Easily Overstated

Policymakers, advocates, and even some researchers claim that youth confinement rates across the United States dropped in recent years due to changes in policy and practice. Such claims remain unproven, but voters and elected officials are inclined to accept them as factual because they are offered by reputable agencies and repeated in news media sources. Without reliable evidence, however, the notion that state-level youth confinement rates fall primarily in response to progressive policy reforms is merely appealing rhetoric. Continue reading Easily Overstated

Catching up with Science: A Forum on Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System

A forum co-hosted by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Research & Evaluation Center. Video highlights July 15, 2015 Justice-involved young adults in the transition between adolescence and fully mature adulthood have been increasingly recognized as a unique population in need of special policies, programs and practices to reduce their incarceration and collateral system … Continue reading Catching up with Science: A Forum on Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System

Strengthening Youth Justice Practices with Developmental Knowledge and Principles

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. Continue reading Strengthening Youth Justice Practices with Developmental Knowledge and Principles

The Debt Penalty

Depending on the jurisdiction, offenders are charged fees at nearly every phase of the criminal justice process. In addition to fines, interest, and penalties for late payments, offenders may be required to pay “user fees,” which differ from court-imposed fines. The sole purpose of user fees is to raise revenue for criminal justice systems, while court-imposed fines are intended to punish offenders or to provide financial compensation to victims. Continue reading The Debt Penalty

Punishment Without End

Evans, Douglas N. (2014). Punishment Without End. New York, NY: Research & Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Criminal justice punishments are an investment that societies make to protect the safety and order of communities. Following decades of rising prison populations, however, U.S. policymakers are beginning to wonder if they have invested too much in punishment. Policies adopted … Continue reading Punishment Without End

Compensating Victims of Crime

Evans, Douglas N. (2014). Compensating Victims of Crime. New York, NY: Research & Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Victims of violent crime are often unable to access financial compensation to offset the costs of victimization (e.g., medical, lost wages, funeral expenses) despite the massive amounts of money set aside for just that purpose. Currently, there is about … Continue reading Compensating Victims of Crime

Line Drawing

The differential response to childhood criminality is an established legal principle. Setting the operational legal boundaries between children, youth, and adults is complicated and contentious. It has been so for centuries. It is easy to agree that a specialized juvenile court is the proper forum for handling cases involving law violations by young people, but where exactly should states draw the line between juvenile and adult status? Continue reading Line Drawing

Justice Fellowship — Research on Criminal Justice Policy Reform

Center staff provided expertise and support to Justice Fellowship designed to advance JF’s goal of changing the national narrative on criminal justice. The project resulted in three research reports on issues related to criminal justice practices. The goal of each report was to influence ideas, beliefs and political leadership on criminal justice issues and to shift from an emphasis on incarceration to approaches that demonstrate … Continue reading Justice Fellowship — Research on Criminal Justice Policy Reform

Monitoring Reforms in Youth Justice

With funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is conceptualizing and designing a process for monitoring the quality of youth justice reforms at the state and local level. The project convened a one-day meeting in Washington, DC and is producing a white paper that summarizes the results of the meeting and presents an … Continue reading Monitoring Reforms in Youth Justice

The French Prison System…

Kazemian, Lila and Catrin Andersson (2012). The French Prison System: Comparative Insights for Policy and Practice in New York and the United States. New York, NY: Research and Evaluation Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Despite many differences between French and American correctional practices, the two countries have common challenges as well. This report offers a brief overview of the … Continue reading The French Prison System…

Better Research for Better Policies

Butts, Jeffrey A. and John Roman (2011). Better Research for Better Policies, in Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice. Sherman, Francine and Francine Jacobs (Editors). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. To do their jobs effectively, policymakers, professionals, and community partners must be able to access high-quality information about the impact of policies and programs for youth. Recent years have seen an increasing, and … Continue reading Better Research for Better Policies

Data Informed Strategies for Improving Policy and Practice

With funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice extended its program of research and technical assistance on juvenile justice realignment, or efforts to shift programs and resources for young offenders away from centralized, state-run facilities and into locally-operated, community-based, and non-residential programs. The Center reviewed the research literature and compiled the results of … Continue reading Data Informed Strategies for Improving Policy and Practice