The rate fell roughly equally among whites, blacks, and Hispanics 55 to 70 percent. Over that same period, rates for Asian youth fell the most 88 percent , while rates for American Indians fell the least 47 percent Appendix 1. Males are much more likely than females to be in residential placement, accounting for 85 percent of all juveniles in residential placement in This proportion has fluctuated, but in general has not changed since Appendix 1.
Female adolescents are committed to facilities at higher rates than in some previous years, although the rate in was lower than the year peak in In , 12 percent of female adolescents in residential placement were there because of status offences, compared with 4 percent of male adolescents. However, this gap is shrinking: In , 23 percent of females in residential placement were there because of status offences, versus 4 percent of males. Most juveniles in residential placement 95 percent in are there because of delinquency.
The other 5 percent committed status offenses behaviors that are illegal for underage persons but not for adults, such as running away, incorrigibility [i. Five percent had committed drug-related offenses, and 13 percent had committed disturbances to the public order Appendix 2. In , non-Hispanic Asian and white youth had the lowest rates of juvenile residential placement among males 38 and per , population, respectively.
Hispanic males had a rate of per ,, followed by non-Hispanic American Indian males, at , and non-Hispanic black males, at As in the case of males, female non-Hispanic black and American Indian adolescents had the highest rates of residential placement and per ,, respectively, in Non-Hispanic white females were also less likely to be in residential placement 32 per , in than Hispanic females 44 per , Non-Hispanic Asian females were the least likely to be in residential placement, with a rate of 7 per , Rates of residential placement for Hispanic, non-Hispanic Asian, and non-Hispanic black adolescents have been decreasing since at least , while rates for non-Hispanic white adolescents began to decline in For non-Hispanic American Indian adolescents, rates increased from to and then declined through , with the exception of a small uptick in Appendix 1.
Estimates of white and black youth in this report do not include Hispanic youth. Sickmund, M. Appendix 1. Appendix 2. Juveniles in residential placement are defined as those under age 18 who were assigned a bed in a juvenile residential custody facility in the United States as of the last Wednesday in October in a given year. The number of children younger than age 10 in residential placement is not large enough to warrant the inclusion of younger age groups in the denominator of rate calculations. Data do not include those juveniles in adult facilities or those juveniles held exclusively in drug treatment or mental health facilities.
OJJDP statistical briefing book. Runaway youths and sexual victimization: Gender differences in an adolescent runaway population. Child Abuse and Neglect, 10, Rhodes, J. Spanning the gender gap: Gender differences in delinquency among inner-city adolescents. Adolescence, 28, Silbert, M. Sexual child abuse as an antecedent to prostitution. Child Abuse and Neglect, 5, Female juvenile delinquency: Misunderstood by the juvenile justice system, neglected by social science.
Law and Human Behavior, 22 1 , These include over 2, youths held for status offenses, 2, held for drug offenses other than trafficking, over 3, held for public order offenses not involving weapons, and 8, held for technical violations. State and local officials should also look more closely at the detained population and consider how many of those youths would be better served in the community. Like the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems themselves, the efforts to reverse mass incarceration for adults and to deinstitutionalize justice-involved youth have remained curiously distinct.
But the two systems have more problems — and potentially, more solutions — in common than one might think. Like so many adults who are unnecessarily detained in jails, thousands of justice-involved children and adolescents languish in detention centers without even being found delinquent.
They, too, are locked up in large numbers for low-level, non-violent offenses.
And many youth face similarly dehumanizing conditions when they are locked up in juvenile facilities that look and feel like adult jails and prisons. For advocates and policymakers working to find alternatives to incarceration, ending youth confinement should be a top priority. With this big picture view, it should be obvious that many improvements can be made to better respond to the behaviors and needs of justice-involved youth. Many juvenile justice-focused organizations have proposed policy changes at every stage of the process, 26 but to address some of the issues discussed in this report, policymakers can start by:.
Many terms related to the juvenile justice system are contentious. Finally, the racial and ethnic terms used to describe the demographic characteristics of confined youth e. Finally, because this report is directed at people more familiar with the criminal justice system than the juvenile justice system, we occasionally made some language choices to make the transition to juvenile justice processes easier. In an effort to capture the full scope of youth confinement, this report aggregates data on children and adolescents held in both juvenile and adult facilities.
Unfortunately, the juvenile and adult justice system data are not completely compatible, both in terms of vocabulary and the measures made available. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention OJJDP provides easy access to detailed, descriptive data analysis of juvenile residential placements and the youths held in them.
For youths in adult prisons, all that is readily accessible in government reports is their number by sex and by jurisdictional agency state or federal. In annual government reports on jails, youths are only differentiated by whether they are held as adults or juveniles. Slightly more detailed information is reported on youths in Indian country facilities, but the measures reported are not wholly consistent with the juvenile justice survey, and facility-level analysis is necessary to separate youths from adults for most measures.
Despite these challenges, this report brings together the most recent data available on the number of people younger than 18 held in various types of facilities and the most serious offense for which they are charged, adjudicated, or convicted. The only children and adolescents included in this analysis are involved in the juvenile- or criminal justice process. Youth who are put in out-of-home placements because their parents or guardian are unwilling or unable to care for them i.
For juvenile facilities, the most recent data available is from , and for adult and Indian country facilities, data is available.
These years matter: while most states set the upper age of juvenile court jurisdiction at 18, in and , 7 states automatically prosecuted anyone 17 or older as an adult, and 2 states prosecuted anyone over 16 as an adult. For this reason, we expect that as more states continue to raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction, the balance of youth in adult versus juvenile facilities will shift to greater reliance on juvenile facilities.
To compare racial and ethnic representation in juvenile facilities to the general population of all youths 17 or younger in the U. Casey Foundation. We used the raw data to aggregate all children under 18 for comparison to the confined population in the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement.
The estimate of the number of youths confined for low-level offenses who could be considered for release includes 16, in juvenile facilities in These youths could likely also be considered for release. We did not include youths held in adult prisons and jails in this estimate because offense types were not reported for these youths. The estimate of the number of youths detained pretrial who could be considered for release includes 6, youths detained in juvenile facilities and 56 unconvicted youths in Indian country facilities.
At the time of the survey, 6, youths in juvenile facilities were detained awaiting either adjudication, criminal court hearing, or transfer hearing essentially, they were being held before being found delinquent or guilty. This may slightly underreport the unconvicted population, because the status conviction of youths in combined adult and juvenile Indian country facilities was not reported separately from the adults, and one juvenile facility did not report conviction status.
Youths held in adult prisons and jails were not included in this estimate because conviction status was not reported for these youths. This report was made possible by the generous contributions of individuals across the country who support justice reform. Individual donors give our organization the resources and flexibility to quickly turn our insights into new movement resources. The author would like to thank her Prison Policy Initiative colleagues for their feedback and assistance in the drafting of this report, and intern Maddy Troilo for her supporting research on changes in youth incarceration in adult facilities over time.
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Elydah Joyce designed the main graphic, while Bob Machuga created the cover. We also acknowledge all of the donors, researchers, programmers and designers who helped the Prison Policy Initiative develop the Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie series of reports. The non-profit non-partisan Prison Policy Initiative was founded in to expose the broader harm of mass criminalization and spark advocacy campaigns to create a more just society. The organization is most well-known for its big-picture publication Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie that helps the public more fully engage in criminal justice reform.
The U. Where are they locked up and why? Read our report. And our other newsletters: Research Library updates? Prison gerrymandering campaign? Support us Can you make a tax-deductible gift to support our work? Demographics and disparities among confined youth Generally speaking, state juvenile justice systems handle cases involving defendants under the age of Types of facilities What are the differences between the various kinds of facilities that confine youth?
Correctional facilities: Detention center: A short-term facility that provides temporary care in a physically restricting environment for juveniles in custody pending court disposition and, often, for juveniles who are adjudicated delinquent and awaiting disposition or placement elsewhere, or are awaiting transfer to another jurisdiction.
Long-term secure facility: A specialized type of facility that provides strict confinement for its residents. Includes training schools, reformatories, and juvenile correctional facilities.
Residential-style facilities: Residential treatment center: A facility that focuses on providing some type of individually planned treatment program for youth substance abuse, sex offender, mental health, etc. Group home: A long-term facility in which residents are allowed extensive contact with the community, such as attending school or holding a job. Includes halfway houses. Includes ranches, forestry camps, wilderness or marine programs, or farms. Shelter: A short-term facility that provides temporary care similar to that of a detention center, but in a physically unrestricting environment.
There is emphasis on physical activity, drills, and manual labor.
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Length of stay is generally longer than detention but shorter than most long-term commitments. Other: Includes facilities such as alternative schools and independent living, etc. Michele Deitch authored a more comprehensive overview of the history, standards, legislation, and contemporary issues related to the juvenile justice system in Ch.
Currently, 5 states continue to automatically prosecute year-olds as adults — Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, and Wisconsin. Several states have recently raised the upper limit of the juvenile system to protect more teenagers from incarceration in adult prisons and jails and from the consequences of adult convictions.
Others are considering legislation to raise the age to over Additionally, some states also define the lower bounds of the juvenile justice system; in North Carolina, for example, children as young as 6 can be adjudicated delinquent in the juvenile justice system.
In the states that specified a minimum age for transferring youth to criminal court, the youngest children that could be transferred were 10 years old in Vermont and Wisconsin. Unfortunately, youth in Indian country facilities cannot be compared to those in other juvenile facilities by age or offense type these are reported differently than in the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement , and data on security type locked versus staff-secured and length of stay are not reported for Indian country facilities.