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Improving Outcomes for Youth: A Look at Juvenile Justice Reform Implementation in Six States

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages
This is a summary of juvenile justice reforms and their outcomes in the six States that received technical assistance from the Crime and Justice Institute (CJI) under funding from the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) between 2014 and 2016 for the purpose of implementing an OJJDP juvenile justice reform model.
The 6 States are Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Kansas. In October 2014, OJJDP selected Georgia, Hawaii, and Kentucky as the inaugural States for receiving intensive and tailored assistance from CJI. This was the launching of OJJDP's model for achieving reform under the model entitled, "Smart on Juvenile Justice: A Comprehensive Strategy to Juvenile Justice Reform Initiative" (JJRI). OJJDP later selected South Dakota, West Virginia, and Kansas for participation in the JJRI. The four main goals of the JJRI in the six States are 1) to increase capacity to sustain reform; 2) to implement objective decisionmaking tools; 3) to improve community-based alternatives to out-of-home placement; and 4) to support performance measurement, oversight, and reinvestment. All six States have recently passed legislation to address high costs, poor outcomes, and over-reliance on the confinement of youth in residential facilities or other out-of-home placements. Savings are to be reinvested in more effective and cost-efficient methods of supervision and rehabilitation while youth remain in their communities. The JJRI efforts and outcomes are summarized for each of the six States. In May 2017 Utah was selected for the JJRI program and is already making significant progress in juvenile justice reform.