The Anti-Racist Imperative of Infancy

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Immediate and complete elimination of the juvenile legal system would be fraught with political and logistical challenges. Incremental “shrinkage,” however, is not only possible but has already begun to occur.307 One incrementalist strategy is to reduce the reach of that system by constricting its jurisdiction over certain behaviors and certain children, particularly the very young.…

Latinx Disparities in Youth Incarceration

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The Sentencing Project released three factsheets highlighting racial disparities in the incarceration of youth: Black Disparities in Youth Incarceration, Disparities in Tribal Youth Incarceration, and Latinx Disparities in Youth Incarceration. These factsheets highlight youth placement rates in 2021 by state and demonstrate that racial disparities persist. Notably, Black youth nationwide are nearly five times more…

Tribal Disparities in Youth Incarceration

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The Sentencing Project released three factsheets highlighting racial disparities in the incarceration of youth: Black Disparities in Youth Incarceration, Disparities in Tribal Youth Incarceration, and Latinx Disparities in Youth Incarceration. These factsheets highlight youth placement rates in 2021 by state and demonstrate that racial disparities persist. Notably, Black youth nationwide are nearly five times more…

Black Disparities in Youth Incarceration

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The Sentencing Project released three factsheets highlighting racial disparities in the incarceration of youth: Black Disparities in Youth Incarceration, Disparities in Tribal Youth Incarceration, and Latinx Disparities in Youth Incarceration. These factsheets highlight youth placement rates in 2021 by state and demonstrate that racial disparities persist. Notably, Black youth nationwide are nearly five times more…

System Reforms to Reduce Youth Incarceration: Why We Must Explore Every Option Before Removing Any Young Person from Home

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This report highlights the importance of reducing the juvenile legal system’s reliance on incarceration by calling for systems reform that centers alternative-to-incarceration programs, adolescent development research, and evidence-based approaches. Highlighting successful state and local laws as well as policies and practices from across the country, the report offers examples of reforms like prohibiting the use…

Misdemeanor Enforcement Trends in New York City, 2016–2022: Diminished Caseloads and Persistent Racial Disparities

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APA RESOLUTION Opposing Involuntary Individual Isolation of Youth in Juvenile Justice Settings

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In February 2024, the American Psychological Association released a resolution detailing evidence-based recommendations to limit and eventually eliminate the use of solitary confinement on youth. Key recommendations include prohibiting solitary confinement except under exigent circumstances, the duration of which generally should not exceed four hours, and prioritizing evidence-based strategies that promote positive youth development in…

Psychosocial Maturity and Desistance From Crime in a Sample of Serious Juvenile Offenders

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No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration

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Why Youth Incarceration Fails: An Updated Review of the Evidence

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Motion to Reduce Level of Detention

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Create New Opportunities for “Persons In Need of Supervision” (PINS) to Succeed Without Legal System Intervention

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Highlights from Pathways to Desistance: A Longitudinal Study of Serious Adolescent Offenders

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Centering Youth Voice in Juvenile Justice Reform: A Brief Summary Report of Youth Experiences

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Overmedication and Misdiagnoses Guide

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U.S. Statement of Interest, Alex A. v. Gov. John Bel Edwards

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No. 3:22-cv-00573 (M.D. La. 2023). The U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in a civil lawsuit addressing the constitutional rights of youth who had been adjudicated delinquent and transferred to the Louisiana State Penitentiary’s former death row building, known as Angola. In their statement, the United States asserted that youth are particularly…

Changing Course in Youth Detention: Reversing Widening Gaps by Race and Place

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The Annie E. Casey Found. (2023). The Annie E. Casey Foundation undertook a three-year analysis from January 2020 to January 2023 of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on juvenile detention rates. The analysis concluded with three main findings: 1) Black youth were ten times more likely to be detained than white youth in 2023;…

National Youth Defense System Standards

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Outlines steps that states must take to comply with the minimum requirements of the U.S. Constitution to protect the rights of youth facing deprivations of liberty.

A Post-Dobbs Future: Bailing Water Downstream to Center Democracy’s Children

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Only Young Once: Alabama’s Overreliance on School Pushout and For-Profit Youth Incarceration 

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What We Need to Thrive: A Youth-Led Vision for a Just Alameda County 

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The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Ceres Policy Research Center partnered with youth leaders in Alameda County, California, to assess the current landscape of the juvenile legal system and outline a youth-centered vision for the future. Utilizing a youth participatory action research protocol, this report relied on youth leaders to design and implement…

One in Five: How Mass Incarceration Deepens Inequality and Harms Public Safety

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Due Process in the Time of COVID: Defenders as First Responders in a Juvenile Court System Struggling with the COVID-19 Pandemic

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In February and March 2020, as COVID-19 spread throughout the United States, NJDC recognized a crisis facing youth involved in the juvenile courts and the attorneys tasked with defending them. The contagious nature of COVID-19 and the public health protocols meant to mitigate transmission heightened risks to the health and wellbeing of youth entering the…

Emergency Motion for Pre-Adjudication Release Due to Public Health and Safety Threat Posed by COVID-19 Pandemic (North Carolina)

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Fair and Just Prosecution Statement from Elected Prosecutors on COVID-19 and Addressing the Rights and Needs of Those in Custody

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