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

21st September 2011

A new report from the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice entitled Resolution, Reinvestment, and Realignment: Three Strategies for Changing Juvenile Justice reviews the most prominent juvenile correctional reform models from the past 40 years, and looks at whether the reforms represent a permanent shift in policy and practice, or are a temporary reaction to tight budgets and low rates of violent crime.

The report categorizes the reform models into three types:

  1. Resolution Models: Reforms are accomplished and maintained with managerial action and state leadership. Examples: Massachusetts, Missouri, and Utah.
  2. Reinvestment Models: Reforms are accomplished and maintained using financial incentives to reduce the demand of local jurisdictions for state-operated confinement institutions. Examples: Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
  3. Realignment Models: Reforms are achieved and sustained by reorganizing juvenile justice systems, reducing or eliminating state-level confinement and replacing it with local services and placement. Examples: California and Wayne County (Detroit), Michigan.

The authors acknowledge that any of the three models can be effective, but they recommend realignment as the approach most likely to be sustainable over time.

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