National Youth Justice Awareness Month

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The Coalition and its partners seek to educate policymakers and the public on the need to improve juvenile justice system outcomes and safely reduce youth confinement by:
  • Focusing juvenile system dollars on evidence-based practices, relying on high-quality research and statutory incentives.
  • Improving responses and access to treatment for justice system-involved youth with mental health needs.

Juvenile Justice Awareness Month Facts

  • 1,024,000 juveniles were arrested in 2014; the majority of these arrests were for non-violent crimes.
  • In 2014, there were 5,235 juveniles incarcerated in adult prisons and jails.
  • In 2013, African Americans were 16% of the youth population, but 38% of youth committed to juvenile justice facilities.
  • According to data from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), youth of color are more likely to be incarcerated than their Caucasian counterparts. In 2013, Black youth were 4.6 times as likely; Native American youth were 3.3 times as likely; and Latino youth were 1.7 times as likely to be incarcerated than White youth.
  • African-American juveniles were 4 times as likely to be incarcerated than white juveniles. Hispanic juveniles were 61% more likely.
  • In 2012, 79% of juvenile offenders sentenced to life in prison without parole witnessed violence in their homes regularly; 32% grew up in public housing; and 40% had been enrolled in special education classes.
  • In Illinois, 86% of juvenile offenders were re-arrested within three years of release. In Virginia, 49.1% of juveniles offenders were re-arrested within one year of release.
  • Did you know? Delinquency adjudications can dramatically increase sentencing calculations under federal guidelines.
  • Texas has cut juvenile confinement by 80% since 2006 eliminating state confinement of misdemeanants, while continuing to cut juvenile crime, reducing by 50% the number of juvenile arrests.

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