Reducing the use of pretrial juvenile detention has resulted in system-wide juvenile justice reform, says a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Three model sites that have followed key detention reform strategies said they had reduced racial disparities, sent fewer youth to prison, increased the involvement of families and youth in their rehabilitation, and improved the juvenile justice systems' ability to make appropriate decisions about where youth should be supervised.
The report documents the reforms inspired by the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, a data driven and outcome-based effort aimed at ensuring that detention is used only when appropriate. The initiative safely diverts young people to other forms of supervision. The report discusses practices in Chicago, Portland, and Santa Cruz, Ca. About 80 jurisdictions and 20 states have taken part in the initiative.