Juvenile Justice

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.

More Facts

In 2008, an estimated 60 percent of children in the United States were exposed to violence, crime, or abuse in their homes, schools, and communities within the past year. Approximately 46 percent were assaulted at least once in the past year and 10 percent were injured in an assault.

Juvenile crime is at record lows across the country.

  • In 2012, approximately 1.3 million juveniles were arrested across the country. The number of juvenile arrests is down 40 percent since 2006, and down 53 percent since 1997.
  • Most arrests are for property crimes or less serious offenses. Approximately five percent of those arrests were for violent index crimes, defined by the FBI as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Mere justice-system involvement and even arrest can increase the likelihood that a youth will go on to commit additional crimes, and that residential placement is, generally, ineffective at reducing the likelihood of recidivism in all but the highest-risk youths.