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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