Keeping Kids Out of Detention While Awaiting Trial


Five years ago, New York City began to study alternatives to detaining juvenile offenders while they awaited trial. In collaboration with the Vera Institute of Justice, the city created a risk-assessment tool to determine the likelihood a juvenile offender would be arrested or fail to appear in court. Among other things, they found that the severity of the charge did not correlate to failure to appear, but a history of arrest did.

By putting this risk-assessment tool into practice, the number of youth detained after their first court appearance on a charge dropped 25 percent, and there was a 30 percent reduction in youth arrested while their cases were pending.

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