Back to top

National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) (Washington DC)

Anyone working with juvenile offenders should read this. It reviews a recent study regarding the impact of incarceration on the development of a juvenile’s psychosocial maturity--the combined abilities of impulse control (temperance), perspective (especially seeing from different points of view), and responsibility. Sections of this brief cover: general information about this study; research findings showing that incarceration of juveniles provides “no bang for our buck”—that placing youth in secure facilities slows their maturation, negative institutional settings harms youth’s maturation, and why short term slowing of maturation should be important to us; and policy implications. “The study finds statistically significant, short-term declines in psychosocial maturity for youth incarcerated in a secure facility. This period of lower maturity level means that youth may be more impulsive and susceptible to negative peer influence upon release, placing them at higher risk for re-arrest” (p. 1).

Arrested Development: Confinement Can Negatively Affect Youth Maturation Cover

“The use of risk assessment instruments in juvenile justice systems across the country is growing rapidly. Advocates should be aware of how they can be used most effectively to avoid unnecessary incarceration and improve case planning for youth” (p. 4). This fact sheet explains: what a risk assessment tool is; the need to use them; how to choose the right risk assessment instrument; how to implement carefully following your choice; and making sure to gather and analyze data regarding the tool. For more information regarding risk assessment of juveniles, be sure to refer to “Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation” by the Models for Change Initiative (NIC accession number 027092).

Doing It Right: Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice Cover

“When your juvenile justice system puts youth on probation, does it assess them for risk? If so, do staff know how to use these assessments effectively? Or do the assessments just sit in a file, waiting to be dusted off? Whether your agency or jurisdiction is trying to choose the right risk assessment tool, or it already has one in place, you'll find this webinar from the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) helpful.” The audience is introduced to the use of risk assessments for. The publication “Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice: A Guidebook for Implementation” (NIC accession number 027092) provides the foundation for this presentation. Issues discussed include: what is meant by “risk”; what risk assessments can and can’t accomplish; whether a risk assessments has to be separate from a needs assessment; what works in the use of risk assessments for pre-trial detention or community reentry; what policies and procedures need to be in operation before a risk assessment can be effective in a probation setting; and how a jurisdiction gets the buy-in of stakeholders in the utilization of risk assessments.

Doing it Right: Risk Assessment in Juvenile Justice - an NJJN Webinar Cover

“This toolkit demonstrates how to calculate the average costs of housing a youth in detention. There are numerous ways to calculate the cost of detention, and detention administrators across states and even within states may arrive at their costs through different methods. This toolkit will help readers understand what components are typically included in a detention cost estimate, why one would or would not choose to include these elements, and what additional costs and revenues could be incorporated in the calculation of costs to detain youth” (p. 1). What makes this toolkit an amazing resource is that it uses a case study to show you how to do a cost estimate. Sections of this publication cover: about this toolkit; how to use the toolkit; basic how-to; how to calculate the average costs of detaining a youth; and frequently asked questions. The process of calculating the cost entails: Step One—determine which agencies have the information you need; Step Two—locate budget information; Step Three—locate detention statistics on average daily population and average length of stay (LOS); and Step Four—do the math.

How to Calculate the Average Costs of Detaining a Youth Cover

This report “highlights the continued positive trend in the nine states leading the nation on reducing incarceration, and showcases a handful of states that, while not keeping pace with the nationwide trend, have opened the door for future progress by adopting crucial incarceration-reducing policies that have been shown to improve conditions for youth and communities.” Sections of this publication include: nationwide trends in youth confinement; incarceration reduction in nine comeback states (CA, CT, IL, MS, NY, OH, TX, WA, WI)—adoption of incarceration reducing policies, census counts of incarcerated youth, number of youth per 100,000 in U.S. population, and average reduction in youth confinement; the coming-from-behind states (MI, NE, SD, WY)—highlights at a glance and incarceration reducing policies for each of the four states; and conclusion.

The Comeback and Coming-from-Behind States: An Update on Youth Incarceration in the United States Cover

"This policy update explores the reasons why states should end the indiscriminate shackling of youth and highlights the strategies states and localities have successfully used to end this damaging practice" (p. 1). Sections cover: what the problem is with shackling of children—it can cause physical and psychological harm, it disproportionately affects children of color, it is inconsistent with the rehabilitative goals of the juvenile justice system, it harms a juvenile's Constitutional rights, and its routine use on all youth appearing in court is unnecessary for public safety; and shifting policy to unshackle youth—the use of statute, court rule-making authority, or litigation.

Unchain the Children: Policy Opportunities to End the Shackling of Youth in Court Cover

"Children in far too many states are forced to appear in court shackled – often wearing handcuffs, leg irons, and belly chains connecting ankle and hand restraints … In this [excellent] webinar, co-sponsored by the Coalition for Juvenile Justice, presenters David Shapiro of the Campaign Against Indiscriminate Juvenile Shackling and George Yeannakis of the Washington State Office of Public Defense and NJJN member TeamChild, discussed the practical, policy, and constitutional reasons to reform universal shackling practices and successful strategies for reforming shackling policies." You can get the following resources at this website: policy update "Unchain the Children: Policy Opportunities to End the Shackling of Youth in Court"; a recording of the entire webinar; PowerPoint presentation; and "GR 9 COVER SHEET Suggested Amendment JUVENILE COURT RULES JuCR 1.6 – Physical Restraints in the Courtroom".

Unchain the Children: Policy Opportunities to Stop Shackling Children in Court [Webinar] Cover
Subscribe to National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) (Washington DC)