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Bringing Youth Home: A National Movement to Increase Public Safety, Rehabilitate Youth and Save Money

Published Jul 1, 2011, National Juvenile Justice Network

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At least twenty-four states will save tens of millions of dollars in the coming fiscal year—and significantly increase public safety—through a smart and simple restructuring of their juvenile justice systems.  According to a recent report published by the National Juvenile Justice Network, states that reduce the number of youth held in secure facilities save millions of dollars and experience a reduction in juvenile arrests and recidivism, while also treating youth more appropriately and effectively.    

"Bringing Youth Home:  A National Movement to Increase Public Safety, Rehabilitate Youth and Save Money," highlights positive news stemming from and of interest to budget conscious and public safety-minded states.  The publication includes examples of states that reduced their juvenile facility populations and are now not only reaping the rewards of newfound funds that can be directed into more effective community-based services for youth, but are also seeing a better return on their investment in terms of juvenile rehabilitation and public safety.  These positive changes are the result of many factors.  Some closures were mandated by legislatures, while others are the result of reform-minded administrators who acknowledge more appropriate and effective ways to respond to court-involved youth.  Other closures resulted from lawsuits that exposed horrific conditions in facilities and regular abuse.  The publication also includes specific tips on how to downsize wisely, and maximize the benefits of facility closures.


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Models for Change was a juvenile justice systems reform initiative supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, website operated by Justice Policy Institute.