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Data Snapshot: What Young People Say Matters

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2023
2 pages

This document analyzes survey responses of system-involved youth about their current experiences, quality of life, preparations for reentry, and outlook for their futures, with the aim of to lessening the impact of incarceration on young people of color.


This Performance-based Standards (PbS) Data Snapshot document is part of an effort to set standards for juvenile justice agencies with the goal of ensuring that all youth feel seen, heard, and valued, as well as being screened for immediate physical and mental health and educational needs. This document presents responses that PbS participants sought from youth about their experiences and feelings using two perception surveys: the Youth Climate Survey, which is administered during the months of April and October and provides a snapshot of the conditions, quality of life, and experiences at one point in time; and the Reentry Survey, which is administered year-round to youth shortly before they leave correctional facilities and when they exit community supervision, and is designed to understand youths’ perceptions of how prepared and ready they are to become successful and purposeful citizens. Both surveys were anonymous and administered using the PbS kiosk, a hand-held mobile device, or on paper; responses are reported in aggregate, twice each year. The Youth Climate Survey addresses conditions such as quality of food, fairness of rules, ability to have phone and other conversations with parents or guardians, involvement in treatment or service plans, and staff characteristics. The Youth Reentry Survey addresses issues such as youths’ ability to have input into meetings about themselves, fairness of treatment, opportunities to learn from mistakes, personal growth and development efforts, reentry goals and preparedness efforts, and access to valid identification and documentation, and access to technology such as cell phones.

Date Published: January 1, 2023