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Toolkit: How to Calculate the Average Costs of Detaining a Youth

Published May 9, 2013, National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN)

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Do you know what it costs to detain a youth in your community? Do policymakers? Advocates and system stakeholders frequently lack complete and accurate cost data that could give them a fuller understanding of the downstream costs of their decisions. So it’s critical to be able to calculate how much it costs to process youth in the justice system.

What are the numbers in your state? The National Juvenile Justice Network's (NJJN) Fiscal Policy Center can help you find the answer, with its step-by-step guide. Second in a series, the toolkit is intended to help reformers and policymakers craft cost-effective policies for youth in trouble with the law.

Go here to see NJJN's toolkit on calculating the cost of a youth arrest.

Click here to see all of NJJN's Models for Change-related publications.


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Models for Change is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.

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