If our goal is to mitigate whatever factors are most likely to draw young people into contact with the justice system, the interventions we provide should reflect what we know about adolescents and the conditions facing young people in the United States today.
Even if we observe a number of instances when state reforms are followed by lower incarceration, we have to test whether the causal hypothesis holds up in the absence of reform? If we lined up all the states according to whether they had enacted meaningful reforms in their juvenile justice systems, would their incarceration trends line up in the same way, with high reform states showing more decline and low reform states showing less? Moreover, does the relationship persist over time and under varying circumstances?
by Jeffrey A. Butts May 16, 2015 1. use the word “jail” as a synonym for juvenile incarceration, or use the word “detention” as a synonym for all forms of juvenile incarceration 2. use the words “juvenile justice system” when what they mean is juvenile corrections or incarceration facilities 3. assume that because someone says [...]
At least 40 states face swelling budget deficits. Likely targets for reductions include the discretionary social programs that protect public safety. Rather than jeopardize the public's safety and well-being with imprudent cuts, a different and better way out of the financing crunch is explained by two criminologists: the social impact bond.
Despite their popularity, there are many unanswered questions about the effectiveness of teen courts. The overall impression one gets from the evaluation literature is positive, but researchers have yet to identify exactly why teen courts work. Most important, studies have not yet investigated whether some teen court models are better than others.
Jeffrey A. Butts and Howard N. Snyder (2007). Where are Juvenile Crime Trends Headed? Juvenile and Family Justice Today. Spring 2007. After 10 years of stunning decreases in violent crime, fretting over a 3 percent increase is like phoning your doctor in the middle of the night because your child's temperature has reached 99.1 F.
It may be convenient to call all youths under age 18 juveniles, but it is legally incorrect and morally evasive. Legally, a person is either a juvenile or an adult. Unless we are fully prepared to think of teens as adults, we should not prosecute them as adults, whether they face capital punishment, imprisonment or probation.