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Youth Justice

Diverting youth from the court system yields better outcomes for young people’s futures and for public safety, says our report, “Diversion: A Hidden Key to Combating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice.” Yet diversion remains sorely underutilized, especially for youth of color, and unequal treatment in diversion is a key driver for even larger disparities in confinement later in the process.

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 Maryland Bill to End Automatic Transfer of Youth to Adult Court

Charging youth as if they were adults harms public safety. Click below to read Josh Rovner’s testimony in support of Maryland’s SB165.

Testimony
Webinar

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.

Research

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

Your help powers The Sentencing Project’s critical research and advocacy work. Together, we can fight against systemic racial and ethnic injustices in our country.

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