Youth and Young Adults
Connecticut and Sonoma County, California Kick off Data-Driven Effort to Overhaul Juvenile Justice Systems
The endeavors are part of an effort to answer the call of state and local jurisdictions struggling to ensure that resources are being efficiently used to help young people who interact with the juvenile justice system succeed.
Policymakers, practitioners, and advocates alike recognize that improving the juvenile justice system requires more than incarcerating fewer youth. What constitutes success is ensuring that, whenever possible, youth receive supervision and services that support them to avoid further contact with the justice system and transition safely to adulthood.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act (Senate Bill 108) on May 28—a crucial step toward aligning the state’s juvenile justice system with what research shows works to improve outcomes for youth, strengthen public safety, and efficiently use resources.
Palm Beach County’s Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) received a Second Chance Act (SCA) Juvenile Reentry Program grant in 2012 to develop a juvenile reentry strategic plan. In 2013, the CJC was granted further SCA funding to implement that plan and initiate the Back to a Future program to strengthen the reentry process for youth. The program complements probation supervision by providing case management, job skills training, education transition services, and referrals to other needed supports for youth.
When Jamel Bonilla was released from the Middleton House of Correction, he knew what he needed most to stay out of prison. “I needed work,” Bonilla said. “I needed money.”