Closer to Home: An Analysis of the State and Local Impact of the Texas Juvenile Justice Reforms
"Since 1997, arrest rates among juveniles in the United States have sunk to an all-time low, and the number of youth incarcerated in state or county correctional facilities has plummeted. After peaking in 1996, arrests of juveniles fell by approximately 50 percent between 1997 and 2011, to their lowest level in 30 years.1
During the same period, youth confinement rates declined almost 50 percent. Why are so many fewer youth locked up today compared to nearly 20 years ago? It’s not simply because arrests are down; trends in the 1990s demonstrate that the number of youth incarcerated can actually increase even while arrest rates decline.2
A key reason that confinement rates for youth have shrunk so considerably is the deliberate efforts made by state and county governments to address youth incarceration—efforts driven by a combination of research, advocacy, litigation, and fiscal considerations."