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Public Opinion on Juvenile Justice in America

This issue brief is an excellent overview of how voters in the United States feel about juvenile offenders. It expertly uses infographics to make the information easy to understand and distribute. Topics explained are: voters prioritize services and supervision over incarceration for juvenile offenders; voters say juvenile offenders should be treated differently than adult offenders; voters care less about whether or how long juvenile offenders are incarcerated than about preventing crime; voters are sensitive to the costs of the juvenile justice system; voters want a strong return on their investments in juvenile correctional facilities; voters support reducing the number and time served of low-level juvenile offenders sent to corrections facilities and using savings to improve probation; voters say that nonviolent juvenile offenders should not be in corrections facilities for more than six months; voters say juvenile corrections facilities should be used only for felony-level offenders; voters say status offenders and technical violators should not go to corrections facilities; voters support reinvesting savings from reduced juvenile facility populations into county programs that contribute to state-level savings; 90% of voters want families, schools, and social service agencies to take more responsibility for youth who commit low-level offenses; and most voters say families, schools, and social service agencies should handle low-level offenses and the justice system should be involved only with more serious offenses. "Support for juvenile justice reform is strong across political parties, regions, and age, gender, and racial-ethnic groups" (p. 1).