The Annie E. Casey Foundation is starting a juvenile justice initiative aimed at reducing juvenile incarceration by 50 percent in 10 years, beginning with the release of a report that makes the case for such a drastic reduction, says Youth Today. “An avalanche of research has emerged over the past three decades about what works and doesn't work in combating juvenile crime,” stated the report “No Plce for Kids.” “We now have overwhelming evidence showing that wholesale incarceration of juvenile offenders is a counterproductive public policy.”
Bart Lubow, Casey’s director of programs for high-risk youth, said the foundation will begin work next year with a series of states where officials want to make policy shifts that will affect their reliance on youth correctional facilities. The foundation will use a strategy similar to the one it used for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), which uses the development of a risk assessment to help states, counties, and cities reduce their reliance on juvenile detention centers, where some youths are held before facing a judge. Casey will begin with intensive work in a handful of counties and, once functional models have been developed, provide technical assistance as statewide reform becomes possible. Several states, notably California and Texas, have drastically reduced the number of juveniles confined in large state facilities in the past five years.