Raising the Age Without Expanding Secure Confinement in the Youth Justice System

Over the past decade, great strides have been taken to reduce the number of youth incarcerated and to address the racial disparity in the youth justice system.

The following report highlights the states that implemented legislation that returned teens under 18 back to the youth justice system. Critics of this type of policy said this would be too expensive and there would not be enough “secure beds”. This data proves otherwise.

It is possible to send children back to the youth justice system, without raising the cost.

“A decade ago, “raising the age” was considered a high cost and risky investment. Today, research and outcomes
demonstrated that not only did the sky not fall, but proponents underestimated the successes to come.” This has strong implications for states that have yet to raise the age for kids to protect them from the adult system.

Follow the link below to a short summary of the research, and a link to the full PDF report.