOMING OPERATIONAL CONCERNS:






To overcome operational concerns about the potential
impact of raising the age of jurisdiction for 16- and 17year-old youth, elected officials, juvenile justice leaders,
and policymakers can take the following steps:

deep end of the system. These changes allowed 

Connecticut, Illinois, and Massachusetts to reduce
reliance on all forms of confinement so that resources
could be reallocated. The two states that passed raise
the age legislation in 2016, and the seven states
considering raise the age legislation in 2017 should
assess what changes they have already made and
how they can build on those changes to move their
systems further towards more effective juvenile
justice approaches. New York and North Carolina
already have a roadmap for what a more effective
youth justice system could look like, and should move
towards these approaches after they pass raise the
age legislation. 


1) Assess what current steps have already been
taken to improve their juvenile justice approach,
and explore opportunities to expand those
efforts. 

As laid out in this report, Connecticut, Illinois, and
Massachusetts have taken steps to divert more youth
from the justice system, improve probation and
aftercare approaches, and expand efforts to address
young people’s mental health needs outside the 


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2) Connect with stakeholders in states that have
raised the age to understand how they managed
the change without increasing costs. 


more accurate capacity projections in states that are
raising the age, in part to avoid the kind of
erroneous cost projections that that never
materialized in Connecticut, Illinois, and
Massachusetts. 261 The Justice Department also
supports the Council of State Governments, National
Institute of Corrections, National Center for Mental
Health and Juvenile Justice, National PREA Resource
Center, and Council of Juvenile Correctional
Administrators to provide technical assistance to
help juvenile justice systems shift to more effective
approaches. Lastly, the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative is a
national initiative that can provide technical
assistance to juvenile justice systems that wish to
reduce their reliance on pretrial detention as well as
deep-end confinement.

The National Conference of State Legislatures,257
Council of State Governments, Harvard Kennedy
School Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
Program in Criminal Justice and Policy
Management, 258 and Council of Juvenile
Correctional Administrators259 have all created
opportunities for juvenile justice policymakers to
share perspectives on how 16- and 17-year-old
youth were successfully absorbed into the juvenile
justice system. These opportunities for peer-to-peer
learning between various stakeholders need to be
expanded so that legislators, juvenile corrections
staff, and public safety stakeholders can learn what
tactics have been used to enable youth justice
systems to successfully manage the process of
absorbing 16- and 17-year-olds, without needlessly
increasing costs.
3) Seek out technical assistance on how to continue
shifting towards more effective juvenile justice
approaches. 

There are organizations with expertise that can help
juvenile justice systems shift towards the most
effective approaches that are being used to help
young people leave delinquency behind them. The
U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) offers
training and technical assistance in a broad range of
areas.260 In 2016, OJJDP awarded a Smart on
Juvenile Justice: Age of Criminal Responsibility
Training and Technical Assistance grant to the
American Institute of Research to help systems make

Youth justice policymaking does not have a beginning
or an end: it is an ongoing process of change. This process
involves continuing improvement and the adoption of
more effective policies based on regular reassessments
and reevaluations of what will help youth succeed in the
most cost effective manner.
While the pathway to raising the age was and continues to
be different from state to state—states did not use the exact
same formula in their policy change efforts—every state
has changed its approach to improve how it serves all
youth, including 16- and 17-year-olds.
Even among the first generation raise the age states, there
is a need to continue to reform their systems to further
enhance public safety, manage public resources
effectively, and advance policies to help young people
succeed.


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2017
THIS YEAR STATES THAT HAVE ALREADY RAISED THE AGE CAN 

CONTINUE TO IMPROVE THEIR JUVENILE JUSTICE 

APPROACHES BY FOCUSING ON THE FOLLOWING AREAS:
CONNECTICUT:
Governor Dannel Malloy’s call to close the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in 2018 presents an opportunity for
juvenile justice system stakeholders to take a hard look at which youth are committed and how those youth can be served
in ways that protect public safety, ensure positive outcomes for youth, and efficiently spend state dollars. Policy options
include raising the lowest age of juvenile court jurisdiction from age seven so that most children who need public support
are served by a youth-serving system other than the juvenile justice system, and improving coordination, access, and
accountability in the education and mental health system to ensure youth and family needs are identified and addressed
before youth become involved in the justice system. Connecticut should also narrow the other pathways that feed young
people into the adult justice system: the state should re-examine Connecticut’s transfer laws and remove youth under the
age of 18 who are transferred to adult facilities and serve them in the community or a juvenile custodial setting when
necessary. Facing a couple of years of tightening budgets, Connecticut policymakers need to carefully weigh budget cuts
to youth-serving systems that might inadvertently undermine efforts strengthen community-based approaches.

ILLINOIS:
Declining juvenile crime and a series of deliberate steps to shift the juvenile justice system towards more developmentally
appropriate juvenile justice approaches allowed Illinois to implement raise the age for 17-year-olds without justice
agencies being overwhelmed or incurring significant new costs. However, the state budget crisis and limited funds have
also meant important and proven juvenile justice approaches that are more cost-effective have not been funded to scale.
Illinois needs to pass a state budget that fully funds social services, including supports for youth diverted from
confinement settings, and expand Redeploy Illinois from the handful of counties it is in to a statewide program. When a
juvenile facility is closed, those savings from reduced confinement should be invested into more robust community-based
approaches. Illinois lawmakers should pursue automatic expungement, to reduce collateral consequences and maximize
the state economic and public safety gains of youth going through the juvenile justice system rather than the adult
system. While the state has taken significant steps to narrow other transfer pathways, there is still a need for Illinois
lawmakers to review the transfer statute and practices concerning automatic transfer to adult court, the contents and
results of discretionary transfer hearings, and application of mandatory prison sentences to minors in order to determine if
these are safe, developmentally appropriate, and effective.

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LOUISIANA:
Louisiana just passed raise the age legislation in 2016, and under the law, the change will be phased in over the next
three years. The key lesson that Louisiana policymakers should take from what was learned in Connecticut, Illinois, and
Massachusetts is that these three states saw no need to build new facilities, and actually closed several facilities where
detained or committed youth were once incarcerated. During difficult fiscal times in Louisiana, state and local
policymakers need to concentrate on advancing practice changes to expand diversion opportunities, improving probation
practices statewide, and keeping sustained focus on reducing the use of pretrial detention and secure confinement
whenever possible. If Louisiana follows the lead of the large states that raised the age and keeps its focus on improving
practices to serve youth in the community whenever possible, the state and its localities should be able to avoid more
costly confinement approaches.

MASSACHUSETTS:
The Commonwealth still prosecutes and detains a large number of low-level cases that could be handled without formal
court involvement. To further reduce young people’s justice system involvement, Massachusetts should increase and
standardize the use of pre-arrest and pre-adjudication diversion, reduce the number of youth who cross over from the
child welfare system into the juvenile justice system, and expand the use of evidence-driven tools and practices
throughout the system. Massachusetts should also continue to focus on reducing lengths of stay in out-of-home
placement.

MISSISSIPPI:
Since Mississippi lawmakers passed their raise the age law in 2010, juvenile justice system stakeholders at the state and
local level have taken some steps to divert more youth from the justice system, reduce the number of youth in pretrial and
post-adjudication confinement, and improve community supervision practices. But Mississippi policymakers need to do
more to create a juvenile justice system that is grounded in the strengths of young people, families, and communities.
Building on the work that has been advanced in communities participating in the Juvenile Detention Alternatives
Initiative, Mississippi stakeholders should address any barriers in law, policy, or practice that prevent the juvenile justice
system from serving most youth in their home communities. Modest steps taken to improve Mississippi’s juvenile justice
approach since raising the age should create an appetite for building a system that is based on best practices, uses tools to
objectively assess what a young person needs to move past delinquency, and is grounded in what research and science
indicate will help youth transition to adulthood.

NEW HAMPSHIRE:
Like other states, New Hampshire’s raise the age process was bolstered by the nationwide drop in juvenile crime, which
resulted in fewer youth being charged. This trend, along with concrete efforts in the state to prohibit detention or
commitment of youth for certain behaviors, limited the number of 17-year-olds at the state’s sole juvenile confinement
facility to around a dozen. More recently, there has been an increase in youth being detained and committed—particularly
among non-violent offense categories. In 2017, legislators are marshalling proposals to expand community-based
approaches so as to reduce reliance on detention and confinement.
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SOUTH CAROLINA:
After a year when the management of the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and its Broad River Facility has come under
scrutiny because of the tragic deaths of young people there, South Carolina needs to decentralize the DJJ system—shifting
to a model more like Missouri’s system of smaller residential facilities that are closer to a young person’s home—and
redirect more resources from the most expensive, least effective confinement options to practices that increase diversion of
young people from the justice system and bolster less expensive community-based approaches. By developing
appropriate afterschool programs, and increasing the number of social workers and mental health providers at schools,
the state should be able to better address children’s needs and reduce the number of youth referred from school to the
juvenile justice system. To help reallocate resources, state law should be changed to limit commitments and reduce the
length of stay for youth in secure evaluation centers. To route youth to the most effective interventions, help them change
their behavior, and address their needs in the least invasive way, DJJ will need to retain qualified staff that can address
young people’s mental health needs and issues related to trauma.
As states continue to move towards more developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approaches, their juvenile systems
experience reductions in arrests and confinement, which free up resources that can be reallocated outside the deep end of
the system to serve all young people more effectively.
Regardless of when legislation is passed, by adopting a more developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach,
stakeholders will be better able to successfully absorb 16- and 17-year-olds into the juvenile justice system, improve
young people’s outcomes, contain costs, and enhance public safety.

As states continue to move towards more developmentally
appropriate juvenile justice approaches, their juvenile systems
experience reductions in arrests and confinement, which free
up resources that can be reallocated outside the deep end of
the system to serve all young people more effectively.

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MOST STATES HAVE MULTIPLE TRANSFER MECHANISMS
Of the hundreds of thousands of young people under age 18 who end up under adult court jurisdiction, most are there
because the age of adult court jurisdiction for offenses (misdemeanors or felonies, or both) is either 16 or 17 years of age.
Despite statutory measures in many states that remove the vast majority of youth under age 18 from the adult system by
raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction, all states still have pathways allowing some youth who engage in certain
behaviors to be transferred to the adult system. Transfer laws vary considerably from state to state, particularly in terms of
flexibility and breadth of coverage, but fall into three basic categories: 


Judicial waiver laws allow
juvenile courts to waive jurisdiction
on a case-by-case basis, opening the
way for criminal prosecution. A case
that is subject to waiver is filed
originally in juvenile court but may
be transferred with a judge’s
approval, based on articulated
standards and following a formal
hearing. Even though all states set
minimum thresholds and prescribe
standards for waiver, ultimately, the
waiver decision is usually at the
discretion of the judge. However,
some states make waiver
presumptive in certain classes of
cases, and some even specify
circumstances under which waiver
is mandatory. There are 46 states
that have judicial waiver laws.

Prosecutorial discretion or
concurrent jurisdiction laws
define a class of cases that may be
brought in either juvenile or
criminal court. No hearing is held
to determine which court is
appropriate, and there may be no
formal standards for deciding
between them. The decision is
entrusted entirely to the
prosecutor. Twelve states and the
District of Columbia have
prosecutorial discretion or
concurrent jurisdiction laws.

Statutory exclusion /automatic
or mandatory transfer laws
grant criminal courts exclusive
jurisdiction over certain classes of
cases involving juvenile-age
offenders. These laws can apply in
states that have raised the age. If a
case falls within a statutory
exclusion category because of the
young person’s age and because
certain offenses are excluded from
the juvenile court, the case must
be filed originally in criminal court.
There are 29 states that have
statutory exclusion/automatic or
mandatory transfer laws.

Sources: Patrick Griffin, Sean Addie, Benjamin Adams, and Kathy Firestine, Trying Juveniles as Adults: An Analysis of State
Transfer Laws and Reporting (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention, 2011). Juvenile Justice GPS: Geography, Policy, Practice and Statistics, “Jurisdictional boundaries,”
January, 2017, http://www.jjgps.org/about/jurisdictional-boundaries 


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SUMMARY OF QUOTATIONS
All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.
QUOTES FOUND IN FULL REPORT (AND SUMMARY):

“If I were kept in the juvenile
system, I would’ve already
been home with a trade and
or a college degree in child
counseling, showing I can be
a good citizen in society.
Instead, I’m being labeled
and wrote off as a lost cause.”
—17-year-old in a jail in Missouri262

5 (Summary 5)

“Here’s the reality: Raise the
age resulted in a significant
decrease in the number of
cases, and today I am proud
to report that: we now have
the lowest number of
juveniles in pre-trial
detention. We now have the
lowest ever population at the
Connecticut Juvenile Training
School. The number of
inmates under the age of 18
at Manson Youth Institute is
also at its lowest ever….”
—Connecticut Governor 

Dannel P. Malloy263

7 (Summary 5)

"[Raising the age] is better for
public safety because
research conclusively shows
that consistently the juvenile
justice system does a better
job preventing recidivism
than the adult correction
system. This means in the
future, we will have fewer
crime victims and less money
spent on incarceration.”
—Louisiana Governor 

John Bel Edwards264

8

“It was pretty scary really,
only a year ago at the age of
17 I went to court than went
to jail. I didn’t think that it
would be all too bad, but for
a 17-year-old it’s mentally
and emotionally draining.”
—A young person exposed to the adult
system in Missouri265

10

“Although about 18,000
misdemeanor arrests were
moved from adult to juvenile
court in 2010, the total
number of youth in the
juvenile system actually
dropped due to decreases in
overall crime and juvenile
arrests, as well as increased
use of diversion options.”
—Illinois Juvenile Justice
Commission268

“In 2007, Rhode Island
lowered its upper age of
juvenile jurisdiction to 16 as a
cost-saving measure, then
four months later changed it
back to 17 after finding out
that criminal justice was not
less expensive than juvenile
justice. Now, it seems evident
that the tide is changing in
favor of returning 16- and 17year-olds to juvenile court
jurisdiction.”

18

—Dr. Melissa Sickmund, Director of 

The National Center for Juvenile
Justice, The Research Division of 

The National Council of Juvenile 

and Family Court Judges266

21

16

“We’re trying to intercept kids
before they get involved with
the courts. We don’t want it to
be the case that youth have
to get arrested before they
get help. We need to build
some viable off-ramps from
the highway to the juvenile
justice system.”
– Elvin Gonzalez,Family Diversion
Administrator of the Berrien County
Trial Court, Michigan267

17

“While I can’t claim
innocence, far from it in fact, I
found myself having become
a victim of the system. My
only ‘help’ came from two
juvenile probation officers.
Their advice was to ‘tell them
(police) what they want to
know.’”
—17-year-old, Missouri269

“By increasing probation’s
ability to access interventions
that have been demonstrated
in research to be effective
with the high-risk juvenile
probation population,
probation can reduce future
delinquency and crime,
detention, placement, and
incarceration.”
—New York State Office of Probation and
Correctional Services270

23

Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

“Some of these kids need to
get the hell out of my office
and we need to not touch
them because all
government touches, just like
all social services touches,
aren’t good touches. They
almost all have unintended
side effects.”
—Vincent Schiraldi, former
Commissioner, New York City
Department of Probation271

23

“The data coming out of
Texas showed us, for the first
time, how much better kids
do closer to home. It also
showed us that additional
investment in probation and
treatment alone doesn’t
translate into reduced
recidivism among youth
under community
supervision. We need to
make sure the services and
supports we provide youth in
the community are grounded
in the latest research. ”
—Susan Burke, Utah’s Director of
Juvenile Justice Services272

24

Question: What is/was your
experience as a 17-year old in
the adult system? 

“My experience in adult
prison is a very mental
straining experience. Having
to worry about not getting
taken advantage of, set up,
physically abused is a very
scary thought. I do not have
the mentality that most of
these women have to know
how to survive in prison.”
—A 17-year-old, in a Missouri jail273

“When more states keep
youth from being
unnecessarily confined to
access treatment, everyone
benefits. Rather than
burdening overstretched
systems, we can strengthen
them while better providing
for kids, families and
communities.”
–Joseph J. Cocozza, Ph.D., Founder and
Former Director, National Center for
Mental Health and Juvenile Justice274

26

“If you only have a hammer,
you see every problem as a
nail. Given the disproportionately high number of
juveniles who enter the
system with an unmet mental
health need, states and local
jurisdictions must change the
tools they make available to
supervising juvenile
probation officers.”
–Erin Espinosa, Ph.D., Research
Associate, Texas Institute for Excellence
in Mental Health in the School of
Social Work at The University of Texas
at Austin275

27

“The state's detention centers
are a revolving door. It's clear
that our current system is
putting too many juveniles on
a path to becoming career
criminals. It's expensive, it's
not working, and it's time to
change.”
– Former Police Chief Lloyd Perkins
Skaneateles, New York, former
President of the New York State
Association of Chiefs of Police276

29

“I think that the research has
shown that it's better for the
young people to be in
smaller facilities that are
closer to the communities in
which they live.…The less like
a prison you can make the
detention for the young
people, the better off they
are.…You don't want the
Juvenile Temporary Center to
be a pipeline to the
Department of Corrections.”
—Cook County Board President 

Toni Preckwinkle277

31

“We know that many of us
made mistakes as kids, but
most of us were in forgiving
environments. Once a kid is
labeled a criminal, it is very
difficult for him or her to
escape the stigma and to
reach his or her full potential.
It does not make sense to
treat all 16- and 17-year-olds
as adults when the science
and our own common sense
tells us that that is too early.”
–Roy L. Austin, Jr.,former Deputy
Assistant to the President, Office of
Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity,
Domestic Policy Council278

32 (Summary 5)

“When we lock up a child, not
only are we wasting millions
of taxpayer dollars, we’re
setting him or her up for
failure in the long run. The
system as it exists now is
unfair to everyone involved
and needs to be changed.”
– Senator Christopher Murphy 

(D-Connecticut)279

33

25 (Summary 5)

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“Raising the age will not
require new detention or
youth incarceration facilities.”
—Illinois Juvenile Justice
Commission280

35 (Summary 5)

“County juvenile detention
centers and state juvenile
incarceration facilities were
not overrun, as some had
feared. Instead, one
detention center and two
state incarceration facilities
have been closed, and
excess capacity is still the
statewide norm.”
—Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission,
February 26, 2013281

39 (Summary 5)

“The Division of Juvenile
Justice already has produced
cost savings of over $44
million that can be used to pay
for raise the age.”
—North Carolina Commission on the
Administration of Law and Justice
Committee on Criminal Investigation
and Adjudication

44, 45

“Raising the age of juvenile
jurisdiction furthered the
Commonwealth’s efforts to
comply with the federal
Prison Rape Elimination Act
(PREA). This law requires
courts and facilities to
provide sight and sound
separation between adults
and juveniles in order to
protect young people under
the age of eighteen from
possible rape and sexual
assault in adult holding cells
and prisons. 


Costly construction and
staffing changes in the adult
facilities were not needed in
Massachusetts because of
the shift of youth under 18 to
the juvenile system.”
—Annual Report, Massachusetts
Department of Youth Services
(2015)282

49 (Summary 5)

“My staff tries hard, but adult
jails cannot prepare 17-yearolds for success. Outside,
these kids are juniors in high
school. We don’t offer a high
school education in the jail.
Our staff is not equipped to
manage the unique needs of
adolescents. And most of the
offenders we house have
been through the system
before—they are not the right
peers for 17-year-oldchildren.”
– Sheriff Mike Neustrom and 

Director of Corrections Rob Reardon,
Lafayette Parish283

50 (Summary 5)

“Raising the age of juvenile
jurisdiction would provide 

long-term cost savings to
counties struggling to
comply with the federal
Prison Rape Elimination Act.”
—The Sheriffs of Brazos, Dallas, and
Harris Counties, Texas284

51

“By minimizing interventions
for low-risk youth, juvenile
justice systems will avoid the
costly and harmful mistake of
over-intervening with youth
who, with limited systems
involvement, will likely age
out of their delinquent
behavior on their own, and do
so without much, if any,
further impact on public
safety. Fewer interventions for
low-risk youth also mean
more resources can be
devoted to the supervision
and services for young people
at higher risk for reoffending.”
–Council of State Governments 

Justice Center286

58

“Help us, our lives matter.
This is not the way to teach
us juveniles a lesson. This is
not what you call justice.”
—17-year-old, in a Missouri jail287

67

“Our current system of
charging youth as adults has
been proven to reduce public
safety. And yet New York
remains one of two states
that automatically charges
16-year-olds as adults.…The
legislature needs to do more
to protect our communities
by passing comprehensive
legislation to raise the age in
the coming session.”
—Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley 288

"What we have found is that
changing the culture in the
building [i.e., implementing
risk/needs assessment
tools], they already know that
we aren't going to bring
certain kids into detention.”
—Henry Upshaw, Adams County
Juvenile Detention Center
Administrator, Mississippi285

57

77 of 95

68


Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

QUOTES FOUND ONLY IN EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: 

“We’re going to focus on
real, bipartisan approaches
to criminal justice reform. We
began this critical work in
2016 with the passage of the
Raise the Age Act. Before
this law passed through our
legislature with bipartisan
support, 17 year olds who
committed delinquent acts
were automatically tried as
adults. Because of Raise the
Age, young people can now
be held accountable for their
actions in age-appropriate
settings.”

“Raise the age did not create
the backlash that some
claimed it would.”
—Jeff Bradley, Juvenile Justice Project
Manager and Government Affairs
Liaison for the Illinois Collaboration
on Youth and former State’s
Attorney 290

(Summary 4, 5)

—Louisiana Governor John Bel
Edwards289

(Summary 5)

78 of 95

ENDNOTES
1

All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.

Carmen Daugherty, State Trends: Updates from the 2013-2014 Legislative Session (Washington, D.C.: The Campaign for Youth
Justice, 2015).
2

3“A

recent national survey of prosecutors estimated that about 27,000 cases involving offenders under the age of 18 were
prosecuted in felony criminal courts in 1996 (DeFrances & Steadman, 1998). Their estimate, however, did not include youth
under 18 who were tried as adults in states that had excluded 16- and 17-year-olds from the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
Sickmund, Snyder, and Poe-Yamagata (1997) estimate that an additional 180,000 criminal cases (felony and misdemeanor) were
tried in adult criminal courts in states that have reduced the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction below 18. The combined
estimates put the number of youth under 18 who are tried annually as adults at over 200,000.” See, Jennifer L. Woorlard, Candice
Odgers, Lonn Lanza-Kaduce and Hayley Daglis, “Juveniles with Adult Correctional Settings: Legal Pathways and Development
Considerations” International Journal of Forensic Mental Health 4, no. 1 (2005): 1-18.
4

Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Press Release. “Gov. Malloy’s Prepared Remarks Today on Criminal Justice Reform,”
November 6, 2015, http://portal.ct.gov/en/Office-of-the-Governor/Press-Room/Press-Releases/2015/11-2015/Gov-MalloysPrepared-Remarks-Today-on-Criminal-Justice-Reform
In Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences
(NAS) said that raising the age is part and parcel of the kind of developmentally appropriate juvenile justice approach that all
youth justice systems need to be moving towards. The NAS stated, “[d]evelopmental science strongly reinforces the longstanding legal tradition of holding juveniles accountable in a separate juvenile justice system” (page 133) and, “in addition, much
has been learned about the pathways to delinquency and patterns of offending, the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of prevention
and treatment programs, and the long-term effects of confining youth in secure or harsh conditions and transferring them into the
adult system” (page 15). The experts convened by the NAS also found that the juvenile justice approaches profiled in this report
would help achieve the goals of reducing young people’s recidivism, help youth transition to adulthood, keep young people
safe, and deliver these services in a more cost-effective manner. On the need to expand the use of diversion, the NAS said, “six
[diversion] program models meant to limit the penetration of adolescent offenders into the juvenile justice system have benefits
that substantially exceed costs. The benefits per participant of adolescent diversion are about $51,000 greater than the
costs.” (page 22) On the need to make probation and aftercare approaches more effective, the NAS stated that “[e]very aspect of
the justice system’s interaction with the adolescent—from a street encounter with a police officer through intake, petition,
adjudication, disposition, and discharge from court supervision—should be viewed through a developmental lens. Throughout the
process, juvenile justice professionals affect the youth’s legal socialization and moral development through their demeanor, their
framing of the legal situation, and their interactions with the youth and family” (page 210). On the need to address young
people’s mental health needs outside the deep end of the system, the NAS said, “treatment is the juvenile justice system’s very
reason for being. An industry of treatment providers has emerged to support this treatment mission by delivering therapeutic
interventions to address family conflict, cognitive deficits, drug abuse, and mental health issues, including a growing number of
programs that are now supported by high-quality evaluation evidence” (page 20). On the need to reduce the use of pretrial
detention, the NAS said, “if detention or custodial placement is ordered, the experience of a loss of freedom can have a
penetrating impact on the identity and self-image of the youth” and, “alarmed by the number of youth being detained, the
deplorable conditions and the troubling effects of detention on youth (e.g., isolation, increased levels of violence, suicides, lack of
services), the Annie E. Casey Foundation initiated in 1992 the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)…. The chief goals of
the initiative are to reduce detention and to use the detention process as a lever for broader system-wide reforms” (page 210). On
the need to reduce reliance on facilities and focus resources on community-based approaches, the NAS said, “a growing body of
evidence, including comprehensive benefit-cost analyses, indicated that some community-based programs were effective at
reducing recidivism—and at a much lower cost that incarceration. In combination, these factors have contributed to a new wave of
policy initiatives and to a rethinking of juvenile justice policy.” (page 42). On the need to improve the juvenile justice system’s
management of resources and strengthen strategies to serve young people more effectively, the NAS stated, “using risk/needs
assessments at critical points can reduce idiosyncratic decision making and maximize the impact of resources by targeting them
to the risk level of each offender. Whatever the specific mechanism, the appropriate focusing of more intense (and costly)
interventions on higher risk adolescents produces a greater reduction in subsequent offending and limits the negative effects of
unwarranted intensive intervention on less serious offenders” (page 5) and, “[risk/need assessment] methods, if built into an
ongoing system of readministration and monitoring of services, hold considerable promise for assessing whether an adolescent
offender has received appropriate services and whether intermediate goals of the interventions have been met” (page 146). On
the need to keep young people safe by complying with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), the NAS said, “the [Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act’s] core requirements reflect key normative principles underlying developmentally
appropriate policies and practice: … the requirement of ‘sight and sound separation’ from adults and removal from adult jails
reflect the idea that youth are vulnerable and should not be subject to punitive and potentially harmful conditions of
incarceration” (page 8). See, Bonnie J. Richard et al., Reforming Juvenile Justice A Developmental Approach (Washington D.C.,
The National Academies Press, 2013).
5

Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

6Because

South Carolina and Louisiana’s legislative changes were made in 2016, there is not yet full fiscal year data to show
whether the estimated costs associated with raising the age actually were spent.
“Louisiana should raise the age to 18 for prosecution as an adult: Editorial,” The Times Picayunne, April 27, 2016, http://
www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/04/raise_the_age_juvenile.html.
7

“Research shows that prosecuting youth as adults increases recidivism by as much as 34%.” See, United States Department of
Health and Human Services, “Effects on Violence of Laws and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Youth from the Juvenile to the
Adult Justice System: A Report on Recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services", U.S. Dept. of Health
and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), MMWR 2007;
56 [No. RR-9]: 1-11 (Nov. 30, 2007), http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr5609.pdf.
8

9

“Research shows that prosecuting youth as adults increases recidivism by as much as 34%.” See, United States Department of
Health and Human Services, “Effects on Violence of Laws and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Youth from the Juvenile to the
Adult Justice System: A Report on Recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services", U.S. Dept. of Health
and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), MMWR 2007;
56 [No. RR-9]: 1-11 (Nov. 30, 2007), http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr5609.pdf.
10

Id., 14

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Effects on Violence of Laws and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Youth from the
Juvenile to the Adult Justice System: A Report on Recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services,
MMWR, November 30, 2007, vol. 56, no. RR-9.
11

See also, N.A., National Prison Rape Elimination Commission, Report 18 (Washington D.C.: United States Congress, 2009).
http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/226680.pdf.
12

Marc Schindler, Amanda Petteruti, and Jason Ziedenberg. Sticker Shock: The full price-tage for youth incarceration.
(Washington, D.C.: Justice Policy Institute, 2014). Also see, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Effects on Violence of
Laws and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Youth from the Juvenile to the Adult Justice System: A Report on Recommendations
of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, MMWR, November 30, 2007, vol. 56, no. RR-9.
13

Mark Soler and Lisa M. Garry, Reducing Disproportionate Minority Contact: Preparation at the Local Level (Washington, D.C.:
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, 2009).
14

15

Connecticut’s population of 10- to 17-year-olds is 199,766, which is made up of 12 percent Black, 72 percent white and 16
percent Hispanic/Latino youth; Connecticut’s youth justice population is 47 percent Black, 17.5 percent white, and 30 percent
Hispanic/Latino. Illinois’ population of 10- to 17-year-olds is 729,541, which is made up of 17 percent Black, 64 percent white,
and 19 percent Hispanic/Latino youth; Illinois’ youth justice population is 66 percent Black, 20 percent white, and 14 percent
Hispanic/Latino. Massachusetts’ population of 10- to 17-year-olds is 338,333, which is made up of nine percent Black, 77 percent
white, and 14 percent Hispanic/Latino youth; Massachusetts’ youth justice population is 34 percent Black, 24 percent white, and
36 percent Hispanic/Latino. Suburban Stats, “Population Demographics for Massachusetts in 2016” (2016). https://
suburbanstats.org/population/how-many-people-live-in-massachusetts; Suburban Stats, “Population Demographics for
Connecticut in 2016” (2016). https://suburbanstats.org/population/how-many-people-live-in-connecticut; Suburban Stats,
“Population Demographics for Illinois in 2016” (2016). https://suburbanstats.org/population/how-many-people-live-in-illinois;
N.A., Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) 2014 Annual Report (Boston, Massachusetts: Department of Youth
Services, 2014, pg.7); N.A. Facts and Figures on Connecticut’s Juvenile Justice System (Hartford, Connecticut: Office of Policy and
Management, 2015); N.A. July 2016 Monthly Youth Profile (Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, 2016).
Suburban Stats, “Population Demographics for Massachusetts in 2016” (2016).
16

“Despite the overall reduction of incarcerated youth, much higher percentages of youth of color remain under formal
supervision and in state secure facilities.” See, Antonette Davis, Angela Irvine, and Jason Ziedenbeg, Using Bills and Budgets to
Further Reduce Youth Incarceration (Oakland, California: National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2014).
17

All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.

18

C.W. Harlow, Education and Correctional Populations (Washington, D.C.: Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs,
Bureau of Justice Statistics, Education and Correctional Populations, 2003).
The American Bar Association has established a nationwide database that is comprised of 40,000 collateral consequences of a
criminal conviction that prevent ex-offenders from leading normal lives after they leave the system. N.A., National Inventor of the
Collateral Consequences of Conviction (Washington D.C.: The American Bar Association). http://
www.abacollateralconsequences.org/.
19

Richard E. Redding, Juvenile Transfer Laws: An Effective Deterrent to Delinquency? Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Problems: Juvenile Justice Bulletin 7 (June 2010), https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/220595.pdf.
20

21

Melissa Sickmund, “Which State Will Be the Last to ‘Raise the Age?,”

Juvenile Justice Exchange, May 29, 2014, http://jjie.org/2014/05/29/which-state-will-be-the-last-to-raise-the-age/.

80 of 95

Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

N.A. “Berrien County, MI, Expands Training, Collaboration around Juvenile Justice,” The Council of State Governments Justice
Center, September 17, 2015. https://csgjusticecenter.org/youth/posts/berrien-county-mi-expands-training-collaboration-aroundjuvenile-justice/
22

23

N.A., Statistical Briefing Book: Juvenile Arrests (Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2014)

Emily Haney-Caron, “Diversion programs can help keep youth out of ‘the system” by preventing arrests,’ Juvenile Law Center,
April 15, 2016.
24

Labeling theory is a predictor of future delinquency based on the notion that a label can lead to increased deviancy. This leads
to deviance in two arenas: one is the self-image of an individual that can affect personal identity and steer the person towards
acts of delinquency; secondly, the external forces of how society will respond to a label may cause future criminal activity. See, A
Akiva M. Liberman, David S. Kirk, and Kideuk Kim, Labeling Effects of First Juvenile Arrests: Secondary Deviance and Secondary
Sanctioning (Washington D.C.: Urban Institute, 2014).
25

26

Frazier, C.E. and Cochran, J.K., “Detention of Juveniles: Its Effects on Subsequent Juvenile Court Processing and Decisions,”
Youth and Society 17, no.3 (1986): 286-305.
27

“When controlling for campus and individual student characteristics, the data revealed that a student who was suspended or
expelled for a discretionary violation was nearly three times as likely to be in contact with the juvenile justice system the following
year.” See, N.A., Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile
Justice Involvement (New York, NY: The Council of State Governments, 2011).
Greg Frost, “Pre-Arrest Diversion – An Effective Model Ready for Widespread Adoption,” Official Blog of the International
Association of Chiefs of Police, June 17, 2016.
28

N.A., Guide to Developing Pre-Adjudication Diversion Policy and Practice in Pennsylvania (Chicago, IL: MacArthur Foundation:
Models for Change, 2010).
29

30The

study uses the estimated cost savings range of $1,467 to $4,614 in savings for each civil citation issued, based on a 2011
study by Florida TaxWatch Center for Smart Justice—Expansion of Civil Citation Programs Statewide Would Save Taxpayers Tens of
Millions of Dollars and Improve Public Safety—that showed a range of taxpayer savings from $44 million to $139 million annually.
The range accounts for youth being diverted before being processed through the entire criminal justice system. A 2012 study by
the same organization—Modern Management and Sensible Savings—found diversion programs like civil citations can reduce the
prison population by 10 percent and save taxpayers up to $72 million each year. Another cost savings study in 2010 by
Associated Industries of Florida—Getting Smart on Juvenile Crime in Florida: Taking it to the Next Level—places the cost of
processing youth through the criminal justice system at $5,000 and the cost of issuing one civil citation $386. See, Stepping Up
Florida s Top Civil Citation Efforts (St. Petersburg, Florida: Dewey & Associates, 2015). http://deweyandassociates.com/
Stepping%20Up%20Florida's%20Top%20Civil%20Citation%20Efforts%207%2009%2015.pdf.
31

N.A., Measurable Progress Series: Redeploy Illinois (Chicago, IL: MacArthur Foundation: Models for Change, 2012).

N.A., Redeploy Illinois: Annual Report to the Governor and the General Assembly – Fiscal Year & Calendar Year 2014
(Springfield, IL: State of Illinois Department of Human Services, 2016).
32

Ogle County’s Front-End Diversion program is a pre-adjudication strategy which improves mental health screenings and law
enforcement data systems to address underlying issues of delinquency to avoid unnecessary justice contact. Since
implementation, 70 percent of the program’s participants have avoided deeper involvement in the system. See, N.A., Measurable
Progress: A Summary of Illinois Juvenile Justice Reforms 2005 – 2012 (Chicago, IL: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur
Foundation, 2012)
33

34

Peoria County’s pre-arrest Community Conferencing Diversion approach is a restorative justice model that led to a 35 percent
reduction in school-based referrals, 43 percent of whom were African American youth. Jason Szanyi, Partnering with Schools to
Reduce Juvenile Justice Referrals (Chicago, IL: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 2012).
35

“Raising the Age Fact Sheet, Recommendation to Extend Juvenile Court Jurisdiction to Include 17-Year-Olds Charged with
Felony Offenses,” Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, April 2013, http://ijjc.illinois.gov/publications/raising-age-fact-sheet.
Bracey, Jeana R., Geib, Catherine Foley, Plant, Robert, O’Leary, Julia R., Anderson, Abby, Herscovitch, Lara, O’Connell, Maria,
and Vanderploeg, Jeffrey J, “Connecticut’s Comprehensive Approach to Reducing In-School Arrests: Changes in Statewide
Policy, Systems Coordination and School Practices,” Family Court Review, 51, no.3 (2013): 427-434. http://
www.modelsforchange.net/publications/603.
36

An Act Concerning Collaboration Between Boards of Education and School Resource Officers and the Collection of and
Reporting of School Based Arrests. Public Act No. 15-168. (2015).
37

38

Lael Chester and Vincent Schiraldi. Public Safety and Emerging Adults in Connecticut: Providing Effective and
Developmentally Appropriate Responses for Youth Under Age 21. (Boston, MA: Harvard Kennedy School Malcolm Wiener
Center for Social Policy Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, 2016).

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

39

Ibid.

40

Volunteers for Youth Justice, 2015 Annual Report. https://www.vyjla.org/files/2013/12/2015-VYJ-ANNUAL-REPORTemail.pdf.

Louisiana HCR 73 Study, Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction. A Legislated Study of Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction
in Louisiana. The future of 17-year-olds in the Louisiana Justice System (Baton Rouge, LA: The Institute for Public Health and
Justice at the Louisiana State University’s Health Science Center, 2016).
41

N.A., Interim Report Criminal Investigation and Adjudication Committee (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Commission on the
Administration of Law and Justice, 2016 Pg 4).
42

43A
44

“complaint” is behavior that results in the setting of a new juvenile court date . Id., 5

Stephanie Kollmann, Raising the Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction in Illinois [webinar, National

Conference of State Legislatures, Feb. 19, 2016].
45

Mississippi State Code Ann. § 43-21-151; 105; 157; 159; 401; 555; 605

46

Personal communication, Scott A. Odum, Deputy Director, Division of Youth Services, Thursday, February 8th. 2017.

47

Kristen Staley and Michelle Weemhoff, There’s No Place like Home. Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency (Lansing,
Michigan: Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2012). See http://miccd.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/No-PlaceLike-Home-MCCD2013.pdf.
48

N.A., Do More Good: A Progress Report from the NYC Department of Probation (New York, NY: New York City Department of
Probation, 2013)
49

Tony Fabelo et al., Closer to Home: An Analysis of the State and Local Impact of the Texas Juvenile Justice Reforms (New York,
NY: The Council of State Governments, January 2015). See also, N.A., Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study of How School
Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement (New York, NY: The Council of State Governments,
2011).
50

All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Programs, “Juvenile Court Statistics 2013,” 2013, https://
www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/njcda/pdf/jcs2013.pdf.
51

52

“Without quality aftercare—the kind of post-release supervision, services and supports that young people need to make safe and
successful transitions out of residential placement facilities and back to their home communities—the estimated 100,000 young
people leaving juvenile institutions each year face failure, recidivism, and more incarceration. Unfortunately, quality aftercare is in
short supply nationally.” See, Models for Change, “Aftercare,” http://www.modelsforchange.net/about/Issues-for-change/
Aftercare.html.
An analysis from Ohio showed that youth who presented with the least serious behavior and who were assessed to be most
amenable to being at home had recidivism rates of under 20 percent—much lower than the rates for young people sent to state
run-facilities: low- medium-risk youth had recidivism rates of eight and 18 percent, respectively, when they were in the
community. Even among those young people who had more challenging backgrounds—either they were convicted of a more
serious offense, had deeper involvement in the system, or were assessed to have higher risk or needs—the youth placed in
community programs had lower recidivism rates than those youth placed in state-run or community corrections facilities: 37
percent of high-risk Ohio youth placed in community programs recidivated as opposed to 47 percent of comparable youth
placed in secure facilities and over 50 percent of comparable youth placed in community corrections facilities. The study
consisted of a multivariate analysis, conducted to account for multiple factors of recidivism; these included prior adjudication
history, race, sex, educational status, family structure, age at first adjudication, and the length of stay or program enrollment.
Recidivism was defined as reconviction, recommitment, or all indicators, including rearrest. See, Christopher Lownkamp and
Edward Latessa, Evaluation of Ohio’s RECLAIM funded programs, community corrections facilities and DYS facilities (Cincinnati,
OH: University of Cincinnati Division of Criminal Justice Center for Criminal Justice Research, 2005).
53

“In a review of six comprehensive aftercare programs that prepare juveniles for reentry into the community, researchers found
that aftercare is a promising program concept designed to minimize recidivism among youths released from out-of-home
placement. The research found limited evidence that suggests a positive influence of aftercare on participant youth. In another
setting, the Thomas O’Farrell Youth Center (TOYC) program revealed promising results (Krisberg 1992). Using a pretest–posttest
design, the researchers found that of the first 56 TOYC graduates the majority (55 percent) had no further court referrals in the
year following release (11.6 months), for a recidivism rate of 45 percent.” See, N.A., Development Services Group, Inc., Aftercare/
Reentry: Literature Review (Washington, DC: U.S. Justice Department, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention, 2010).
54

55

“Probation supervision appears to have a minimal impact on recidivism.” See, J. Bonita, T. Scott, G. Bourgon and A. Yessine,
“Exploring the black box of community supervision.” Juvenile of Offender Rehabilitation, 47, (2008): 248-270.

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Bishop, Steven. “NYC Department of Probation: An Overview.” Presentation, New York City Department of Probation, New
York, New York, n.d.
56

Steven Bishop, “NYC Department of Probation: An Overview,” Presentation, New York City Department of Probation, New York,
New York, n.d.
57

Richard A. Mendel, Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment have Improved Public Safety
and Outcomes for Youth (Washington, D.C.: Justice Policy Institute, 2013)
58

Caddo, Calcasieu, Jefferson, Rapides, 16th Judicial District Court and the 4th Judicial District Court reported have worked to
improve their community supervision approach. N.A., “Effective Tools for Local/State Probation Offices,” Innovation Brief, Models
for Change (LSUHSC Institute for Public Health and Justice, December 2014). http://www.modelsforchange.net/publications/
668.
59

60

Ibid.

61

Ibid.

62

Raise-the-Age: A Common-Sense Plan for Safer Communities: include 17-Year-Olds in Juvenile Court (New Orleans, LA: The
Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition, 2016).
63

N.A. “Juvenile Risk Intervention Services Coordination Summary 2008-2010,” Office of Probation and Correctional Alternatives,
http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/opca/pdfs/jrisc2008-2010annualsummaryattachment.pdf.
64

Angela Irving, Antoinette Davis and Jason Zidenberg, Supervision Strategies for Justice-Involved Youth (Oakland, CA: National
Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2014).
65

N.A. Commission on Youth, Public Safety, & Justice, Recommendations for Juvenile Justice Reform in New York State. https://
www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/ReportofCommissiononYouthPublicSafetyandJustice_0.pdf.
66

The counties include Dutchess, Monroe, Niagra, Onodage, Orange, Oswego, and Schenectady

67

Ibid.

N.A., Do More Good: A Progress Report from the NYC Department of Probation (New York, NY: New York City Department of
Probation, 2013).
68

Schiraldi, Vincent. “NYC Department of Probation: An Overview.” PowerPoint, Vera Institute of Justice, New York City, 2013,
Slide 3.
69

70

Id., 7

In FY 2016, New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services reported that 12 percent of direct court admissions to secure
detention and 29 percent of youth admitted to non-secure detention were directly admitted there by the courts because of a
probation violation. N.A. New York City Administration for Children’s Services Detention Demographic Data Fiscal Year Report –
Fiscal Year 2016. (New York, New York: Administration for Children’s Services, 2016). “Non-Secure Detention (NSD) group homes
house up to 12 youth, offering supportive, home-like environments and close supervision. ACS manages a network of NSD
group homes in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. The agency operates two homes while others are operated by
non-profit organizations contracted and overseen by ACS.” See, Administration for Children’s Services, “Non-Secure Detention,”
January 2017. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/acs/justice/non-secure-detention.page
71

72

“Agreement Aims to Stymie School-to-Prison Pipeline,” The Associated Press, June 22, 2015, http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/
news/2015/jun/22/agreement-aims-stymie-school-prison-pipeline/
73

JDAI poised to expand throughout Missouri. (Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation, October, 2010).

Tony Fabelo et al., Closer to Home: An Analysis of the State and Local Impact of the Texas Juvenile Justice Reforms (New York,
NY: The Council of State Governments, January 2015).
74

N.A, Georgia’s 2013 Juvenile Reform: New Policies to Reduce Secure Confinement, Costs, and Recidivism Issue Brief (The Pew
Charitable Trust, 2013). http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs/content-level_pages/reports/
georgia20201320juvenile20justice20reform20summary20briefjuly2013pdf.pdf
75

76

N.A. Support Senate Bill 1560. (Springfield, IL: Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, 2015).

N.A., 2015 Annual Report (Springfield, IL: Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, 2015), see also for 2004 figure, N.A., 2014
Annual Report (Springfield, IL: Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, 2014).
77

78

Lyon Elizabeth and Spath Robin. Court Involved Girls in Connecticut. (West Hartford, CT: University of Connecticut School of
Social Work, March 2002).

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Richard Mendel, Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How collaboration and commitment have improved public safety and
outcomes for you (Washington, DC: Justice Policy Institute, 2013).
79

80

Id.

N.A. “50 State Teams Gather to Develop Plans for Improving Youth Outcomes in Each State Juvenile Justice System,” The
Council of State Governments Justice Center, November 10, 2015, https://csgjusticecenter.org/youth/posts/juvenile-justiceforum/.
81

82

All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.

83

N.A., Mental Health Facts Children and Teens (Alexandria, VA: National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2014)

Fred Meservey and Kathleen Skowyra, Caring for Youth with Mental Health Needs in the Juvenile Justice System: Improving
Knowledge and Skills (Delmar NY: National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, 2015)
84

85

N.A., Mental Health Facts Children and Teens (Alexandria, VA: National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2014)

86

“States dictate much of how federal dollars get spent in their states, but funding for juvenile justice alternatives does exist
through the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, Title IV-E, waivers and Medicaid. Juvenile justice systems should
collaborate with other systems that are also serving justice-involved young people, such as child welfare, education and mental
health agencies to pool resources. This could mean combining city, county, state, and federal funds to establish a funding source
to develop a robust neighborhood approach to serving all young people safely in the community. It could also mean tapping
into available funding sources for young people in multiple systems.” See, Beyond Bars: Keeping Young People Safe at Home
and Out of Youth Prisons. (Washington, D.C.: The National Collaboration for Youth, 2016).
Joseph J. Cocozza, Ph.D., “Reform Efforts Improving Metal Health Services and Coordination for Youth,” Models for Change
Newsroom, August 18, 2009, www.modelsforchange.net/newsroom/110.
87

Case-managers are specialized juvenile probation officers that have no more than 15 cases at a time and are trained in
motivational interviewing, family engagement, crisis intervention, and behavioral health management, but still act in the preadjudication realm on the continuum.
88

National Institute of Justice, “Program Profile: Front-End Diversion Initiative,” June 2014. https://www.crimesolutions.gov/
ProgramDetails.aspx?ID=357
89

90

This is a post-adjudication program that supervises youth with mental health issues outside of the deep end of the system,
avoiding further contact with the justice system.
91

Vicki Spriggs, Overview of the Special Needs Diversionary Program for Mentally ill Juvenile Offenders, (Austin, TX: Texas
Juvenile Probation Commission, 2010).
92

B.A. Stroul and R.M. Friedman, Effective strategies for expanding the system of care approach. A report on the study of
strategies for expanding systems of care. (Atlanta, GA: ICF Macro, 2011)
93

Texas System of Care Map, “Texas System of Care, Achieving Well-Being for Children and Youth,” November, 2016. http://
www.txsystemofcare.org/texas-system-of-care-map/
94

B. Stroul, S. Pires, S. Boyce, A. Krivelyova, and C. Walrath, Issue Brief: Return on investment in systems of care for children with
behavioral health challenges. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, National
Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health, 2015).
B.A. Stroul and R.M. Friedman, Effective strategies for expanding the system of care approach. A report on the study of
strategies for expanding systems of care. (Atlanta, GA: ICF Macro, 2011)
95

Erin Espinosa, Ph.D., “Alternatives for justice-involved youth with mental health needs finally start to appear,” JJIE, April 11,
2016, http://jjie.org/2016/04/11/finally-alternatives-for-justice-involved-youth-with-mental-health-needs/.
96

Wayne County, “Child & Family Services of Wayne County,”n.d., https://www.acgov.org/probation/documents/
WayneCountyReforms.pdf
97

Kristen Staley and Michelle Weemhoff, There’s No Place like Home. Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency (Lansing,
Michigan: Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2012). See http://miccd.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/No-PlaceLike-Home-MCCD2013.pdf.
98

99

“Federal Medicaid has been tapped to pay for clinical services delivered by Juvenile Assessment Center, which has been
credentialed and enrolled as a provider with the D-WC- CMH Agency. All services paid for through Medicaid reduce costs to the
juvenile justice system.” See, N.A., Juvenile Services Reform in Wayne County, Michigan (Detroit, Michigan: Children and Family
Services—Wayne County, 2011). https://www.acgov.org/probation/documents/WayneCountyReforms.pdf

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Youth in Berrien County would have access to such services as the County Court’s Family Division. This strategy involves
partnerships with law enforcement, mental health services, and welfare agencies to provide collaborative case management for
youth to treat their issues outside of the criminal justice system. In 2015, the county established the Mental Health Navigator
program, through which law enforcement identify youth with mental health issues and connect them with a navigator—a local
volunteer that has received more than 40 hours of training on community mental health resources. The navigator connects the
family with services based on the youth’s individualized case. CSG Justice Center, “Berrien County, MI, Expands Training,
Collaboration Around Juvenile Justice,” September 2015. https://csgjusticecenter.org/youth/posts/berrien-county-mi-expandstraining-collaboration-around-juvenile-justice/.
100

101

N.A., Wraparound Milwaukee: 2015 Year End Report (Milwaukee, WI: Wraparound Milwaukee, 2015). http://
wraparoundmke.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2015-Annual-Report.pdf
102

Id., 16

103

“A combination of state and county agencies, including the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, the County’s Delinquency
and Court Services, and the State Division of Heath Care Financing who operates Medicaid, provide funding for the system.
Funds from these agencies are pooled to create maximum flexibility and a sufficient funding source to meet the comprehensive
needs of the families served. Part of the County’s Behavioral Health Division, Wraparound Milwaukee oversees the management
and disbursements of those funds acting as a public care management entity.” See, Wraparound Milwaukee: One Child, One
Plan. http://wraparoundmke.com
104

William Kates, “Group Says NY Juvenile Justice System Broken, Costs Too Much,” Newsday, November 1, 2007.

105M.

Sickmund, T.J. Sladky, W. Kang, and C. Puzzanchera, "Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement,"
2015, http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/.
106

Barry Holman & Jason Ziedenberg, The Dangers of Detention: the Impact of Incarcerating Youth in Detention and Other
Secure Facilities (Washington, D.C.: Justice Policy Institute, 2006).
107

Ibid.

108

Ibid.

109

National Juvenile Defender Center, “The Harms of Juvenile Detention,” October 2016, http://njdc.info/wp-content/uploads/
2016/10/Harms-of-Detention-NJDC-3.pdf
110

N.A., Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative – Progress Report 2014 (Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2014)

111

Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Pretrial Criminal Justice Research, November 2013, http://www.arnoldfoundation.org/wpcontent/uploads/2014/02/LJAF-Pretrial-CJ-Research-brief_FNL.pdf
112

National Juvenile Defender Center, “The Harms of Juvenile Detention,” October 2016, http://njdc.info/wp-content/uploads/
2016/10/Harms-of-Detention-NJDC-3.pdf
113

Richard Mendel, Beyond Detention: System Transformation Through Juvenile Detention Reform (Baltimore, MD: The Annie E.
Case Foundation, 2007). http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/AECF-BeyondDetention-2007.pdf.
114

These eight core strategies of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative are: promote collaboration between arms of the
justice system and community organizations, schools, and advocates; use data collection to inform future decisions; make the
admissions process more objective; implement and expand alternatives to detention programs; reform case processing to
hasten the system; reduce the number of youth detained for minor rule violations or awaiting transfer to a facility; combat racial
and ethnic disparities at various stages of the process; and monitor and improve conditions of detention facilities. The Annie E.
Casey Foundation, “Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative,” 2016. http://www.aecf.org/work/juvenile-justice/jdai
115

Richard Mendel, Beyond Detention: System Transformation Through Juvenile Detention Reform (Baltimore, MD: The Annie E.
Case Foundation, 2007). http://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/AECF-BeyondDetention-2007.pdf.
116

At the time Beyond Detention was published, Multnomah County (which includes Portland)—a place held up as a national
model for reduced use of pretrial detention—reduced out-of-home placement and confinement by 75 percent from 1997 to
2005. In 1996, Santa Cruz sent 150 youth to out-of-home placements, but since adopting JDAI methods, it showed a reduction
to 43 youth by 2005. Cook County also saw a drop in confinement: it experienced a 90 percent decrease in residential
placements between 1996 and 2006, from 426 juveniles to only 25. See, Richard Mendel, Beyond Detention: system
transformation through juvenile detention reform (Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Case Foundation, 2007) http://www.aecf.org/m/
resourcedoc/AECF-BeyondDetention-2007.pdf
Turning JDAI’s Focus to the Deep End of the Juvenile Justice System, June 2nd, 2014, http://www.aecf.org/blog/turning-jdaisfocus-to-the-deep-end-of-the-juvenile-justice-system
117

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, “Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative,” 2016. http://www.aecf.org/work/juvenile-justice/
jdai.
118

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Mariame Kaba, Arresting Justice (Third Edition): Juvenile Arrests in Chicago, 2013 and 2014, (Chicago: Project NIA, October
2015). https://chiyouthjustice.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/cpd-juvenile-arrest-stats-2013-2014rev.pdf
119

Hal Dardick, “Juvenile detention center population keeps falling but reform work not finished, officials say,” Chicago Tribune,
August 20, 2012, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-20/news/ct-met-cook-county-juveniledetention-20120821_1_detention-center-earl-dunlap-mentally-ill-youths.
120

Richard Mendel, Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety
and Outcomes for Youth, (Washington, D.C.: The Justice Policy Institute). For 2015 data, see, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch,
“Population inside State Centers,” January 2017. http://jud.ct.gov/statistics/juvdet/Juv_Det_yearly.pdf http://
www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/documents/jpi_juvenile_justice_reform_in_ct.pdf
121

122

Facts and Figures on Connecticut’s Juvenile Justice System, Office of Policy and Management, http://www.ct.gov/opm/cwp/
view.asp?a=2974&q=471556
123

Kids Count Data Center, “Juveniles in Detention - Mississippi.” http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/42-youth-residingin-juvenile-detention-correctional-and-or-residential-facilities?loc=26&loct=2#detailed/2/26/false/36,867,133,18,17/any/
319,17599
124

N.A., Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative – Progress Report 2014 (Baltimore, MD: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2014).

125

Massachusetts Government - Department of Youth Services, “JDAI in Massachusetts,” August 2016. http://www.mass.gov/
eohhs/gov/commissions-and-initiatives/jdai/jdai-in-massachusetts.html
“[In Greene County] since 2005, there has been a thirty-five percent decrease in admissions, a thirty percent decrease in
lengths of stays, and a fifty percent decrease in the average daily population—all accomplished without there being an increase in
juvenile delinquency within Greene County. … Jackson County (Kansas City metropolitan area), the second most populous
county in the state, has seen a sixty-three percent decrease in admissions to juvenile detention, a sixty-two percent decrease in
the average daily population, and a fifty-six percent decrease in state commitments. … The impact of reform efforts in St. Louis
County, the most populous county in Missouri, has resulted in a fifteen percent decrease in admissions to juvenile detention, a
twenty percent decrease the average daily population, and a nine percent decrease in the average length of stay. … St. Louis
City—a separate jurisdiction from St. Louis County—has seen a fifty-six percent decrease in the average daily population, an eleven
percent decrease in the average length of stay, a twenty-five percent decrease in state commitments, a four percent decrease in
re-arrests, a forty-three percent decrease in re-arrests, and a forty-three percent decrease in felony petitions filed.” Richard B.
Teitelman and Gregory J. Linhares. “Juvenile Detention Reform in Missouri: Improving Lives, Improving Public Safety, and Saving
Money,” Albany Law Review, Vol. 76, No (2011).
126

127

JDAI poised to expand throughout Missouri. (Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation, October, 2010).

Kids Count Data Center, “Juveniles in Detention – Mississippi,” http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/42-youth-residingin-juvenile-detention-correctional-and-or-residential-facilities?loc=26&loct=2#detailed/2/26/false/36,867,133,18,17/any/
319,17599.
128

New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, “Juvenile Justice System Trends.” http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/
crimnet/ojsa/jj-reports/JJAG-Presentation-June-2016.pdf
129

130

N.A. Governor Deal launches juvenile justice committee, Governor Nathan Deal

Office of the Governor, July 29th, 2015, https://gov.georgia.gov/press-releases/2015-07-29/deal-launches-juvenile-justicecommittee
131

Raise the age: How Will HB 2404 Impact the Population in Cook County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. A Discussion
Document (Baltimore, Maryland: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2013).
132

Juvenile Justice Initiative of Illinois, “Governor Signs Transfer Reform,” August 4, 2015, http://jjustice.org/governor-signstransfer-reform/
133

Raise-the-Age: A Common-Sense Plan for Safer Communities: include 17-Year-Olds in Juvenile Court (New Orleans, LA: The
Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition, 2016).
134

“To Help Reduce Youth Incarceration, Murphy, Booker Introduce Bill to Encourage State Policies That Lead to Better Youth
Outcomes,” Office of Senator Christopher Murphy, June 2014,www.murphy.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/to-helpreduce-youth- incarceration-murphy-booker-introduce-bill-to-encourage-state-policies-that- lead-to-better-youth-outcomes. “‘
Easy Access to The Census of Juvenile in Residential Placement: 1997 – 2013, “The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention,” 2013. See also, Eli Hager, “There are still 80 ‘youth prisons’ in the U.S. Here are five things to know about them” The
Marshall Project, March 3, 2016.
135

Antoinette David, Angela Irvine, and Jason Ziedenberg, Using Bills and Budgets to Further Reduce Youth Incarceration
(Washington D.C.: National Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2014)
136

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N.A., Getting it Right: Realigning Juvenile Corrections in Ohio to Reinvest in What Works (Cleveland, OH: Schubert Center for
Child Studies, 2015).
137

Deborah Fowler, A True Texas Miracle: Achieving Juvenile Justice Reform in a Tough Economic Climate (Washington, D.C.:
First Focus: Making Children & Families the Priority, 2012).
138

Richard A. Mendel, No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration (Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey
Foundation: 2011).
139

140“Since

2005, participating counties achieved a 56% average reduction in commitments.” A total of 1,309 youth were
redeployed (i.e., avoided incarceration). “ReDeploy Illinois” 2016. http://www.redeployillinois.org/
141

“Raising the Age Fact Sheet, Recommendation to Extend Juvenile Court Jurisdiction to Include 17-Year-Olds Charged with
Felony Offenses,” Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, April 2013, http://ijjc.illinois.gov/publications/raising-age-fact-sheet
142

Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, “2015 Annual Report,” 2015, https://www.illinois.gov/idjj/Documents/
IDJJ%20Annual%20Report%2001-04-16%20FINAL.pdf.
143

By way of example, the Step-down Project of Cook County prepares post-adjudicated minors from transitioning from the court
system or facility involvement back into the community. This is directed towards at-risk youth’s potential future outcomes by
placing them close to home and reducing the length of system stay, while protecting the community. See State of Illinois Circuit
Court of Cook County, Summary of Juvenile Probation and Court Services Programs and Initiatives 2014¸(Springfield IL, 2014. Pg.
14). http://www.cookcountycourt.org/Portals/0/Probation/Juvenile%20Probation/Program%20Booklet%202014.pdf
Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, “2013-2014 Annual Report,” 2015, http://ijjc.illinois.gov/sites/ijjc.illinois.gov/files/assets/
IJJC%20Annual%20Report%202013%20and%202014.pdf,
144

145

N.A. Support Senate Bill 1560. (Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, 2015).

Lael Chester and Vincent Schiraldi, Public Safety and Emerging Adults in Connecticut: Providing Effective and
Developmentally Appropriate Responses for Youth Under Age 21 (Boston, MA: Harvard Kennedy School Malcolm Wiener Center
for Social Policy Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, 2016).
146

147

Mississippi State Code Ann. § 43-21-151; 105; 157; 159; 401; 555; 605

In addition to the county initiatives, statewide in-home care programs include: assessment, counseling, Court Appointed
Special Advocates; community service; diversion; day treatment; electronic monitoring, family preservation, home detention,
intensive probation, mentoring, multi-service, MultiSystemic Therapy (MST), substance abuse treatment, supervised visitation,
tTruancy prevention, and wraparound services. Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, “In-Home Care Incentives:
Reinvesting in Juvenile Justice,” http://www.miccd.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/IHC-Incentive-OnePager-final-3-15-14.pdf.
148

149

Kristen Staley and Michelle Weemhoff, There’s No Place like Home. Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency (Lansing,
Michigan: Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2012). http://miccd.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/No-Place-LikeHome-MCCD2013.pdf.
150

Ibid.

151

Allen, D. (2011) Annual Report. Midland, MI: Circuit Court, Family Division, Midland County Probate Court.

152

“In Michigan, administrators attribute a decrease in length of stay in part to their efforts around assessment and case
management. The current average length of stay is nine months for secure placement and 4.5 months for non-secure placement.
Historically, it was more than two years for secure and one year for non-secure.” See Jessica Feierman, Kacey Mordecai and
Robert G. Schwartz, Ten Strategies to Reduce Juvenile Length of Stay (Philadelphia, PA: Juvenile Law Center, 2015). http://jlc.org/
sites/default/files/publication_pdfs/LengthofStayStrategiesFinal.pdf
Daniel L. Chaney and Eric Reed, Comprehensive Statistical Report Through Fiscal Year 2012: Juvenile justice services Wayne
County care management system (Wayne County, MI: Children and Family Services, 2012)
153

154

New Hampshire State Code, Chapter 21-H, Department of Corrections; Section 21-H:2 session of 2015

155

N.A., Advances in Juvenile Justice Reform: 2009-2011 (Washington, D.C.: National Juvenile Justice Network, 2012)

156

N.A. Close to Home: Annual Report 2014. (New York, New York: Administration for Children’s Services, 2015).

157

Personal Communications, Sarah Hemmeter, Associate Commissioner, New York City Administration for Children’s Services,
November 11th, 2016.
158

N.A. The Comeback and Coming from Behind States: An Update on Youth Incarceration in the United States (Washington,
D.C.: National Juvenile Justice Network and Texas Public Policy Foundation, 2013).

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Tony Fabelo et al., Closer to Home: An Analysis of the State and Local Impact of the Texas Juvenile Justice Reforms (New York,
NY: The Council of State Governments, January 2015).
159

Deborah Fowler, A True Texas Miracle: Achieving Juvenile Justice Reform in a Tough Economic Climate (Washington, D.C.:
First Focus: Making Children & Families the Priority, 2012).
160

161

Id., 9

North Carolina Department of Public Safety, “Juvenile Justice Section 2015 Annual Report,” 2015, https://
ncdps.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/documents/files/Annual%20Report%20Final%20Online%20Draft%209_26_16.pdf.
162

A 2010 analysis of the recidivism rates for confined youth discovered that 52.8 percent of adjudicated youth had recidivated
in a three-year follow-up. See Mark Bodkin, et al., “North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission: Juvenile
Recidivism Study: FY 2010/11 Juvenile Sample,” Submitted Pursuant to NC General Stat. § 164-48 (2014) (Raleigh, NC, 2015).
http://www.nccourts.org/Courts/CRS/Councils/spac/Documents/ncspacjuvrecid_j2015.pdf. By contrast, reports to the legislature
on the outcomes of Alternative-to-Commitment funded programs said that only12 to 20 percent of youth who were served by
one of these approaches received an additional youth adjudication or adult conviction post-discharge. Frank L. Perry and W.
David Guice, Alternatives to Commitment Report (Raleigh NC, House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Justice and
Public Safety, 2016.) https://ncdps.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/documents/files/Web%20Rpts%20Alts%20to%20Commitment%202016_03_01.pdf
163

Frank L. Perry and W. David Guice, Alternatives to Commitment Report (Raleigh NC, House and Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Justice and Public Safety, 2016.) https://ncdps.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/documents/files/
Web%20Rpts%20-Alts%20to%20Commitment%202016_03_01.pdf.
164

N.A, Georgia’s 2013 Juvenile Reform: New Policies to Reduce Secure Confinement, Costs, and Recidivism Issue Brief (The Pew
Charitable Trust, 2013). http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs/content-level_pages/reports/
georgia20201320juvenile20justice20reform20summary20briefjuly2013pdf.pdf
165

166

Lael Chester and Vincent Schiraldi. Public Safety and Emerging Adults in Connecticut: Providing Effective and
Developmentally Appropriate Responses for Youth Under Age 21. (Boston, MA: Harvard Kennedy School Malcolm Wiener
Center for Social Policy Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, 2016).
167

Press Release, Study Recommends Extending Juvenile Court Jurisdiction to Include 17-year-olds Charged with Felony
Offenses, Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, February 26, 2013
168

“Sections 73-88 implement the budget, which contains approximately $16 million over the biennium to hire staff and build
service capacity in advance of the effective date, January 1, 2010, to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to include 16 and 17
year olds. Estimated state costs in the next biennium are $36 million in FY 10 and $78.5 million in FY 11. Estimated costs in FY 12
are approximately $100 million (fully annualized).” See, Fiscal Note for Public Act 07-4, Connecticut General Assembly, http://
www.raisetheagect.org/resources/fiscal-note.pdf
Richard A. Mendel, Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment have Improved Public Safety
and Outcomes for Youth (Washington, D.C.: Justice Policy Institute, 2013)
169

“Public Safety and Emerging Adults in Connecticut: Providing Effective and Developmentally Appropriate Responses for
Youth Under Age 21,” PowerPoint, (Boston, Massachusetts: The Harvard Kennedy School Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
Program in Criminal Justice and Policy Management).
170

171

Press Release, Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy, “Gov. Malloy’s Prepared Remarks Today on Criminal Justice Reform,” Nov.
6, 2015, http://portal.ct.gov/Departments_and_Agencies/Office_of_the_Governor/Press_Room/Press_Releases/2015/11-2015/
Gov__Malloy_s_Prepared_Remarks_Today_on_Criminal_Justice_Reform/.
172

“It is estimated by Probation that 27 Probation Officers would be required in order to supervise the additional caseload
created by adding 17-year-olds to the juvenile court. 27 Probation Officers at entry level, total, $1,415,718. 5 Assistant Chief
Probation Officers, $460,160. Total, $1,875,878… .Juvenile Court Clinics. 5-7 full time equivalent clinicians each of who manage
50-65 referrals a year. In addition, staff may be needed to expand treatment capacity/services within court clinics for transitional
age youth, and specialized problem solving court modalities may utilize the court clinic expertise. We estimate needing 9-12
additional forensic mental health professionals that include a part-time psychiatrist, psychologists and master level clinicians.
Capital expenses (e.g. laptops, furniture), projected costs for additional staffing, training and related expenses, overhead. Total,
$1,158,500-$1,486,000… .The DYS projects that this additional detained and committed population will generate a net bed
need of 197 beds in 14 programs for a total annual operating cost of $20.5 million.” Impact of Raising the Age of Responsibility
in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 17 to 18 (Boston, Massachusetts: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Administrative Offices of the Juvenile Court, 2013).
173

Ibid.

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“The Raise the age legislation included additional funds for the Department of Youth Services which added $15.6 million to
the agency budget in FY 2014-2015, which was annualized in FY 2016. DYS used the additional funds to open additional
programs: 18 bed staff secure detention program for Northeastern and Metro Regional Youth (male), 15 bed hardware secure
detention program for statewide long-term detention youth, primarily courtesy holds (male), 8 bed independent living program
for Metro Regional youth (male) which expanded to 8 beds during 2015-2016, 6 bed independent living program for Southeast
Regional youth (male), 12 bed staff secure assessment program for Southeast Regional youth (male), and 15 bed hardware
secure detention beds.” N.A. The Department of Youth Services. 2016 Raise the Age Report (Boston, Massachusetts:
Massachusetts Department of Youth Services).
174

175

Since 2013, Massachusetts has experienced a 10 percent decrease in the number of cases arraigned by juvenile court.
Juvenile court changed the method used to count cases during the exact time period that raise the age occurred, making it
more challenging to evaluate the caseload impact. The most consistent analysis starts with FY 2013 (the year ending June 30th,
2013, before raise the age was passed) and ends with FY 2016 (ending June 30th, 2016). The number of delinquency cases filed
in the juvenile court went up initially after raise the age, but has begun to decline again. Because the caseload of the juvenile
court had declined dramatically prior to the raise the age change, the current delinquency caseloads are at roughly the level the
court handled in 2010 (the number of judges handling cases has remained constant during this time period). According to data
generated by the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, arraigned cases (where a judge actually decides the case should
proceed after it is filed) declined from 4,197 in 2013 to 3,354 in 2015, a decrease of 10 percent despite the influx of 17-year-olds
in the intervening time period. See, N.A. Summary of Impact of Massachusetts’ Raise the Age Reform, Bringing 17-Year-Olds into
the Juvenile Justice System (Boston, Massachusetts: Citizens for Juvenile Justice, 2017).
176

Anemone Birkebæk, Jesse Cohen, Jasper Frank, Kimberly Howard. Serving Short-Term Committed Youth and Older Youth in
the Wake of Raise the Age (Boston, Massachusetts: (Boston, MA: Harvard Kennedy School Malcolm Wiener Center for Social
Policy Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, 2016).
177

N.A. The Department of Youth Services, 2016 Raise the Age Report (Boston, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Department of
Youth Services).
N.A., Raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction: The future of 17-year-olds in Illinois’ justice system (Springfield, IL: Illinois
Juvenile Justice Commission, 2013., pg. 7).
178

179

Stephanie Kollmann, Raising the Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction in Illinois [webinar, National

Conference of State Legislatures, Feb. 19, 2016].
180

Office of the State’s Attorney, Memo - SB 2275 Juvenile Offender Age Change, May 30, 2008.

“Assuming a comparable number of 17 year olds would enter or remain in the juvenile justice system, the Department
estimates this bill will increase state expenditures by $5,287,493 in FY 2016 and each year thereafter.” See, HB 1624 Fiscal Note
As Introduced, 2014 Session. “An Act modernizing the juvenile justice system to ensure rehabilitation of juveniles and
preservation of juvenile rights,” 2014. http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2014/HB1624_i.html
181

182

John Roman, The Economic Impact of Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction in Connecticut (Washington D.C.: The Urban
Institute, 2006).
John Roman, “The Economic Impact of Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction in Connecticut,” Remarks before the Judiciary
and Appropriations Committee, Connecticut General Assembly, February 21, 2006.
183

Taxpayers will have to fund the net cost of $49.2 million per year, but there is a $3.6 million net benefit from the victim’s
perspective based on the youth’s lessened likelihood of reoffending, and $97.9 million in long-term benefits of based on a
youth’s lifetime earnings. Christian Henrichson and Valerie Levshin, Cost-Benefit Analysis of Raising-the-Age of Juvenile
Jurisdiction in North Carolina (New York City: Vera Institute of Justice, 2011).
184

185

N.A. North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice, Committee on Criminal Investigation and
Adjudication, “Juvenile Justice.” (Raleigh, NC, 2016).
186

Michael Leachman, Inimai M. Chettiar, and Benjamin Geare, Improving Budget Analysis of State Criminal Justice Reforms: A
Strategy for Better Outcomes and Saving Money (Washington D.C.: American Civil Liberties Union & Center on Budget and Policy
Priorities, 2012).
187

“Fifteen of the 29 states that wrote fiscal notes finding a significant fiscal impact failed to estimate the impact beyond two
years. Some effective criminal justice reforms, including certain drug and mental health treatment programs, require initial
modest startup costs but reduce future prison spending significantly. Without an official recognition of the future savings,
legislators are less likely to be aware of the long-term fiscal benefits of these reforms, reducing the chances of enactment,”
Michael Leachman, Inimai M. Chettiar, and Benjamin Geare, Improving Budget Analysis of State Criminal Justice Reforms: A
Strategy for Better Outcomes and Saving Money (Washington D.C.: American Civil Liberties Union & Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities, 2012).

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

“Only 13 of the 29 states that wrote fiscal notes finding a significant impact consistently described the method they used to
determine the cost or savings of a bill. Without an understanding of the methodology, lawmakers and the public are less able to
evaluate the accuracy of fiscal notes, reducing their credibility and usefulness.” D.C.:Ibid.
188

189

Ibid.

Michael Leachman, Inimai M. Chettiar, and Benjamin Geare, Improving Budget Analysis of State Criminal Justice Reforms: A
Strategy for Better Outcomes and Saving Money (Washington D.C.: American Civil Liberties Union & Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities, 2012).
190

191

Elizabeth McNichol, Iris J. Lav, Kathleen Masterson, Better Cost Estimates, Better Budgets: Improved Fiscal Notes Would Help
States Make More Informed Decisions (Washington D.C.: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2015).
192

N.A., Raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction: The future of 17-year-olds in Illinois’ justice system (Springfield, IL: Illinois
Juvenile Justice Commission, 2013., pg. 23-7).
193

Shay Bilchik and Marc Schindler, “An effective approach to youth justice will help enhance public safety,” The Huffington Post,
October 5, 2016.
194

Raise the Age Annual Report, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (2015).

195

National PREA Resource Center, “Prison Rape Elimination Act,” December 2016. https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/about/
prison-rape-elimination-act-prea
196

U.S. Department of Justice, “Prison Rape Elimination Act: Prisons and Jail Standards - § 115.14 Youthful Inmates” May 17,
2002.
197

Three Department of Justice grant programs can be subject to the five percent penalty; two are administered by the Office of
Justice Programs: 1) The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Formula Program, a
program that provides states with funding streams to support programs including law enforcement, prosecution, court programs,
prevention and education programs, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, crime victims and
witness initiatives, and planning, evaluation, and technology improvement programs, and 2) The Office of Juvenile Justice and
Delinquency Prevention’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Formula Grant Program, a program that provides
states with funding streams necessary to support programs that develop juvenile justice plans based on the individualized needs
of the community. Non-compliance with PREA can also affect a state’s funding from the Office on Violence Against Women: the
STOP (Services, Training, Officers and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program, a funding stream that states
can use to support strategies of law enforcement and prosecution strategies to combat violent crimes against women. See,
National PREA Resource Center, “Which federal grant program will the five percent penalty for non-compliance affect?” February
24, 2014. https://www.prearesourcecenter.org/node/3281.
198

Mike Neustrom and Rob Reardon, “Voices: 17-year-olds are safer in juvenile detention,” The Advertiser, March 23, 2016.

199

S.2577 — 114th Congress: Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016

200

National Prison Rape Elimination Commission Report 18 (2009). http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/226680.pdf

201

N.A. Raising the Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction: The future of 17-year-olds in Illinois’ justice system. (Springfield, Illinois:
Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, 2013).
202

A national survey by the Department of Justice found that 40 percent of jails did not provide any educational services. Eleven
percent provided educational services and seven percent provided vocational training. C.W. Harlow, Education and Correctional
Populations (Washington, D.C.: Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Education and
Correctional Populations, 2003).
203

Sheriff Mike Neustrom & Director of Corrections Rob Reardon, “Voices: 17-year-olds are safer in juvenile detention,” The
Advertiser, March 23, 2016.
204

Ibid.

Sheriff Mike Neustrom & Director of Corrections Rob Reardon, “Voices: 17-year-olds are safer in juvenile detention,” The
Advertiser, March 23, 2016.
205

Marc Levin, New Hampshire Ripe for Raising the Age (Concord NH: The Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, 2014). http://
www.jbartlett.org/new-hampshire-ripe-for-raising-the-age
206

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, “Press Release – Sununu Youth Services Center Achieves PREA
Compliance,” September, 2014. http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/pr/2014/09-sept/09122014-prea.htm
207

Peter Koutoujian, Sheriff of Middlesex County, Testimony – Massachusetts’ Committee on Children, Families and Persons with
Disability, May 8, 2013.
208

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Adrian Garcia, Christopher Kirk, Lupe Valez, “Sending 17-Year-Olds to Adult Jails Costly to Teens and Taxpayers,” The Dallas
Morning News, May 2014. http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2014/05/19/sending-17-year-olds-to-adult-jailscostly-to-teens-and-taxpayers.
209

210

Ibid.

N.A., The Department of Youth Services2016 Raise the Age Report (Boston, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Department of
Youth Services).
211

Adrian Garcia, Christopher Kirk and Lupe Valez, “Sending 17-year-olds to adult jails costly to teens and taxpayers,” The Dallas
Morning News, May 2014, http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2014/05/19/sending-17-year-olds-to-adult-jailscostly-to-teens-and-taxpayers.
212

213

“Being incarcerated at age 17 is traumatic under the best of circumstances, Michelle Deitch said, a senior public policy
lecturer at the University of Texas. To be sent to a faraway county where families can't visit and you're far away from your attorney,
in a private facility operated by a vendor without a good track record—that's certainly cause for concern.” Megan Flynn, “Harris
County Sheriff May Hand Over 17-Year-Olds to Private Prison Contractor,” The Houston Press, September 29, 2017.
214

Dale Lezon, “Teenage inmate dies after found hanging at Fort Bend County jail,” The Houston Chronicle, January 27, 2017.

215

“Research shows that prosecuting youth as adults increases recidivism by as much as 34%.” See, Effects on Violence of Laws
and Policies Facilitating the Transfer of Youth from the Juvenile to the Adult Justice System: A Report on Recommendations of the
Task Force on Community Preventive Services", U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), MMWR 2007; 56 [No. RR-9]: 1-11 (Nov. 30, 2007), http://
www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/rr/rr5609.pdf.
216

Id., 14

U.S. Department of Justice, “Table 69: Crime in the United States 2005,” Federal Bureau of Investigations Annual UCR data,
https://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/data/table_69.html. See U.S. Department of Justice, “Table 69: Crime in the United States
2015,” Federal Bureau of Investigations Annual UCR data, https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/
table-69. All forthcoming analysis of state comparison of juvenile arrest data was derived from the 2005 and 2015 FBI Uniform
Crime Report.
217

218

Violent Crime Index: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; Property Crime Index:
burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. U.S. Department of Justice, “Table 69: Crime in the United States 2015,”
Federal Bureau of Investigations Annual UCR data, https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/tables/
table-69.
219

“Juvenile Crime in Connecticut and Governor Malloy’s Crime Proposals. Presented to: Connecticut Police Executive Juvenile
Justice Conference TOW Youth Justice Institute University of New Haven.” (New Haven, Connecticut: Connecticut’s Office of
Policy Management Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division April 8, 2016).
One measure of whether or not an alternative pathway to transfer a youth into the adult system is being used in the
Commonwealth is the number of young people to whom Massachusetts DYS offers a “courtesy hold.” These are young people
aged 14 to 18 who are being charged with first or second degree murder who, by agreement with the sheriff, are being detained
by DYS and are awaiting trial on an adult charge in a juvenile facility rather than an adult facility. Between October 1, 2015 and
September 30, 2016, DYS served 23 youth as courtesy holds. In the first year of the law change, DYS served 15 youth as courtesy
holds. In other words, by this one measure of how a young person might end up on another pathway to the adult system other
than being there because of exclusion from the juvenile justice system solely based on age, only eight more youth were
identified as being potentially transferred. N.A. The Department of Youth Services. 2016 Raise the Age Report (Boston,
Massachusetts: Massachusetts Department of Youth Services).
220

221

N.A., Raising the age of juvenile court jurisdiction: The future of 17-year-olds in Illinois’ justice system (Springfield, IL: Illinois
Juvenile Justice Commission, 2013., pg. 6).
222

Id., 23

Starting in 2016, a new law came into effect designed to significantly reduce the number of young people transferred to the
adult court, requiring a hearing first for most of the offenses that young people who are transferred are charged with, and
requiring regular reporting on how often transfer pathways are used in Illinois. See, Public Act 099-0258 (2015).
223

Juvenile Crime in Connecticut and Governor Malloy’s Crime Proposals. PowerPoint. Connecticut Police Executive Juvenile
Justice Conference TOW Youth Justice Institute University of New Haven. (New Haven, Connecticut: Connecticut’s Office of
Policy Management Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division, April 8, 2016).
224

225

Shay Bilchik and Marc Schindler, “An effective approach to youth justice will help enhance public safety.” The Huffington Post,
October 5, 2016.

91 of 95

Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Arielle Dreher, Sierra Mannie and Tim Summers Jr., “Not a Dungeon’: The Evolving Approach to Juvenile Detention,” Jackson
Free Press, December 14, 2016, http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/dec/14/not-dungeon-evolving-approach-juveniledetention/.
226

Gina M. Vincent, Laura S. Guy, Thomas Grisso, Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation (Chicago,
IL: MacArthur Foundation, 2012). http://njjn.org/uploads/digital-library/
Risk_Assessment_in_Juvenile_Justice_A_Guidebook_for_Implementation.pdf
227

228

Development Services Group, Inc. 2015. “Risk and Needs Assessment for Youths.” Literature Review. Washington, DC: Office
of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. http://www.ojjdp.gov/mpg/litreviews/RiskandNeeds.pdf
229

Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services Office of Research and Quality Assurance, DYRS 2011 Annual Performance
Report (Washington D.C.: Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, 2011). http://dyrs.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/dyrs/
release_content/attachments/2011%20DYRS%20Annual%20Performance%20Report.pdf
230

Elizabeth Seigle, Nastassia Walsh, and Josh Weber, Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes
for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014).
231

“Juvenile justice systems will also benefit from the establishment of an electronic case management system with reporting
functionality to keep track of when assessments are conducted and the assessment results. A commitment to electronically
capturing and analyzing assessment data can help juvenile justice systems to generate ongoing reports to evaluate whether
assessments are conducted in a reliable manner and the supervision and services provided to youth are matched to assessment
results. Assessment data can also serve as an invaluable tool to help systems understand the characteristics, strengths, and
needs of their youth population and whether resources are aligned accordingly. For example, aggregate assessment data might
reveal a higher proportion of low-risk youth in the system than expected, allowing for reduced investments in the use of
confinement. Data can identify gaps between youth’s dynamic risk factors and available services, and can help support the
reallocation of system resources to address these gaps.” See Elizabeth Seigle, Nastassia Walsh, and Josh Weber, Core Principles
for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (New York: Council of State
Governments Justice Center, 2014).
232

Richard Mendel, Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety
and Outcomes for Youth (Washington, D.C.: Justice Policy Institute, 2013), http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/
documents/jpi_juvenile_justice_reform_in_ct.pdf.
233

Id., 19

Texas Juvenile Justice Department, “Improving Youth Outcomes in the Texas Juvenile Justice System,” 2015. https://
www.tjjd.texas.gov/publications/reports/youth_outcomes_15.pdf.
234

235

Id., 9

236

“One such program, the Front-End Diversion Initiative (FEDI), pairs youth with a specialized

juvenile probation officer (SJPO) who provides case management and helps link youth and their families
to community-based services. SJPOs maintain caseloads of generally no more than 15 cases, and must
become certified in the FEDI through 40 hours of training on adolescent mental health, youth development, crisis intervention
and management, family engagement, and motivational interviewing. Preliminary results indicate that FEDI participants were
referred to more community resources and were less likely to be adjudicated. Youth also had improved school attendance and
fewer disciplinary referrals upon program completion than in the three months prior to FEDI supervision.” See Elizabeth Seigle,
Nastassia Walsh, and Josh Weber, Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in the
Juvenile Justice System (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014).
237

N.A., Mental Health Facts Children and Teens (Alexandria, VA: National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2014)

238

North Carolina Department of Public Safety, “Juvenile Justice Section 2015 Annual Report,” 2015, https://
ncdps.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/documents/files/Annual%20Report%20Final%20Online%20Draft%209_26_16.pdf.
New York City Health and Human Services, “The Close to Home Initative and Related Reforms in Juvenile Justice,” 2014, pg.
3,http://www.nyc.gov/html/ceo/downloads/pdf/policybriefs/placement-brief.pdf.
239

Eligible youth were evaluated based on a risk/needs assessment, legal history, social history, protective factors, and prior
justice involvement. See, Mark Mertens, Youth and Family Services Division – Young Adult Offender Program Report (Outagamie
County, WI: Department of Health and Human Services, 2015).
240

241

Ibid.

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Richard B. Teitelman and Gregory J. Linhares, “Juvenile Detention Reform in Missouri: Improving Lives, Improving Public
Safety, and Saving Money,” Albany Law Review, Vol. 76, No (2011).
242

N.A, Georgia’s 2013 Juvenile Reform: New Policies to Reduce Secure Confinement, Costs, and Recidivism Issue Brief (The Pew
Charitable Trust, 2013). http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs/content-level_pages/reports/
georgia20201320juvenile20justice20reform20summary20briefjuly2013pdf.pdf Also, Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating
Council “New Assessments for the New Juvenile Code,” PowerPoint, August 29, 2013.
243

244

Anemone Birkebæk, Jesse Cohen, Jasper Frank, Kimberly Howard. Serving Short-Term Committed Youth and Older Youth in
the Wake of Raise the Age (Boston, MA: Masters in Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 2016).
245

According to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, a committed youth is an individual placed in a facility as part
of a court-ordered disposition. Committed youth may have been adjudicated and disposed in juvenile court or convicted and
sentenced in criminal court. Glossary, “Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement: 1997 – 2013.” 2013.
https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/asp/glossary.asp
246

Placement Status by State, 2006, “Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement: 1997 – 2013” 2006.
https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/asp/State_Adj.asp; See also, Placement Status by State, 2013, “Easy Access to the
Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement: 1997 – 2013” 2013. https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/asp/State_Adj.asp. All
forthcoming analysis of state comparison of commitment data was derived from the 2006 and 2013 Census of Juveniles in
Residential Placement database.
Richard Mendel, Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety
and Outcomes for Youth (Washington, D.C.: Justice Policy Institute, 2013). http://static1.1.sqspcdn.com/static/f/
658313/9749173/1291845016987/aecf_mo_fullreport_webfinal.pdf?token=v1tZeRGDxeiiZF4svIIte0wCzOA%3D
247

248

Connecticut Department of Children and Family Services, “Final Report for the State of Connecticut,” 2013, http://www.ct.gov/
dcf/lib/dcf/adolescents/pdf/connecticutgeorgetownreport_nov_final.pdf.
249

Richard Mendel, Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety
and Outcomes for Youth (Washington, D.C.: Justice Policy Institute, 2013), http://www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/
documents/jpi_juvenile_justice_reform_in_ct.pdf, 2.
250

Richard Mendel, Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and Commitment Have Improved Public Safety
and Outcomes for Youth, (Washington, D.C.: The Justice Policy Institute). For 2015 data, see, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch,
“Population inside State Centers,” January 2017. http://jud.ct.gov/statistics/juvdet/Juv_Det_yearly.pdf
251

While Missouri experienced a 20.52 percent decline in its confined committed population between 2006 and 2013, it is a
state that has already significantly reduced the number of young people incarcerated by shifting to a more developmentally
appropriate juvenile justice approach. See, Richard Mendel, Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut: How Collaboration and
Commitment Have Improved Public Safety and Outcomes for Youth (Washington, D.C.: Justice Policy Institute, 2013). http://
www.justicepolicy.org/uploads/justicepolicy/documents/jpi_juvenile_justice_reform_in_ct.pdf, 2.
Connecticut Department of Children and Families, “Plan for the Closure of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School,” 2016.
http://www.ct.gov/dcf/lib/dcf/cjts/pdf/cjts_closure_plan_(final).pdf.
252

253

Nicole Cartmell, “Gov. Rauner announces plans to turn old youth center into Life Skills & Reentry Facility,” KFVS News 12,
http://www.kfvs12.com/story/33390283/gov-rauner-to-make-announcement-at-illinois-youth-center-in-murphysboro-friday.
254

Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, “Strategic Plan 2012-2014,” http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dys/strategicplan-12-14.pdf , 3.
255

All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.

256

“As Governor Moves Youth out of Adult Prisons, Unions, Faith Leaders, Law Enforcement Experts, Conservatives and
Advocates Call on Legislature to ‘Raise the Age,’” Press Release, December 17, 2016.
257

Stephanie Kollmann, Raising the Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction in Illinois [webinar, National

Conference of State Legislatures, Feb. 19, 2016].
258

Raising the Age of Juvenile Court in Connecticut: A Conversation with Dannel P. Malloy. Webinar (Boston, Massachusetts: The
Harvard Kennedy School Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy Program in Criminal Justice and Policy Management, 2016),
https://www.hks.harvard.edu/programs/criminaljustice/news-events/events/raising-the-age-of-juvenile-court-in-connecticut-aconversation-with-dannel-p.-malloy
On September 13, 2016, the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators held a conference call with the Justice Policy
Institute and Campaign for Youth Justice during which state juvenile correctional administrators or their designates discussed
how raise the age was implemented in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and how it might be implemented in other states.
259

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

260See,

“OJJDP National Training and Technical Assistance,” https://www.ojjdp.gov/programs/tta.html

See, Smart on Juvenile Justice: Age of Criminal Responsibility Training and Technical Assistance https://www.ojjdp.gov/
grants/solicitations/FY2016/AgeofCriminalResponsibility.pdf
261

262

All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.

Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Press Release. “Gov. Malloy’s Prepared Remarks Today on Criminal Justice Reform,”
November 6, 2015, http://portal.ct.gov/en/Office-of-the-Governor/Press-Room/Press-Releases/2015/11-2015/Gov-MalloysPrepared-Remarks-Today-on-Criminal-Justice-Reform
263

“Louisiana should raise the age to 18 for prosecution as an adult: Editorial,” The Times Picayunne, April 27, 2016, http://
www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/04/raise_the_age_juvenile.html.
264

265

All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.

266

Melissa Sickmund, “Which State Will Be the Last to ‘Raise the Age?,”

Juvenile Justice Exchange, May 29, 2014, http://jjie.org/2014/05/29/which-state-will-be-the-last-to-raise-the-age/.

267

N.A. “Berrien County, MI, Expands Training, Collaboration around Juvenile Justice,” The Council of State Governments Justice
Center, September 17, 2015. https://csgjusticecenter.org/youth/posts/berrien-county-mi-expands-training-collaboration-aroundjuvenile-justice/
268

“Raising the Age Fact Sheet, Recommendation to Extend Juvenile Court Jurisdiction to Include 17-Year-Olds Charged with
Felony Offenses,” Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, April 2013, http://ijjc.illinois.gov/publications/raising-age-fact-sheet.
269

All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.

270

N.A. “Juvenile Risk Intervention Services Coordination Summary 2008-2010,” Office of Probation and Correctional
Alternatives, http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/opca/pdfs/jrisc2008-2010annualsummaryattachment.pdf.
271

Angela Irving, Antoinette Davis and Jason Zidenberg, Supervision Strategies for Justice-Involved Youth (Oakland, CA: National
Council on Crime and Delinquency, 2014).
N.A. “50 State Teams Gather to Develop Plans for Improving Youth Outcomes in Each State Juvenile Justice System,” The
Council of State Governments Justice Center, November 10, 2015, https://csgjusticecenter.org/youth/posts/juvenile-justiceforum/.
272

273

All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.

Joseph J. Cocozza, Ph.D., “Reform Efforts Improving Metal Health Services and Coordination for Youth,” Models for Change
Newsroom, August 18, 2009, www.modelsforchange.net/newsroom/110.
274

Erin Espinosa, Ph.D., “Alternatives for justice-involved youth with mental health needs finally start to appear,” JJIE, April 11,
2016, http://jjie.org/2016/04/11/finally-alternatives-for-justice-involved-youth-with-mental-health-needs/.
275

276

William Kates, “Group Says NY Juvenile Justice System Broken, Costs Too Much,” Newsday, November 1, 2007.

277

Hal Dardick, “Juvenile detention center population keeps falling but reform work not finished, officials say,” Chicago Tribune,
August 20, 2012, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-20/news/ct-met-cook-county-juveniledetention-20120821_1_detention-center-earl-dunlap-mentally-ill-youths.
278

Raise-the-Age: A Common-Sense Plan for Safer Communities: include 17-Year-Olds in Juvenile Court (New Orleans, LA: The
Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition, 2016).
279

“To Help Reduce Youth Incarceration, Murphy, Booker Introduce Bill to Encourage State Policies That Lead to Better Youth
Outcomes,” Office of Senator Christopher Murphy, June 2014,www.murphy.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/to-helpreduce-youth- incarceration-murphy-booker-introduce-bill-to-encourage-state-policies-that- lead-to-better-youth-outcomes.
280

“Raising the Age Fact Sheet, Recommendation to Extend Juvenile Court Jurisdiction to Include 17-Year-Olds Charged with
Felony Offenses,” Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, April 2013, http://ijjc.illinois.gov/publications/raising-age-fact-sheet
Press Release, Study Recommends Extending Juvenile Court Jurisdiction to Include 17-year-olds Charged with Felony
Offenses, Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission, February 26, 2013
281

282

Raise the Age Annual Report, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (2015).

283

Mike Neustrom and Rob Reardon, “Voices: 17-year-olds are safer in juvenile detention,” The Advertiser, March 23, 2016.

Adrian Garcia, Christopher Kirk and Lupe Valez, “Sending 17-year-olds to adult jails costly to teens and taxpayers,” The Dallas
Morning News, May 2014, http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2014/05/19/sending-17-year-olds-to-adult-jailscostly-to-teens-and-taxpayers.
284

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Raising the Age: Shifting to a Safer and More Effective Juvenile Justice System

Arielle Dreher, Sierra Mannie and Tim Summers Jr., “Not a Dungeon’: The Evolving Approach to Juvenile Detention,” Jackson
Free Press, December 14, 2016, http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/dec/14/not-dungeon-evolving-approach-juveniledetention/.
285

Elizabeth Seigle, Nastassia Walsh, and Josh Weber, Core Principles for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes
for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System (New York: Council of State Governments Justice Center, 2014).
286

287

All sources that directly quote from a young person were collected by the Campaign for Youth Justice.

“As Governor Moves Youth out of Adult Prisons, Unions, Faith Leaders, Law Enforcement Experts, Conservatives and
Advocates Call on Legislature to ‘Raise the Age,’” Press Release, December 17, 2016.
288

289

“Governor John Bel Edwards marked his first year in office with a statement and press conference,” KATC.Com, January 11,
2017. http://www.katc.com/story/34239211/read-the-governors-remarks.
290

Raise-the-Age: A Common-Sense Plan for Safer Communities: include 17-Year-Olds in Juvenile Court (New Orleans, LA: The
Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition, 2016).

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