We actually need young people who are bold, willing to challenge conventional thinking, and to break rules, but we also need them to respect others, to rely on logic rather than force, and to appreciate the corrosive effects of violence and exploitation. In short, our communities need powerful and creative young people who want to improve us and not simply to fight us. These should seem like obvious concepts to anyone working around the youth justice system, but it is often surprisingly difficult to implement them in practice.
Jeffrey A. Butts and Vincent Schiraldi Recidivism is not a robust measure of effectiveness for community corrections agencies. When used as the sole measure of effectiveness, recidivism misleads policymakers and the public, encourages inappropriate comparisons of dissimilar populations, and focuses policy on negative rather than positive outcomes. Policymakers who focus on recidivism as evidence of [...]
This report reviews a number of prominent frameworks that are available to help youth justice systems rely on positive outcomes rather than recidivism to measure their effectiveness. These include the Developmental Assets model, the 5Cs model, the Youth Program Quality Assessment model, the Positive Youth Justice model, and the Youth Thrive framework. Each model or framework aligns with the key principles of positive youth development as well as the large body of research on desistance from crime, which is also presented in this report.
The Chronicle of Social Change published a series of articles on applications of the Positive Youth Justice model. In the first summary article, John Kelly points out that the youth justice system tries to intervene in many areas of a young person's life. Substance abuse, serious mental health disorders, family problems and a history of [...]
Positive Youth Justice: Children First, Offenders Second This topical book moves beyond established critiques to outline a model of positive youth justice: Children First, Offenders Second (CFOS). Already in use in Wales, the proposed model promotes child-friendly, diversionary, inclusive, engaging, promotional practice and legitimate partnership between children and adults which can serve as a blueprint [...]
Shulman, Elizabeth P. and Elizabeth Cauffman (2013). Reward-Biased Risk Appraisal and Its Relation to Juvenile Versus Adult Crime. Law & Human Behavior, 37(6): 412-423. Journal site Patricia Zapf provides this helpful this helpful summary. The authors note that “the nature of adolescent risk perception may not only increase the chances of criminal behavior, it may [...]
According to the National Research Council, the "overarching goal of the juvenile justice system is to support the positive social development of youths who become involved in the system, and thereby assure the safety of communities. The specific aims of juvenile courts and affiliated agencies are to hold youths accountable for wrongdoing, prevent further offending, [...]
The Youth Development Institute (YDI) supports the growth and development of young people by strengthening the quality and increasing the availability of experiences offered by the organizations that serve them. They partner with community organizations, schools, colleges, policy makers, funders, and others to create programs, train staff, and develop policies that encourage and enable young [...]
The insights and lessons of developmental science do not translate easily into the day-to-day tasks of youth justice systems, which often focus on control and compliance. Youth justice practitioners require assistance as they apply developmental principles. The Positive Youth Justice (PYJ) Model was developed to meet this challenge.