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.

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, [...]

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.

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.

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 [...]

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 [...]

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?

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Positive Youth Justice

Butts, Jeffrey A., Gordon Bazemore, and Aundra Saa Meroe (2010). Positive Youth Justice: Framing Justice Interventions Using the Concepts of Positive Youth Development. Washington, DC: Coalition for Juvenile Justice. Positive youth development could be an effective framework for designing general interventions for young offenders. Such a framework would encourage youth justice systems to focus on protective [...]