The past decade has seen an explosion of knowledge about adolescent development and the neurological underpinnings of adolescent behavior. Much has also been learned about the pathways by which adolescents become delinquent, the effectiveness of prevention and treatment programs, and the long-term effects of transferring youths to the adult system and confining them in harsh conditions.
These findings have raised doubts about the wisdom and effectiveness of laws passed in the 1990s that criminalized many juvenile offenses and led more youths to be tried as adults. Some jurisdictions have already taken significant steps to reverse these policies and to overhaul their juvenile justice system.
The report, Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach, aims to consolidate the progress that has been made in both science and policymaking and establish a strong platform for a 21st century juvenile justice system. It takes an in-depth look at evidence on adolescent development and on effective responses to adolescent offending.
The report concludes that changes are needed if the juvenile justice system is to meet its aims of holding adolescents accountable, preventing reoffending, and treating them fairly.
► Press Release
► Public Briefing - June 10, 2013
Coalition for Juvenile Justice Briefing (February 2013)