Department of Justice Reveals Significant Drop in Juvenile Incarceration in New Report
WASHINGTON, DC—Prison Fellowship, the nation's largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, and a leading advocate for criminal justice reform, is encouraged by new statistics released by the Department of Justice on the significant drop in the number of juveniles that are incarcerated. Newly released figures from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reveal:
- The number of youths incarcerated around the nation fell to 43,580, which is a 60 percent decrease since 2000;
- Of those incarcerated, Latino youths in juvenile facilities fell by 13 percent, African-American youths dropped by 11 percent, and Native American youths decreased by 10 percent; and
- All age groups continue to see declines, including a substantial 11 percent drop for 17-year-olds.
"Prison Fellowship has been a leader in advocating for less reliance on youth incarceration for over 40 years," said James Ackerman, President and Chief Executive Officer for Prison Fellowship. "When young people are held accountable in ways that reflect their dignity and potential, we see better outcomes for public safety, stronger families, and better futures for youth. That's why Prison Fellowship continues to work with states to advance a truly restorative model of youth justice."
"This dramatic decrease in youth incarceration has been driven by adopting approaches to youth justice that hold incarceration as a last resort," said Craig DeRoche, senior vice president of Prison Fellowship. "This work in several states across the country has been achieved through longstanding partnerships between juvenile justice department officials, lawmakers, advocates, and families. Everyone working on criminal justice reform in America can learn from this approach—rather than warehousing people in prisons, many men and women would benefit from community-based punishment that offers character building and skill development without sacrificing safety."