Each year, approximately 100,000 youth under 18 are discharged from secure placement. Most youth, however, are not provided with the critical assistance necessary for successful transition back to their communities, schools, homes, and peer groups. Youth often return to neighborhoods with few supportive programs, high crime rates, poverty, and poorly performing schools.
Public safety is compromised when youth exiting secure detention are not afforded the necessary supportive services back in their communities. Supportive services that youth need include life skills training, employment assistance, counseling, school reintegration assistance, adequate healthcare, and secure and safe housing.
Detained young people are incarcerated at a key developmental phase of their adolescence. Upon leaving an out-of-home placement without the necessary skills to cope with adult responsibilities, many youth find themselves unemployed and homeless. Without these necessary skills, these youth are at an increased risk of reoffending and contribute to recidivism rates as high as 70% in some areas. Research consistently suggests recidivism frequently occurs within a few days of release, when reentry services should be underway but are often lacking.
This fact sheet provides a summary of the youth reentry population and the challenges young people face when exiting secure placement. The PDF is available for download below.