As a result of participating in Improving Outcomes for Youth: A Statewide Juvenile Justice Initiative (IOYouth), Nevada passed legislation that supports the adoption and implementation of key policy and practice changes to the state’s juvenile justice system.
State and local leaders across the country have made concerted efforts to scale back juvenile incarceration, and their efforts have yielded significant results: the national juvenile incarceration rate has been cut in half over the last decade. As a result, a greater number of youth in the juvenile justice system are now being supervised in their communities, which research shows leads to lower rearrest rates, and states are increasingly allocating the majority of their juvenile justice resources to community-based supervision and services.
While reducing youth incarceration is a significant accomplishment, many states have struggled to reduce recidivism and improve other outcomes for youth, such as those related to education and employment. For example, an analysis of approximately 60,000 youth in Texas found that even after the state had doubled spending on community-based supervision and services, recidivism rates remained unchanged; in fact, youth who received no services at all fared no worse than youth who had received treatment and other supports.3 Research has also shown that, in a number of states, more than half of those youth who are still incarcerated and released from correctional facilities are rearrested or reincarcerated within two years.
To address these challenges, the National Reentry Resource Center (NRRC) and The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), launched Improving Outcomes for Youth: A Statewide Juvenile Justice Initiative (IOYouth). IOYouth supports states to identify, enact, and successfully implement policies and funding strategies that research shows work to reduce recidivism and improve other outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system. Through this initiative, states receive intensive technical assistance from the CSG Justice Center to undergo a comprehensive, data-driven assessment of their juvenile justice system, develop policy options to improve outcomes for youth based on this assessment, and translate these policy options into legislative and appropriations changes.
Population of Focus: Incarcerated and formerly Incarcerated Juvenile, Youth
Links to Resource:
- Nevada’s Statewide Approach to Reducing Recidivism and Improving Outcomes for Youth in the Juvenile Justice System Report (pdf)
- More Projects Reducing Juvenile Recidivism
- Justice Center’s National Reentry Resource Center
- Mentoring as a Component of Reentry: Practical Considerations from the Field