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A sea change is underway in the nation's approach to dealing with young people who get in trouble with the law. Although the country still leads the industrialized world in the rate at which it locks up young people, the youth confinement rate in the United States is rapidly declining. In 2010 this rate reached a new 35-year low, with almost every state confining a smaller share of its youth population than a decade earlier. This decline has not led to a surge in juvenile crime. On the contrary, crime has fallen sharply even as juvenile justice systems have locked up fewer delinquent youth. The public is safer, youth are being treated less punitively and more humanely, and governments are saving money--because the juvenile justice systems are reducing their reliance on confinement. With this report, the staff seek to highlight this positive trend and provide recommendations that can encourage its continuation. (Contains 2 figures, 1 table and 7 resources.)

Descriptors: Youth, Crime, Juvenile Justice, Social Indicators, Delinquency, Intervention, Institutionalized Persons, Correctional Institutions, Public Policy, Racial Differences, Disproportionate Representation, Minority Groups

Annie E. Casey Foundation. 701 Saint Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. Tel: 410-547-6600; Fax: 410-547-6624; Web site:

Autor: Annie E. Casey Foundation


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