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Richard Mendel
Senior Research Fellow

Richard “Dick” Mendel is a Senior Research Fellow for Youth Justice, where he conducts research and writes reports to promote reform of our nation’s youth justice systems. Prior to joining The Sentencing Project, Mendel spent more than 20 years as an independent writer and researcher on youth justice and other social justice issues. During that time, he authored several highly-cited publications on juvenile justice for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, including The Missouri Model: Reinventing the Practice of Rehabilitating Youthful Offenders (2010); No Place for Kids: The Case for Reducing Juvenile Incarceration (2011); and Transforming Juvenile Probation: A Vision for Getting it Right (2018). Previously, Mendel authored: Prevention or Pork: A Hard-Headed Look at Youth-Oriented Anti-Crime Programs (1995) and Less Hype, More Help: Reducing Juvenile Crime, What Works – and What Doesn’t (2000) for the American Youth Policy Forum. As a journalist, Mendel has published articles in The AtlanticWashington MonthlyThe Marshall ProjectLegal TimesBaltimore Sun[Raleigh, NC] News & ObserverThe American Prospect, and other publications. He holds a Bachelors in Public Policy from Duke University and a Masters in Journalism from the University of Maryland.

Written By Richard Mendel
August 30, 2022

Diversion: A Hidden Key to Combating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice

New juvenile justice analysis reveals the system’s unequal and limited use of diversion from court involvement, particularly for Black youth.
June 14, 2022

Data Reveals Violence Among Youth Under 18 Has Not Spiked in the Pandemic

Pervasive discussions about adolescent crime have revitalized calls for punitive approaches to youth justice that don’t work
February 09, 2022

State Action to Narrow the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Thanks to a $122 billion infusion of federal funds for public education included in the March 2021 American Rescue Plan, schools and communities have the opportunity to invest vast resources in effective new approaches to close the school-to-prison pipeline. The Sentencing Project has examined the plans submitted by every state for use of these federal funds.
September 07, 2021

Meeting the Back-to-School Challenge: Get Involved!

Richard Mendel
By investing in proven solutions and partnering with the community, the education system can avert potential tragedy in 2021-22 and establish a new normal in our education system that fosters success, promotes equity, and recognizes the realities of adolescent behavior and brain development.
August 31, 2021

Back-to-School Action Guide: Re-Engaging Students and Closing the School-to-Prison Pipeline

Thanks to a $122 billion infusion of federal funds, schools and communities can invest vast resources in effective new approaches that offer us the power to keep children in school and help them progress along the path to educational success.