Juvenile Justice

Resource Guide

The juvenile court was originally founded on the principle of applying social-service interventions in a legal forum. During the 1990s a push for trying children as adults resulted in thousands of minors being placed in adult jails.  Since 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court has limited practices such as the execution of offenders who are under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed and life without parole sentences for crimes committed by juveniles. Some juvenile courts have expanded their problem solving approach to include specialized courts or dockets, such as juvenile drug courts, mental health courts, teen courts, truancy courts, and gun courts.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.

Featured Resources

Better Solutions for Youth with Mental Health Needs in the Juvenile Justice System. (2014). Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Collaborative for Change. This report focuses on effective responses to youth with mental health needs in the juvenile justice system where as many as 70 percent have a diagnosable mental health disorder.
SAMHSA, MacArthur Renew Commitment to Justice-Involved Youth with Behavioral Health Needs.

Propelled by the success of the collaboration’s previous two-year project to divert youth with behavioral health conditions from the juvenile justice system to community-based programs and services, the new initiative will continue to advance such reform. The deadline to apply is February 28, 2014

Facilitating Access to Health Care Coverage for Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth. (December 2013).

National Academy for State Health Policy. This Models for Change report outlines federal and state Medicaid eligibility, enroll­ment, and outreach strategies that can help facilitate seamless coverage for justice system-involved youth.

Innovation Briefs. (December 2013).

A series of Innovation Briefs were released at the Models for Change Annual Meeting.

Models for Change Resource Center Partnership.

Models for Change Resource Center Partnership. The Partnership will provide judges, court personnel, public defenders, policymakers, advocates, probation officers, mental health and social service agencies, and others with much-needed technical assistance, training, tools, and resources to help advance juvenile justice reform across the country.  The new Partnership consists of four Resource Centers that will focus on areas critical to continued change in juvenile justice

Talking Juvenile Justice: A Webinar with Photographer Richard Ross. (November 2013). Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. This archived webinar is based on photographer Richard Ross’ ground breaking seven year project Juvenile In Justice, that includes photographs of more than 1,000 children in juvenile detention and commitment facilities in 31 states.
Jefferson, Hon. Wallace B. Recognizing and Combating the "School-To-Prison Pipeline" in Texas. (2012). National Center for State Courts, Future Trends in State Courts 2012. This keynote article in the 2012 Future Trends discusses how school disciplinary practices can unnecessarily lead to juvenile justice involvement.
Strengthening the Capacity of the Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Department. (January 2011). National Center for State Courts.

This report identifies eight key principles of evidence based practices in juvenile community corrections, and discusses how the Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Department is positioned in relation to each of these principles.

Shay C. Bilchik. Addressing the Needs of Youth Known to be both the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems. (2010). Future Trends in State Courts 2010.

This article discusses innovative practices courts can help implement to better serve children that come to their attention through multiple systems, in particular the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.  It identifies ways courts and their system partners can reengineer their work to best serve these youth and prevent further system involvement.


Benchbook for Judges & Court Personnel. (2012). Interstate Commission for Juveniles.

This benchbook is the most recent major revision of the ICJ first published as a model legislation by the Council of State Governments (CSG) in 2004 and now in effect in 46 jurisdictions as a replacement for the 1955 compact. The Revised ICJ contains transition provisions to manage the relationship between states that continue to operate under the 1955 ICJ and those that have adopted the Revised ICJ.

Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission Youth Reentry Improvement Report. (November 2011). This report looks at the high recidivism rate of Illinois juveniles and makes suggestions for improvement to the juvenile justice system.
Representing Juvenile Status Offenders. (2010). American Bar Association This guide includes the critical provisions of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act as they affect status offenders and explores status offender behaviors within the context of adolescent development.
Uberto Gatti, Richard E. Tremblay, and Frank Vitaro Iatrogenic Effect of Juvenile Justice. (2009). Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 50:8 This longitudinal study sought to determine the effects of intervention by the juvenile justice system on involvement in adult crime.
Sterling, Robin Walker et al. Role of Juvenile Defense Counsel in Delinquency Court. (Spring 2009). National Juvenile Defender Center These principles provide guidance for juvenile defenders that address the complex role played by the juvenile defense lawyer who is ethically mandated to provide the same client centered representation to juveniles as adults and yet is pressured to provide a best interests representation that may be at odds with the juvenile client’s expressed interests.
A Road Map for Juvenile Justice Reform. (2008). Annie E. Casey Foundation In the opening essay of its 2008 KIDS COUNT Data Book, the Annie E. Casey Foundation focuses on juvenile justice reform.  The essay presents six key challenges and points toward proven solutions and system reforms that would improve outcomes for youth, families, taxpayers, and communities. 
Sedlack, Andrea J. Introduction to Survey of Youth in Residential Placement. (October 2008). Juvenile Justice Bulletin This Survey of Youth in Residential Placement (SYRP) is part of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP’s) effort to provide updated statistics on youth in custody.
Juvenile Delinquency Guidelines: Improving Court Practice in Juvenile Delinquency Cases. (2005). National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The scope of this report begins at the point when an affidavit alleging a violation of the law is brought to the juvenile delinquency court. It ends upon completion of all delinquency hearings on a petition, including post-disposition review hearings.
National Juvenile Defender Center. The NJDC was established in 1999 to improve access to and quality of counsel for juveniles.  State by state comparative analyses of various issues pertaining to juvenile justice are provided.  In addition, the NJDC has completed assessments of access to and quality of juvenile defense counsel for the following states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington

Delinquency Prevention

Cuevas, Carlos A. et al. Children’s Exposure to Violence and the Intersection Between Delinquency and Victimization. (October 2013). Juvenile Justice Bulletin. This report looks at the convergence of victimization and delinquency based on the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence.
Keeping Kids in Schools and Out of Court. (2013).

New York City School-Justice Partnership Task Force. This report provides recommendations for keeping children in school by reducing the use of suspensions and arrests for school related behavior.

Keeping Kids In School and Out of Courts. (March 2012). This publication includes a collection of reports presented at the National Leadership Summit on School-Justice Partnerships on March 11-13, 2012.
Southwest Balanced and Restorative Justice Drop-In Center (BARJ). (2012). District of Columbia Superior Court This multi-faceted facility serves court-involved youth and their families in the District of Columbia.  BARJ opened September 2012.
George, Thomas P. School Engagement and Juvenile Offending Among Maltreated Youth Who Vary by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Type of Child Maltreatment. (2012). Olympia, WA:  Washington State Center for Court Research, Administrative Office of the Courts This study explores the relationships between child maltreatment, school engagement, and juvenile criminal offending.
Herz, Denise, et al. Addressing the Needs of Multi-System Youth: Strengthening the Connection between Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice. (March 2012). Center for Juvenile Justice Reform This paper was released at a symposium held at Georgetown University in March of 2012 and provides a framework for jurisdictions to utilize in their efforts to better serve crossover or dually involved youth.
Assessing School Attendance Problems and Truancy Intervention in Maryland: A Synthesis of Evidence from Baltimore City and the Lower Eastern Shore. (December 2011). Administrative Office of the Courts

This is part of a five report study on the issue of truancy reduction in Maryland.  The report compares three Maryland programs that were evaluated:  Baltimore Students: Mediating About Reducing Truancy (BSMART), Truancy Court Program (TCP) and Truancy Reduction Pilot Program (TRPP).

Setting an Agenda for Family-Focused Justice Reform. (May 2011). The Vera Institute of Justice Research on the effectiveness of family centered approaches to dealing with youth in the juvenile justice system have been shown to not only reduce recidivism rates as compared to other forms of treatment, but to also result in fewer siblings becoming involved in the juvenile justice system.
Finding Direction: Expanding Criminal Justice Options by Considering Policies of Other Nations. (April 2011). Justice Policy Institute This factsheet, derived from the longer report, Finding Direction: Expanding Criminal Justice Options by Considering Policies of Other Nations, considers the juvenile justice policies of five nations, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany and England and Wales, alongside those of the U.S.
Teske, Judge Steven C. and Judge J. Brian Huff The Court's Role in Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline. (Winter 2011). Juvenile and Family Justice Today This article discusses the effect of school referrals to juvenile court and suggests alternatives.
Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study of How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement. (2011). New York:  Council of State Governments Justice Center This statewide study of nearly 1 million Texas public secondary school students followed them for at least six years.  Findings included an increased involvement with the juvenile justice system for students who were suspended or expelled and a disproportionate rate of suspension/expulsion for minorities and special education students.
Lutz, Lorrie and Macon Stewart Crossover Youth Practice Model. (2010). Center for Juvenile Justice Reform The Crossover Youth Practice Model provides information on youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems and provides a model for evidence based intervention and treatment of these dually-involved youth.

Evidence Based Programs

Bonnie, R. L. et al. Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach . (2013). National Research Council. This study recommends that “states and localities . . . move away from a justice model focused on punishment and instead adopt a model that acknowledges the changes that youthful offenders are undergoing and fosters positive development and accountability.”
Georgia’s 2013 Juvenile Justice Reform: New Policies to Reduce Secure Confinement, Costs, and Recidivism. The Pew Charitable Trusts Public Safety Performance Project. This issue paper discusses the 2012 criminal justice overhaul in Georgia which included wide-ranging reforms to its juvenile justice system.
Wiederstein, Hon. Robert Juvenile Justice Reform: More Bang for the Buck. (January 2013). This article from the Kentucky Bench & Bar reviews existing research on cost saving juvenile justice reforms.
Taxy, Samuel et al. The Costs and Benefits of Functional Family Therapy for Washington, D.C.. (September 2012). The District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute. This cost-benefit analysis (CBA) describes the costs of operating Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and the savings (benefits) to city and federal agencies and to society from reduced juvenile recidivism.
Victimization and Trauma Experienced by Children and Youth: Implications for Legal Advocates. (September 2012). The Safe Start Center Series on Children Exposed to Violence, Issue Brief #7 This Issue Brief focuses on emerging research and program practice to develop action steps for dependency and delinquency judges, attorneys, and legal advocates in the area of victimization and trauma.
Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System Enhancement Strategy. (April 2012).

This monograph describes the JJSES system to use evidence based practices statewide.

A Contextual Analysis: Truancy in Baltimore City and the First Judicial District. (December 2011). Administrative Office of the Courts and the State Justice Institute.

The Maryland Judiciary, Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), sought and received funding from the State Justice Institute to conduct an empirical examination of the contextual factors that influence truancy and school attendance, and to evaluate a number of truancy interventions that are supported currently by the Judiciary.

Evidence-Based Practices for Children Exposed to Violence: A Selection from Federal Databases. (2011). U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This package of information summarizes findings and evidence from federal reviews of research studies and program evaluations to help localities address childhood exposure to violence and improve outcomes for children, families, and communities.

Lipsey, Mark W. et al. Improving the Effectiveness of Juvenile Justice Programs A New Perspective on Evidence-Based Practice. (December 2010). Center for Juvenile Justice Reform This report provides a review of evidence based programs in the juvenile justice system.
Crime Solutions.gov. Office of Justice Programs The Office of Justice Programs’ CrimeSolutions.gov provides information on specific justice-related programs and reviews the existing evaluation research against standard criteria.  The juvenile page reviews over 50 programs and provides an evidence rating for each program.

Girls and Minorities

Huizinga, David and Shari Miller Developmental Sequences of Girls’ Delinquent Behavior. (2013). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Girls Study Group. This report provides an analysis of the patterns, prevalence and frequency of girls’ delinquent behavior.
Disproportionate Minority Contact. (November 2012). InFocus.  Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention This fact sheet provides an overview of DMC and a Summary of States’ DMC Reduction Activities.
Watson, Liz and Peter Edelman Improving the Juvenile Justice System for Girls: Lessons from the States. (October 2012). Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy. This report focuses on the issues facing the growing number of girls in the juvenile justice system that was designed for the needs of boys.
Brumbaugh, Susan Jennifer L. Hardison Walters, and Laura A. Winterfield Suitability of Assessment Instruments for Delinquent Girls . (April 2010). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency This Girls Study Group report summarizes the findings on the extent to which existing adolescent instruments used in the juvenile justice system are effective in assessing girls.
Caged Birds Sing. (March 2010). American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland This report describes the experiences of girls in a secure facility.  The facility houses them in three separate units:  before adjudication, after adjudication, and after commitment to the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services.
Disproportionate Minority Contact Technical Assistance Manual 4th Edition. (July 2009). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention This online manual presents an overview of methods for calculating and analyzing disproportionate minority contact (DMC). The fourth edition includes DMC data and intervention strategies for serving Hispanic youth in the juvenile justice system.
Resilient Girls Factors That Protect Against Delinquency . (January 2009). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency This report looks at four factors’ ability to protect girls from delinquency:  a caring adult, school connectedness, school success, and religiosity.
Zahn, Margaret A. et al. Violence by Teenage Girls: Trends and Context. (May 2008). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention This bulletin is part of the Girls study group series and examines issues such as patterns of offending among adolescents and how they differ for girls and boys; risk and protective factors associated with delinquency, including gender differences; and the causes and correlates of girls and delinquency.
Puzzanchera, C. and B. Adams Disproportionate Minority Contact Databook. (2008). National Center for Juvenile Justice The National Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Databook is designed to give users an understanding of the Relative Rate Index (RRI) and an assessment of the levels of disproportionate minority contact at various stages of juvenile justice system processing at the national level.
Arya, Neelum and Ian Augarten Critical Condition: African American Youth in the Justice System. (2008). Campaign for Youth Justice This policy brief reviews the research on disproportionate confinement of minority youth and provides policy recommendations.
The Girls Study Group Charting the Way to Delinquency Prevention for Girls. (September 2008). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency This report provides an overview of the Girls Study Group research project.
Hartney, Christopher Native American Youth and the Juvenile Justice System . (March 2008). The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) This report reviews the national data on the disparity of treatment between Native American youth and other racial and ethnic groups in the juvenile justice system.
Disproportionate Minority Confinement. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provides a host of resources on this topic including various reports, etc.
Girls Court. Hawaii Judiciary In September 2004, a Girls Court - one of the first in the nation - was launched on O`ahu by the Family Court. The goal of the program is to prevent or reduce female juvenile delinquency by encouraging healthy attitudes, behaviors, and life styles as well as promoting self-control and responsibility.

Juvenile Court and Case Management

Memorandum of Agreement Regarding the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County. (December 2012). United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division This Agreement addresses the findings made during the Department of Justice’s investigation of the juvenile court’s administration of juvenile justice and conditions of confinement.
Juvenile access chart. (May 2012). Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press This chart provides general information about the right of access to juvenile courts in each state from the point of view of the news media.
Educational, Health Care, and Disability Amendments. (April 2011). Pennsylvania Supreme Court

As set forth in the amendments, each of these educational, health care, and disability needs must be addressed at each stage of the proceedings and in the court’s orders.

Juvenile Court Training Curriculum, 2nd Edition. (April 2010). National Juvenile Defender Center This curriculum is geared toward juvenile court judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and probation staff and focuses on up-to-date adolescent development research and its application to juvenile court practice.

Juvenile Court Jurisdiction and Structure

Raising the Age of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction. (February 2013). Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.This report examines the impact of a 2010 state law that places 17-year-olds in juvenile courts for misdemeanor charges but in adult criminal court for felony charges and recommends immediately changing the legislation to extend juvenile court jurisdiction to include all 17-year-olds.
State Juvenile Justice Profiles. National Center for Juvenile Justice The State Juvenile Justice Profiles web site provides information and analysis regarding each state's juvenile justice system, illustrating the uniqueness of the 51 separate juvenile justice systems in this country.
Butts, Jeffrey A. and Douglas N. Evans Resolution, Reinvestment, and Realignment: Three Strategies for Changing Juvenile Justice. (September 2011). New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York This report reviews the history and development of strategies to reform juvenile justice systems and analyzes their impact on policy, practice, and public safety.
Lessons from Luzerne County: Promoting Fairness, Transparency and Accountability. Juvenile Law Center (JLC) (March 2010).  This JLC report provides recommendations to the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice that are pertinent to all juvenile justice systems.

Juveniles Tried As Adults

State Trends - Legislative Victories from 2011-2013: Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System. (October 2013). Campaign for Youth Justice. This report takes a look at states that have, and are taking steps to remove children from the adult criminal justice system.
Life Without Parole for Juveniles: States and Courts Weigh In. (2013). Stateline Interactive. This chart summarizes case law or legislative changes since the Miller v. Alabama decision.
Raised on the Registry: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the US.

Human Rights Watch.  (May 2013).  This report discusses the harm caused by policies based on inaccurate assumptions.  Because youth sex offenders have a very low recidivism rate and 93% of sexually abused children are victims of molestation by a family member, registries do not protect most children from future sexual assault. Sex crimes requiring registration may range from public nudity to serious violent assault and so may subject youth to lifelong consequences for fairly innocuous behavior with little chance of recidivism.

Rempel, M. et al. The Adolescent Diversion Program A First Year Evaluation of Alternatives to Conventional Case Processing for Defendants Ages 16 and 17 in New York. (January 2013). Center for Court Innovation.  As one of only two states that treat 16 and 17 year olds as adults, this study examines the pilot Adolescent Diversion Program which established specialized court parts in several jurisdictions that deal with this specific population in an age appropriate way.
Growing Up Locked Down: Youth in Solitary Confinement in Jails and Prisons Across the United States. (2012). Human Rights Watch and ACLU This report examines the use of solitary confinement of adolescents in adult jails and prisons.
Nellis, Ashley The Lives of Juvenile Lifers: Findings from a National Survey. (March 2012). The Sentencing Project This report provides nationwide data collected about individuals currently serving life sentences for crimes committed as juveniles.
Ziedenberg, Jason You’re An Adult Now Youth in Adult Criminal Justice Systems. (December 2011). National Institute for Corrections This monograph presents the key findings identified by the three dozen juvenile justice and adult corrections experts who met on June 18th, 2010, to discuss the issue of the thousands of youth offenders in the adult system.
Griffin Patrick, Sean Addie, Benjamin Adams, and Kathy Firestine Trying Juveniles as Adults: An Analysis of State Transfer Laws and Reporting. (September 2011). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention A total of 45 states have laws designating some category of cases in which waiver of jurisdiction may be considered but only 13 states publicly report the total number of their transfers, and even fewer report offense profiles, demographic characteristics, or details regarding processing and sentencing.
Juveniles Serving Life Without Parole in the U.S.. (May 2009). PBS This interactive map tracks the number of individuals sentenced to life without parole for acts committed as juveniles.  The information was compiled by Human Rights Watch.
Deitch, Michele, et.al From Time Out to Hard Time: Young Children in the Adult Criminal Justice System. (2009). The University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs This report provides a comprehensive look at the available data with regard to the transfer of young children to adult criminal court, documents the consequences that follow when young children go into the adult criminal justice system, examines international practices, and offers policy recommendations to address this situation.

Mental Health

Thinking Outside the Cell: Alternatives to Incarceration for Youth with Mental Illness. (April 2011). National Center for Youth Law This report focuses on community based continuums of care for juveniles with mental health needs as an alternative to incarceration.
Improving Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Review of Alameda County’s Collaborative Mental Health Court. (February 2011). National Center for Youth Law This report provides information on the organization, procedures, admissions policies, and demographics of the youth involved in the Alameda County’s juvenile mental health court.
Skowyra, Kathleen R. and Joseph J. Cocozza Blueprint for Change: A Comprehensive Model for the Identification and Treatment of Youth with Mental Health Needs in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System. (2007). The National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice This report provides a practical framework for juvenile justice and mental health systems to use when developing policies and programs aimed at improving mental health services for youth in the juvenile justice system.
Teplin, Linda et al. Psychiatric Disorders of Youth in Detention. (April 2006). Juvenile Justice Bulletin This Bulletin draws on research conducted by the Northwestern Juvenile Project, which measured the prevalence of alcohol, drug, and mental disorders among youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Illinois.
National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. The Center was established in July 2001 to assist the field in developing improved policies and programs for youth with mental health disorders in contact with the juvenile justice system, based on the best available research and practice.

Program Evaluation

Daly, Reagan, Tarika Kapur, and Margaret Elliott Capital Change: A Process Evaluation of Washington, DC’s Secure Juvenile Placement Reform . (January 2011). Vera Institute of Justice’s Center on Youth Justice (CYJ) This report summarizes a year-long process evaluation of the new Washington D.C. secure facility designed to facilitate a Missouri-inspired treatment model that emphasizes group process, cooperative relationships between youth and staff, and positive youth development.
Evaluation of the Truancy Court Program in Balitmore City. (December 2011). Administrative Office of the Courts and the State Justice Institute.

This report on TCP is part of a series of reports evaluating truancy intervention programs in Maryland, including the court-based intervention Truancy Reduction Pilot Program (TRPP) in the First Judicial Circuit and the mediation intervention Baltimore Students: Mediation about Reducing Truancy (B-SMART) in Baltimore City schools.

Evaluation of the BSMART Program. (December 2011). Administrative Office of the Courts and the State Justice Institute.

Baltimore Students: Mediation About Reducing Truancy (BSMART) is an evidence-based early intervention program that targets students in elementary or middle school who have five to ten days of unexcused absences.

Model Policies for Juvenile Justice and Substance Abuse Treatment: A Report by Reclaiming Futures. (July 2008). The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation This report reviews the history of the Reclaiming Futures project and identifies promising policies to improve the current system. 
Butts, Jeffry A. and John Roman Changing Systems: Outcomes from the RWJF Reclaiming Futures Initiative on Juvenile Justice and Substance Abuse . (August 2007). Reclaiming Futures National Program Office This national evaluation of Reclaiming Futures (2002-2007) conducted by the Urban Institute and Chapin Hall Center for Children looked at the 10 initial participants in terms of organizational change and system reform to improve substance abuse interventions for juvenile offenders.

Sentencing Detention Probation

The Comeback States: Reducing youth incarceration in the United States. (2013). National Juvenile Justice Network and the Texas Public Policy Foundation. This report identifies policies that have reduced the reliance on juvenile incarceration and the nine “comeback” states that have been leaders in adopting these policies:   California; Connecticut; Illinois; Ohio; Mississippi; New York; Texas; Washington; and Wisconsin. A recent update was released including 2011 data.
Abram, Karen M. et al. PTSD, Trauma, and Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders in Detained Youth. (June 2013). Juvenile Justice Bulletin. This bulletin examines the results of the Northwestern Juvenile Project and discusses the findings on the prevalence of trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among juvenile detainees and PTSD’s tendency to co-occur with other psychiatric disorders.
Common Ground: Lessons Learned from Five States that Reduced Juvenile Confinement by More than Half. (February 2013). Juvenile Justice Policiy Institute. This report examines the top five states in terms of reducing juvenile incarcerations rates between 2001 and 2010.
The Northwestern Juvenile Project: Overview. (February 2013). Juvenile Justice Bulletin. This longitudinal study investigates the mental health needs and long-term outcomes of 1,829 youth detained in the juvenile justice system between 1995 and 1998.
Reducing Youth Incarceration in the United States. (February 2013). The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Snapshot. Despite a 41% decline in the youth incarceration rate between 1995 and 2010, the United States still has a higher youth incarceration rate than any other developed country and large disparities by race remain.
Mendel, Richard A. No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration . (October 2011). Annie E. Casey Foundation This report concludes that the current system of incarcerating juvenile offenders is costly and ineffective.  Recommendations for reducing juvenile incarceration rates while protecting public safety are provided.
Fratello, Jennifer, Annie Salsich, and Sara Mogulescu Juvenile Detention Reform in New York City: Measuring Risk through Research. (April 2011). Center on Youth Justice This report describes a research-based detention risk-assessment instrument (RAI) for use alongside a continuum of community-based alternatives to detention and early results from the RAI’s implementation in New York City.
Mayhew, Kaitlin Minnesota Advocates Push for Changes to Public Access on Juvenile Records. (January 2011). Youth Today This article discusses the problem of access to juvenile records where different agencies have different policies on disclosure when there has not been a conviction.
Fred Cheesman. A Decade of NCSC Research on Blended Sentencing of Juvenile Offenders: What Have We Learned About "Who Gets a Second Chance?". (2011). Future Trends in State Courts 2011.

State court dockets are filled with offenders who have been through the system before and are likely to return.  Incorporating evidence-based practices into the sentencing process offers the promise of reducing recidivism while protecting public safety and controlling corrections costs.

Beck , Allen J., Paul Guerino, and Paige M. Harrison Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2008-09. (January 2010). Bureau of Justice Statistics This report provides data for national-level and facility-level estimates of sexual victimization based on the 2008-09 National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC).
Sedlak, Andrea J. and Karla S. McPherson Conditions of Confinement. (May 2010). Juvenile Justice Bulletin This bulletin presents findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement about the conditions of confinement for youth in a range of different facilities and programs.
The Missouri Model Reinventing the Practice of Rehabilitating Youthful Offenders. (2010). Annie E. Casey Foundation This summary describes the Missouri Model of small, regional facilities with intensive treatment used only for those juveniles who cannot be placed in community based programs.  The reported benefits are reduced recidivism, increased safety, better educational outcomes, and lower costs.
Johnson, LaWanda New Data on Sanctions and Services Supports the Use of Non-Institutional Alternatives. (March 2010). Models for Change This article reviews preliminary data from the Pathways to Desistance study on the use of institutional placements as opposed to community based alternatives and the effect on recidivism.
The Costs of Confinement: Why Good Juvenile Justice Policies Make Good Fiscal Sense. (May 2009). Justice Policy Institute This policy brief details how states can see a net reduction in costs by moving expenditures away from large, congruent care facilities (often called “training schools”) for youth and investing in community-based alternatives.
Hayes, Lindsay M. Characteristics of Juvenile Suicide in Confinement . (February 2009). Juvenile Justice Bulletin The National Center on Institutions and Alternatives conducted the first national survey of juvenile suicides in confinement.  The study analyzed 79 cases between 1995 and 1999 and found 42 percent occurred in training schools and other secure facilities, 37 percent in detention centers, 15 percent in residential treatment centers, and 6 percent in reception or diagnostic centers.
Cheesman, Fred L. and Nicole L. Waters Who Gets a Second Chance?: An Investigation of Ohio`s Blended Juvenile Sentence.. (May 2008). 3rd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Papers This paper identifies the factors that influence the probability that juvenile offenders will be processed as conventional juvenile or as blended sentencing cases (referred to as a Serious Youthful Offender or SYO in Ohio) or transferred to the adult criminal justice system.
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative. The Annie E. Casey Foundation A proposition for detention alternatives for low flight risk and non-violent juveniles.

Specialized Courts for Juveniles

Multijurisdictional Teen Court Evaluation: A Comparative Evaluation of Three Teen Court Models. (June 2013). Maryland Administrative Office of the Courts. This report presents data on the processes, outcomes, and perspectives of Teen Courts using data gathered in three geographically diverse Teen Courts in Maryland: Baltimore City, Charles County, and Montgomery County Teen Courts
In One Brooklyn Courtroom, Teens are Judge and Jury. (May 2013). Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. This article describes the Brooklyn, New York Red Hook Youth Court.
Klima, Tali, Marna Miller, and Corey Nunlist Washington`s Truancy Laws: School District Implementation and Costs . (February 2009). The Washington State Institute for Public Policy The Washington State Institute for Public Policy was directed by the legislature to study implementation of the truancy laws in school districts and courts in the state.
Stickle, Wendy Povitsky et al. An Experimental Evaluation of Teen Courts. (2008). 4(2) Journal of Experimental Criminology 137 This abstract of the article describes the study which  examined the effectiveness of teen courts in reducing recidivism and improving the attitudes and opinions of juvenile offenders in comparison with a control group of youth who were formally processed. Self-reported delinquency was higher for those youth who participated in teen court.
Peterson, Scott B. and Jill Beres The First Report to the Nation on Youth Courts and Teen Courts. (2008). Global Issues Resource Center This report gives  a  15 year review of the nation’s youth court programs, 1993-2008.
Youth Courts: An Empirical Update and Analysis of Future Organizational and Research Needs. (2008). Hamilton Fish Institute, George Washington University This report is the third in a series on the status of youth courts in the United States funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).  This national survey looked at program outcomes and operational and administrative procedures.  The study found more than 1250 youth courts in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Global Youth Justice, LLC. The Global Youth Justice Website includes a history of the Youth Court movement and links to individual youth courts.
Juvenile and Family Drug Courts: An Overview. Drug Court Clearinghouse at American University Articles on juvenile drug courts and programs countrywide.
Juvenile Mental Health Courts Initiative. National Center for Youth Law In an effort to help courts fulfill their diversionary potential, NCYL has forged an innovative partnership with the nation’s first Juvenile Mental Health Court – Santa Clara County’s Court for the Individualized Treatment of Adolescents (CITA). For the past three years, NCYL has worked closely with the CITA team to represent youth on matters outside of the juvenile court’s jurisdiction.
National Association of Youth Courts. Comprehensive Website on Youth Courts, Teen Courts, Peer Courts and Student Courts. According to the National Association of Youth Courts there are currently 1255 youth courts in 49 states.   The site provides a youth court list by state.   

Trends and Statistics

Puzzanchera, Charles Juvenile Arrests 2011. (December 2013). Juvenile Justice Bulletin

Arrests in 2011 were down 11 percent from 2010 and down 31 percent since 2002.


Reducing Youth Incarceration in the United States . (February 2013). Annie E. Casey Foundation. Despite recent declines in the youth incarceration rate, the United States still incarcerates more juveniles than any other developed nation.
Brown, Sarah Alice Trends in Juvenile Justice State Legislation 2001 – 2011. (June 2012). National Conference of State Legislatures States are re-evaluating their juvenile justice systems in order to identify methods that pro­duce better results for kids at lower cost. This has con­tributed to a state legislative trend to realign fiscal resources from state institutions toward more effec­tive community-based services.
Teplin, Linda A. et al. The Northwestern Juvenile Project: Overview. (February 2013). This bulletin series presents the results of the Northwestern Juvenile Project, the first large-scale, prospective longitudinal study of drug, alcohol, and psychiatric disorders in a diverse sample of juvenile detainees. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Juvenile Offender Fact Sheets 2009. (October 2012). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention These reports present statistics for Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Court, 2009, Delinquency Cases Waived to Criminal Court, 2009, Juvenile Delinquency Probation Caseload, 2009
Puzzanchera, Charles, Benjamin Adams, and Sarah Hockenberry Juvenile Court Statistics 2009. (May 2012). Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice. This report uses data from the National Juvenile Court Data Archive to analyze the 2009 data for 1.5 million delinquency cases.  Historical trends are also presented.
Sickmund, Melissa The District of Columbia Juvenile Reoffending Study. (August 2012). Pittsburgh, PA:  National Center for Juvenile Justice This report presents analysis of data on a cohort of 1,222 juvenile offenders who received placement dispositions for delinquency offenses committed in the District of Columbia during 2007.
Mulvey, Edward P. Highlights from Pathways to Desistance: A Longitudinal Study of Serious Adolescent Offenders. (March 2011). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention This study followed 1,354 serious juvenile offenders for a period of 7 years after their conviction.  Findings include that most serious offenders reduce offending overtime, longer stays in juvenile institutions do not reduce recidivism, and substance abuse treatment appears to reduce both substance use and offending, at least in the short term.
Arya, Neelum State Trends: Legislative Changes from 2005 to 2010 Removing Youth from the Adult Criminal Justice System. (2011). Washington, DC: Campaign for Youth Justice This report reviews four legislative trends including limits on housing youth in adult jails and prisons, raising the age for juvenile court jurisdiction, transfer laws, and sentencing laws that take into account juvenile brain development.
Egley, Arlen Jr. and James C. Howell Highlights of the 2009 National Youth Gang Survey. (June 2011). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention This fact sheet summarizes the latest findings from the 2009 National Youth Gang Survey (NYGS). 
Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2008: Selected Findings. (July 2011). Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency

In October 2008, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) administered the fifth Juvenile Residential Census (JRFC).  The 2008 JRFC collected data from 2,860 juvenile facilities, 2,458 of which held a total of 81,015 offenders younger than 21on the census date (October 22, 2008).

Sickmund, Melissa Juveniles in Residential Placement, 1997-2008. (February 2010). OJJDP Fact Sheet The National Juvenile Justice Data Collection Program found that the number of juveniles in residential placement has declined since a peak in 2000 to the lowest level since 1993.
Puzzanchera, Charles and Melissa Sickmund Juvenile Court Statistics 2006-2007. (March 2010). National Center for Juvenile Justice

This report describes delinquency cases handled between 1985 and 2007 and petitioned status offense cases handled between 1995 and 2007 by more than 2,100 U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction. The report profiles the almost 1.7 million juvenile court cases handled each year for 2006 and 2007.

Sickmund, Melissa Delinquency Cases in Juvenile Courts, 2005. (June 2009). OJJDP Fact Sheet Provides statistics on delinquency cases in U.S. juvenile courts between 1995 and 2005.
ChildStats.Gov. Provides a wide range of comparative statistics relating to the well-being of children in the U.S.
KIDS COUNT Data Book. Annie E. Casey Foundation This online data center provides a wealth of information on youth.  State profiles on a variety of topics can be customized.  Statistics for youth in detention and correctional facilities are available.
Statistical Briefing Book. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Provides links to a host of publications that provide statistics on juveniles.
The National Juvenile Court Data Archive Online . The Archive houses the automated records of cases handled by courts with juvenile jurisdiction. The Archive was established by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, within the U.S. Department of Justice, to promote access to automated juvenile court data sets for juvenile justice research and policymaking efforts. This web site was developed to inform researchers about the available data sets and the procedures for use and access.