Youth Justice

The Sentencing Project’s new report found a drastic 77% decrease in youth incarceration at juvenile facilities between 2000 – 2020. Public opinion often lags behind these realities, wrongly assuming both that crime is perpetually increasing and that youth offending is routinely violent. But in fact, most youth offenses are low-level, nonviolent offenses and the 21st century has witnessed significant declines in youth offending, arrests, and incarceration.

Youth Justice

Key Publications

“We are not ex-cons, we are not felons, we’re not inmates, we’re people that have a way to give back.”

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Michael Mendoza
National Policy Director at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC)
Youth Justice

Testimony in Support of Bill to Extend Parole Eligibility to People Who Committed Crimes Before 25

The Sentencing Project offered expert testimony in support of SB952, a bill that would extend Connecticut’s parole eligibility rules — currently operable for people under 18 years old at the time of their offense — to people who were under 25 years old.


Webinar with OJJDP's Liz Ryan: Blaming Our Kids Won't Make Us Safe

We’ve all heard stories about purported increases in juvenile crime. But what do the facts say? And how can we advance needed reforms in the current atmosphere? Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Liz Ryan, and advocates from around the country discuss the facts about youth crime during the pandemic and the opportunities for reform.

Click here to watch.


Youth Justice

Important reforms that protect young people from the dangers of incarceration have been achieved over the last 25 years but the benefits are not shared equally among all children. The likelihood of court involvement, detention, and placement in a facility is overwhelmingly heightened for Black, Latinx and Tribal youth compared to white youth involved in similar behavior. Practices holding youth to account must be age appropriate, ensure their health and well-being, and minimize incarceration. Join us by sharing The Sentencing Project’s findings on social media.

  • #1

    The US is the only country in the world that sentences youth to life without parole.

  • 64%

    Reforms have helped achieve a 64% reduction in commitments to juvenile justice facilities between 1997 and 2017.

  • 4X

    Black youth are over four times as likely to be detained or committed in juvenile facilities as their white peers.

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Stand up for youth justice

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