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Research to Practice Memo: How City Leaders Can Draw Upon Adolescent Development Research Findings To Provide a Framework for Juvenile Justice Reform

Published Apr 4, 2016, National League of Cities

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The new Research to Practice Memo: How City Leaders Can Draw Upon Adolescent Development Research Findings to Provide a Framework for Juvenile Justice Reform provides a ready resource for city leaders who want to apply the most up-to-date research on adolescence to local juvenile justice reform initiatives. Supported by a wealth of juvenile justice reform resources, cities across the country continue to reform how local agencies respond to misbehaving or delinquent youth.

The Memo outlines how city leaders stand to reach better public safety and youth development outcomes by:

  • creating a robust continuum of community-based alternatives to the juvenile justice system,
  • making the first point of contact with police an opportunity for referral to services, and
  • using risk and needs assessments to match the right youth with the right services.

In addition, city leaders can publicly call for their partners in county or state juvenile justice agencies to align their services and policies with research about what works for adolescents.


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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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