Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice


Office of Policy and Management

The Office of Policy and Management (OPM) functions as the Governor’s staff agency and plays a central role in state government, providing the information and analysis used to formulate public policy for the State and assisting State agencies and municipalities in implementing policy decisions on the Governor’s behalf. OPM prepares the Governor’s budget proposal and implements and monitors the execution of the budget as adopted by the General Assembly.

The purpose of the “Facts and Figures on Connecticut’s Juvenile Justice System” is to provide an overview of the juveniles moving through the juvenile justice system.

The tables and charts provide the most recent data available when information was compiled for this document.

Data are provided on: arrest, juvenile court referral, use of detention centers, juvenile court disposition and residential placements.


Juvenile Justice terms explained.

Youth Opportunity Atlas

A publication from Connecticut Voices for Children. PDF


An Alliance report on serving committed delinquent youth better. PDF

Juvenile Prisons: National consensus and alternatives

Alliance report details the failure of juvenile prisons nationally, introduces encouraging results in other states and calls for closure of Connecticut’s juvenile prisons. PDF

The Juvenile Justice GPS (JJGPS) site

A project of the National Center for Juvenile Justice and Models for Change, the site monitors juvenile justice system change by examining state laws and juvenile justice practice, combined with the most relevant state and national statistics. WEBSITE

Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison

Journalist Nell Bernstein writes about juvenile incarceration and argues that there is no right way to lock up a child. AMAZON LINK

The Comeback and Coming from Behind States

National Juvenile Justice Network and Texas Public Policy Foundation, 2013. An updated look at states (including CT) making strides to reduce youth incarceration. PDF LINK

State releases new joint juvenile justice strategic plan

Cover letterMS WORD, 451 KB
Full planMS WORD, 94 KB

Juvenile Justice Resource Hub

The Juvenile Justice Reform Hub is a comprehensive source of information on cutting-edge juvenile justice issues and reform trends. WEBSITE

CDC Report on Juvenile Transfers to Adult System

A report on recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. PDF, 245.45 KB

OJJDP Report – Juvenile Transfer Laws:
An Effective Deterrent to Delinquency? August 2008

This report, published by the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention, looks at transfers of juveniles to the adult system and its effects on deterring crime. Some of the report’s findings are that laws that make it easier to transfer youth to the adult system have little to no deterrent effect on juvenile crime, and that youth transferred to the adult system are more likely to re-offend than youth who committed similar crimes but remained in the juvenile system. PDF, 341.55 KB

Rock Center: Kevin’s Story

MSNBC Rock Center report on kids in solitary confinement. WEBSITE

Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach

The National Academies weigh in on why we must consider adolescent development in system design. PDF LINK

Report on 10 years of reform in CT

Tow Foundation Report on Juvenile Justice Reform in Connecticut
Short version PDF, 184 KB
Long version PDF, 1.6 MB

Transfer of Juveniles to Adult Court:
Effects of a Broad Policy in One Court

This bulletin presents findings from the Pathways to Desistance study about the effects of transfer from juvenile court to adult court on a sample of serious adolescent offenders in Maricopa County, Ariz. PDF LINK

Data: Violent Crime by Youth at 30-year Low

FBI data indicate the number of violent crime arrests involving under-18 youth dropped considerably from 2010 to 2011. PDF, 688 KB

Resolution, Reinvestment, and Realignment:
Three Strategies for Changing Juvenile Justice

This report reviews the history and development of some states’ strategies for alternatives to incarceration and analyzes their impact on policy, practice, and public safety. WEBSITE

Connecticut leads national trend

Connecticut juvenile justice reform was highlighted in a national report showing that more states are making changes to keep kids out of adult courts. PDF, 6.7 MB

Safe and Sound

This Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance report analyzes a decade of data to demonstrate how juvenile justice reform in the state was accompanied by a decrease in juvenile crime, violent crime and recidivism. By holding youth accountable through community based programs and using expensive alternatives, such as incarceration, sparingly, reforms have saved the state money as well. PDF, 578 KB

Family Involvement in Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System

This Models for Change report aims to identify and develop strategies and models that will support family involvement in the juvenile justice system in effective and measurable ways and that are rooted within balanced and restorative justice practice. PDF, 347 KB

Principles of Effective Juvenile Justice Coalitions

Robert Francis, Executive Director of RYASAP Catalyst for Community Change, report on how to build effective coalitions to support juvenile justice reform. The two main points of the paper are “to describe a local juvenile justice reform coalition that sparked, built and fostered a formal statewide juvenile justice system reform organization, and to describe the principles of coalition building that were instrumental in the development of these efforts.” PDF, 340 KB

Supporting Youth in Transition to Adulthood:
Lessons Learned from Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice

This paper, published by the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown and the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, discusses the successes and challenges that juvenile justice and child welfare agencies face in preparing the youth they serve for a successful adulthood. It also highlights organizational and legislative changes that have positioned these agencies to provide effective and appropriate services to older youth and their families. WEBSITE

Models for Change Report: Making Court the Last Resort

This paper, by The Vera Institute for Justice, describes the new paradigm of referring at-risk youth and their families to community-based services rather than into the juvenile justice system. By highlighting successful nationwide reform, including here in Connecticut, these studies highlight an approach to status offenders that is yielding positive outcomes in disparate jurisdictions. PDF, 328 KB

Sentencing Our Children to Die in Prison

A report by the University of San Francisco School of Law. PDF, 973.81 KB

Beyond the Tunnel Problem: Addressing Cross-Cutting
Issues that Impact Vulnerable Youth

Call them silos, tunnels, or fragmentation, we know that when a young person has trouble, the kind of services he or she receives has little to do with the underlying needs of that young person and much to do with how they first enter the system – school, juvenile justice or child welfare. This means responses are often inappropriate or arbitrary. This briefing paper, the first in a series sponsored by the Youth Transition Funders Group in partnership with The Annie E. Casey Foundation, identifies some of the challenges and what can be done about them. PDF, 174 KB

C4YJ Report: Jailing Juveniles

CDC Report on Juvenile Transfers to Adult System. PDF, 245.45 KB

Changing Lives: Delinquency Prevention as Crime-Control Policy

Executive Summary of Peter Greenwood’s book. PDF, 254.33 KB

Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice

From the Child Welfare League of America.WEBSITE

Cost-Effective Interventions for Juvenile Offenders

Dr. Peter Greenwood gave this presentation before the Judiciary, Childrens, and Appropriations committees on March 9, 2007 for Educate the Legislature Day. POWERPOINT, 311.5 KB

OJJDP Model Programs Guide

The OJJDP Model Programs Guide is a comprehensive source of information about proven programs to address the entire spectrum of juvenile justice issues from prevention to re-entry. The guide also provide a detailed and easy-to-undersatnd explanation of the juvenile justice system itself and the jargon those within the system tend to use. One of the most useful features is the ability to search the guide’s database for sample model programs in any area of interest. WEBSITE

Overview of Evidence-based Practices for Youth in Connecticut

Bob Frank gave this Powerpoint presentation to the Judiciary, Childrens, and Appropriations committees on March 9, 2007 for Educate the Legislature Day. POWERPOINT, 1.86 MB

Potentials for Change: Public Attitudes
& Policy Preferences for JJ Systems Reform

A Center for Children’s Law and Policy Report. New polling data on Americans’ attitudes about youth, race and crime reveal strong support for juvenile justice reforms that focus on rehabilitating youthful offenders rather than locking them up in adult prisons. The public also believes that African American and poor youth receive less favorable treatment than those who are white or middle class. PDF, 246.44 KB

Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration of Juvenile Offenders

A new survey supported by the MacArthur foundation shows a greater willingness of taxpayers to pay for rehabilitation programs than for the incarceration of offenders in jail. These findings indicate support for an approach to juvenile justice that runs contrary to the increasingly punitive policies adopted across the country in the 1990s. PDF, 219.89 KB

Report: A Sensible Model for Juvenile Justice, Summer 2008

The Youth Transition Funders Group argues that the current juvenile justice system addresses the causes, rather than the effects of crime and focuses too much attention on mental health, substance abuse, and family therapy, therefore ignoring the majority of the juvenile population who commit crimes because of the normal tendency of youth to defy authority, thrill-seek, and become involved in social environments that are accepting of illegal behavior. PDF, 287.99 KB

School Yard or Prison Yard:
Improving Outcomes for Marginalized Youth

A Justice Strategies working paper. PDF, 140.22 KB

Small is Beautiful: Missouri DYS

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s report on the Missouri Division of Youth Services. Over 20 years ago, Missouri closed its large training schools and began to develop a statewide system of group-home-like facilities for its adjudicated youth. The result has been more effective programs, lower recidivism rates and lower costs. PDF, 538 KB

Treated Like Trash: Juvenile Detention in New Orleans
Before, During, and After Hurricane Katrina

This report follows the journey taken by these trapped children – from Orleans Parish Prison to Louisiana’s Office of Youth Development. PDF, 676.25 KB

What are the Implications of Adolescent
Brain Development on Juvenile Justice?

Coalition for Juvenile Justice Emerging Concepts Brief. A presentation of research findings intended to inform and improve juvenile justice and delinquency prevention policy and practice. PDF, 697.57 KB

What Works, Wisconsin: What Science Tells Us about Cost-Effective Programs for Juvenile Delinquency Prevention

A Report to the Wisconsin Governor’s Juvenile Justice Commission
and the Wisconsin Office of Justice Assistance PDF, 839 KB

JPI Education and Public Safety

A policy brief from the Justice Policy Institute.PDF, 137 KB